Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 30, 2014
Sugar mimics guide stem cells toward neural fate
Many growth factors that influence the fate of embryonic stem cells must bind to sugars attached to specific receptors on the surface of the cell to work.

Older adults are at risk of financial abuse
Nearly one in every 20 elderly American adults is being financially exploited -- often by their own family members.

Deep-sea octopus has longest-known egg-brooding period
A deep-sea octopus protected and tended her eggs until they hatched 4.5 years later.

Income is a major driver of avoidable hospitalizations across New Jersey
The household income of its residents is the most important factor in whether a community has high or low rates of avoidable hospital visits -- conditions that could be better managed in a doctor's office or other health care settings if treated at an early stage, according to a report released by the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy.

Bees able to spot which flowers offer best rewards before landing
Bumblebees are able to connect differences in pollen quality with floral features, like petal color, and so land only on the flowers that offer the best rewards, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Exeter.

All-in-one energy system offers greener power for off-grid homes, farms
An innovative 'trigeneration' system fueled entirely by raw plant oils could have great potential for isolated homes and businesses operating outside grid systems both in the UK and abroad.

High frequency of potential entrapment gaps in hospital beds
A survey of beds within a large teaching hospital in Ireland has shown than many of them did not comply with dimensional standards put in place to minimize the risk of entrapment.

Dimly lit working environments: Correcting your body clock is possible!
Researchers at Inserm, led by Claude Gronfier, have, for the first time, conducted a study under real conditions on the body clocks of members of the international polar research station Concordia.

How is depression related to dementia?
A new study gives insight into the relationship between depression and dementia.

Diverticulitis patients reveal psychological, physical symptoms long after acute attacks
A UCLA team interviewed patients in great detail about the symptoms they experience weeks, months or even years after an acute diverticulitis attack.

Whole body CT scans show no significant differences in incidence or severity of atherosclerotic disease
New research published in Global Heart shows that there are no significant differences in the incidence or severity of atherosclerotic disease (narrowing of the arteries with fatty deposits) between ancient and modern Egyptians, showing that atherosclerosis is not just a disease of modern times.

Journal supplement details progress in African medical education
In the first substantial publication by participants of the $130 million Medical Education Partnership Initiative, more than 225 authors detailed progress made at African institutions in a 116-page supplement being published today by the journal Academic Medicine.

Scientists reproduce evolutionary changes by manipulating embryonic development of mice
By modifying the embryonic development of mice, scientists from the University of Helsinki and the UAB have achieved to reproduce in the laboratory the changes in teeth shape which, in mammals, has needed millions of years of evolution to take place.

Classic Lewis Carroll character inspires new ecological model
Inspired by the Red Queen in Lewis Carroll's 'Through the Looking Glass,' collaborators from the University of Illinois and National University of Singapore improved a 35-year-old ecology model to better understand how species evolve over decades to millions of years.

Pesticide DDT linked to slow metabolism, obesity and diabetes
UC Davis study is the first to show that developmental exposure to DDT increases the risk of females later developing metabolic syndrome -- a cluster of conditions that include increased body fat, blood glucose, and cholesterol.

Mapping the optimal route between 2 quantum states
As a quantum state collapses from a quantum superposition to a classical state or a different superposition, it will follow a path known as a quantum trajectory.

New catalyst converts carbon dioxide to fuel
Scientists from the University of Illinois at Chicago have synthesized a catalyst that improves their system for converting waste carbon dioxide into syngas, a precursor of gasoline and other energy-rich products, bringing the process closer to commercial viability.

Soy may help women's hearts if they start early
A diet rich in soy may help feminine hearts, but timing matters, finds a new study published online today in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society.

Kessler funded as satellite site for NIH Stroke Trials Network
NIH StrokeNet brings together teams of research experts specializing in prevention, treatment and recovery.

UK psychologist creates patient tool to assist with lung cancer screening decision
A University of Kentucky behavioral researcher was recently awarded a National Cancer Institute grant to develop programs that will help patients and health care providers navigate the lung cancer screening decision-making process.

Analysis of the iceman mummy suggests genetic predisposition to atherosclerosis
While prevalence and types of risk factors for atherosclerosis have varied over time from ancient times to modern society -- such as levels of obesity, physical activity -- genetic predisposition/risk for the condition today appears to be very similar to that in ancient times.

Vocal variety in African penguins
Adult African penguins communicate using four different vocalizations and juveniles and chicks use two begging calls to request food.

New scientific review: Current evidence suggests benefits of e-cigarettes outweigh harms
A major scientific review of available research on the use, content, and safety of e-cigarettes has concluded that -- although long-term health effects of e-cigarette use are unknown -- compared with conventional cigarettes they are likely to be much less harmful to users or bystanders.

Senescence in adipose-derived stem cells and its implications in nerve regeneration
Professor Magnaghi and his team from University of Milan in Italy reported some of the most important factors modulating the senescence process, which can influence adipose-derived stem cell morphology and function, and compromise their clinical application for peripheral nerve regenerative cell therapy.

Teen insomnia is linked with depression and anxiety
A study of high-school students by University of Adelaide psychology researchers has shed new light on the links between insomnia-related mental health conditions among teens.

A blood test for suicide?
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered a chemical alteration in a single human gene linked to stress reactions that, if confirmed in larger studies, could give doctors a simple blood test to reliably predict a person's risk of attempting suicide.

Appreciation for fat jokes, belief in obese stereotypes linked
From movies to television, obesity is still considered 'fair game' for jokes and ridicule.

Neuro researchers advocate for a shift in thinking for stroke rehabilitation
A new study out today in The Neuroscientist discusses a systematic shift in perspective and suggests that chronically stimulating premotor areas of the brain would strongly promote stroke motor recovery, for example by restoring balance between the stroke and the intact hemispheres while establishing greater widespread connectivity.

UTHealth's Dr. Philip Orlander recognized by diabetes association
Philip Orlander, M.D., director of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School, has been named the 2014 Physician of the Year by the Houston Chapter of the American Diabetes Association.

NASA's IceCube no longer on ice
NASA's Science Mission Directorate has chosen a team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., to build its first Earth science-related CubeSat mission.

Biologists describe mechanism promoting multiple DNA mutations
The finding that cancer development often involves multiple mutations arising in clusters and in regions where chromosomal rearrangement takes place may one day lead to new cancer therapies.

Watching Schrödinger's cat die (or come to life)
Quantum mechanics holds that a system can be in more than one state at a time, only collapsing into a definite state when someone measures it.

Finding quantum lines of desire
What paths do quantum particles, such as atoms or photons, follow through quantum state space?

Key to aging immune system is discovered
The immune system ages and weakens with time, making the elderly prone to life-threatening infection and other maladies, and a UC San Francisco research team now has discovered a reason why.

NSF grant to Wayne State supports new concept for manufacturing nanoscale devices
According to the National Science Foundation, nanotechnology is the creation and utilization of functional materials, devices, and systems with novel properties and functions.

Dissolvable fabric loaded with medicine might offer faster protection against HIV
University of Washington bioengineers have discovered a potentially faster way to deliver a topical drug that protects women from contracting HIV.

Dyscalculia: Burdened by blunders with numbers
Between 3 and 6 percent of schoolchildren suffer from an arithmetic-related learning disability.

Chinese mosquitos on the Baltic Sea
Strange finds indeed have been reported by researchers from China, Europe and the USA in the journal Current Biology: 50 million years ago, there were insects living in East Asia that very much resembled those in Northern Europe.

Entomological Society of America recognizes 2014 Fellows
The Entomological Society of America has elected 10 new Fellows of the Society for 2014.

ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering: Brand-new journal launches in 2015, names editor
The American Chemical Society announced today that David L. Kaplan, Ph.D., will head the brand-new, web-only journal ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering as editor-in-chief.

When cooperation counts
A new study conducted by Harvard scientists shows that in Peromyscus maniculatus, a species of deer mouse known to be highly promiscuous, sperm clump together to swim in a more linear fashion, increasing their chances of fertilization.

Vedic living in a modern world: International conference at Maharishi University
Leaders in Vedic Studies and Modern Science will convene July 31-Aug.

Scientists pinpoint bladder cancer patients who could benefit from 'tumor-softening' treatment
Scientists in Manchester have identified a protein that could help doctors decide which bladder cancer patients would benefit from a treatment that makes radiotherapy more effective.

Penn researchers: Naltrexone may diminish impulse control disorders in Parkinson's disease patients
Up to 20 percent of Parkinson's disease patients may confront a common but largely unrecognized challenge: the occurrence of impulse control disorders (ICDs) such as compulsive gambling, sexual behavior, eating, or spending.

Conservation scientists asking wrong questions on climate change impacts on wildlife
Scientists studying the potential effects of climate change on the world's animal and plant species are focusing on the wrong factors, according to a new paper by a research team from the Wildlife Conservation Society, University of Queensland, and other organizations.

New malaria vaccine candidates identified
New vaccine targets that could help in the battle against malaria have been discovered thanks to a new technique.

Across-the-board Impact Factor increases for Portland Press Limited
Portland Press Limited today announced an across-the-board increase in Impact Factors for its molecular bioscience publications.

Rossi Foundation pledges $1M for JAX neurobehavioral research center
The Jackson Laboratory has received a pledge of $1 million from the Cornelia Cogswell Rossi Foundation to support and name the Laboratory's new Neurobehavioral Biometry Center.

Antarctic ice sheet is result of CO2 decrease, not continental breakup
Climate modelers from the University of New Hampshire have shown that the most likely explanation for the initiation of Antarctic glaciation during a major climate shift 34 million years ago was decreased carbon dioxide levels.

Early detection and transplantation provide best outcomes for 'bubble boy' disease
Children born with so-called 'bubble boy' disease have the best chance of survival if they undergo a hematopoietic stem cell transplant as soon after birth as possible, according to a detailed analysis of 10 years of outcome data by researchers at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.

Exploring 3-D printing to make organs for transplants
Printing whole new organs for transplants sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but the real-life budding technology could one day make actual kidneys, livers, hearts and other organs for patients who desperately need them.

Many depressed preschoolers still suffer in later school years
Children diagnosed with depression as preschoolers are likely to suffer from depression as school-age children and young adolescents, new research shows.

NASA sees zombie Tropical Depression Genevieve reborn
Infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite helped confirm that the remnant low pressure area of former Tropical Storm Genevieve has become a zombie storm, and has been reborn as a tropical depression on July 30.

F1000Research brings static research figures to life
F1000Research today published new research from Bjorn Brembs, professor of neurogenetics at the Institute of Zoology, Universitaet Regensburg, in Germany, with a proof-of-concept figure allowing readers and reviewers to run the underlying code within the online article.

Saving seeds the right way can save the world's plants
Exotic pests, shrinking ranges and a changing climate threaten some of the world's most rare and ecologically important plants, and so conservationists establish seed collections to save the seeds in banks or botanical gardens in hopes of preserving some genetic diversity.

Study: Telephone support program beneficial for caregivers of those with dementia
Rhode Island Hospital researchers have found that a support program administered entirely by telephone can significantly reduce depression and other symptoms in informal caregivers, such as family or friends, of individuals with dementia.

The promise and profits driving our pill-popping culture
We have pills to ease pain, to cure infection, to help us lose weight, to treat chronic conditions, and to enhance our sexual and athletic prowess.

80 percent of aortic stenosis patients are in the same/better health 1 year after treatment
A survey, published online in the European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, of 13,860 patients who had undergone interventions for aortic valve disease in Germany has revealed that over 80 percent were in the same or a better state of health one year after the intervention, and was satisfied with the procedural outcome.

Decades-old amber collection offers new views of a lost world
Scientists are searching through a massive collection of 20-million-year-old amber found in the Dominican Republic more than 50 years ago, and the effort is yielding fresh insights into ancient tropical insects and the world they inhabited.

Hope for more accurate diagnosis of memory problems
More accurate tests could be created to diagnose diseases such as Alzheimer's or memory problems stemming from head injuries, leading to earlier intervention, according to new findings from the University of East Anglia.

CT scans provide evidence of atherosclerosis in wide range of ancient populations
Although atherosclerosis is widely thought to be a disease of modern times, computed tomographic evidence of atherosclerosis has been found in the bodies of a large number of mummies.

Deep-sea octopus broods eggs for over 4 years -- longer than any known animal
Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have observed a deep-sea octopus brooding its eggs for four and one half years -- longer than any other known animal.

New research shows lack of motivation affects cognitive performance in schizophrenia
New research from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health shows a significant relationship between motivational deficit and poor cognitive performance in people with schizophrenia.

Magnetic resonance imaging in patients with transient ischemic attack
Diffusion weighted imaging-magnetic resonance imaging provides not only the evidence to distinguish between TIA and acute ischemic stroke, furthermore it predicts TIA patients who are at higher risk of disabling stroke, which can be prevented by an immediate evaluation and treatment of TIA.

Supportive moms and sisters boost female baboon's rank
A study of dominance in female baboons suggests that the route to a higher rank is to maintain close ties with mom, and to have lots of supportive sisters.

Spin-based electronics: New material successfully tested
Spintronics is a new field of electronics, using electron spin rather than motion.

Study: Marine pest provides advances in maritime anti-fouling and biomedicine
A team of biologists, led by Clemson University associate professor Andrew S.

Target growth-driving cells within tumors, not fastest-proliferating cells
A Dana-Farber study shows growth-driving cancer cells may be better targets for therapies than cells that proliferate the fastest within the tumor.

Big data confirms climate extremes are here to stay
In a new paper, Northeastern researchers show how they've used advanced computational data science tools to demonstrate that despite global warming, we may still experience severe cold snaps due to increasing variability in temperature extremes.

How is depression related to dementia?
A new study by neuropsychiatric researchers at Rush University Medical Center gives insight into the relationship between depression and dementia.

Toward a home test for detecting potentially dangerous levels of caffeine
The shocking news of an Ohio teen who died of a caffeine overdose in May highlighted the potential dangers of the normally well-tolerated and mass-consumed substance.

Fighting over proposed changes to food labels
To help Americans make better decisions about what they eat, the Food and Drug Administration earlier this year proposed significant changes to the Nutrition Facts label found on nearly every food product in the US.

Researchers at SGH and Duke-NUS a step closer to finding treatment for dengue fever
A team of Singapore General Hospital and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School researchers are now a step closer to finding a treatment for dengue fever.

Tidal forces gave moon its shape, according to new analysis
The shape of the moon deviates from a simple sphere in ways that scientists have struggled to explain.

Peru's carbon quantified: Economic and conservation boon
Today scientists unveiled the first high-resolution map of the carbon stocks stored on land throughout the entire country of Peru.

Fear of losing money, not spending habits, affects investor risk tolerance, MU study finds
Michael Guillemette, an assistant professor of personal financial planning in the University of Missouri, analyzed the causes of risk tolerance and found that loss aversion, or the fear of losing money, is the primary factor that explains investors' risk tolerance.

Kids with autism and sensory processing disorders show differences in brain wiring
Researchers at UC San Francisco have found that children with sensory processing disorders have decreased structural brain connections in specific sensory regions different than those in autism, further establishing SPD as a clinically important neurodevelopmental disorder.

Our genes have made us susceptible to atherosclerosis, while our environment determines its speed and severity
In the editorial introducing this month's edition of Global Heart, the authors ask: 'Why do humans develop atherosclerosis?

Brain response to appetizing food cues varies among obese people
People who have the most common genetic mutation linked to obesity respond differently to pictures of appetizing foods than overweight or obese people who do not have the genetic mutation, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Young binary star system may form planets with weird and wild orbits
While surveying a series of binary stars with ALMA, astronomers uncovered a striking pair of wildly misaligned planet-forming disks in the young binary star system HK Tau.

How black truffles deal with the jumpers in their genome
The black truffle uses reversible epigenetic processes to regulate its genes, and adapt to changes in its surroundings.

Drug-resistant malaria has spread to critical border regions of Southeast Asia
Drug-resistant malaria parasites have spread to critical border regions of Southeast Asia, seriously threatening global malaria control and elimination programs, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Acupuncture improves quality of life for breast cancer patients using aromatase inhibitors
Use of electroacupuncture (EA) produces significant improvements in fatigue, anxiety and depression in as little as eight weeks for early stage breast cancer patients experiencing joint pain related to the use of aromatase inhibitors to treat breast cancer.

Nature inspires a greener way to make colorful plastics
Long before humans figured out how to create colors, nature had already perfected the process -- think stunning, bright butterfly wings of many different hues, for example.

OUP to partner with the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Oxford University Press (OUP) is pleased to announce its new relationship with the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP).

San Antonio Life Sciences Institute awards $25,000 for stem cell research
The San Antonio Life Sciences Institute, a joint venture between the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, has selected the winners of the Postdoc Initiative Pilot Program.

ALMA finds double star with weird and wild planet-forming discs
Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have found wildly misaligned planet-forming gas discs around the two young stars in the binary system HK Tauri.

NASA catches 2 tropical troublemakers in Northwestern Pacific: Halong and 96W
There are two tropical low pressure areas in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean today and they're close enough to each other to be captured in one image generated from data gathered by NASA's Aqua satellite.

Innovative scientists update old-school pipetting with new-age technology
A team of Whitehead Institute researchers is bringing new levels of efficiency and accuracy to one of the most essential albeit tedious tasks of bench science: pipetting.

Chronic infection, smoke inhalation, or yet to be discovered causes could explain why ancient men and women had atherosclerosis
In a paper published in this month's edition of Global Heart the Horus team describes potential causes that could have led to atherosclerosis in ancient times, the underlying disease process that causes heart attack and stroke and leads to coronary artery bypass surgery, angioplasty and stenting.

Money talks when it comes to acceptability of 'sin' companies, study reveals
Companies who make their money in the 'sin' industries such as the tobacco, alcohol and gaming industries typically receive less attention from institutional investors and financial analysts.

Scientists call for new strategy in pursuit of HIV-free generation
In light of the recent news that HIV has been detected in the Mississippi baby previously thought to have been cured of the disease, researchers are assessing how to help those born to HIV-infected mothers.

Birthweight and breastfeeding have implications for children's health decades later
Young adults who were breastfed for three months or more as babies have a significantly lower risk of chronic inflammation associated with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, according to research from the Brown School at Washington University in St.

Researchers focus on role of the protein progerin in atherosclerosis in both modern and ancient times
Since evidence of atherosclerosis has been discovered in ancient human mummies, attention has been focused on possible causative factors other than those related to modern lifestyles.

Resistance to key malaria drug spreading at alarming rate in Southeast Asia
Resistance to artemisinin, the main drug to treat malaria, is now widespread throughout Southeast Asia, among the Plasmodium falciparum parasites that cause the disease and is likely caused by a genetic mutation in the parasites.

Ligaments disruption: A new perspective in the prognosis of SCI
Worldwide prevalence of spinal cord injury (SCI) is ranging from 233 to 755 per million inhabitants, whereas reported incidence lies between 10.4 and 83 per million inhabitants per year.

Tree nuts appear to help blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes
Eating tree nuts appears to help lower and stabilize blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes compared to those on a control diet, a new study has found. 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