Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 31, 2014
A mathematical theory proposed by Alan Turing in 1952 can explain the formation of fingers
Researchers from the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, show that BMP and WNT proteins are the so-called 'Turing molecules' for creating embryonic fingers.

In high-stakes soccer, goalkeepers exhibit 'gambler's fallacy'
When goalkeepers are pitted against multiple kickers in tense penalty shootouts, their attempts to dive for the ball show a predictable pattern that kickers would do well to exploit.

Los Alamos laser selected for 2020 Mars mission
NASA announced today that laser technology originally developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory has been selected for its new Mars mission in 2020.

Spin diagnostics
Recently physicists at the Joint Quantum Institute led Christopher Monroe have executed an MRI-like diagnostic on a crystal of interacting quantum spins.

Unintended consequences: More high school math, science linked to more dropouts
As US high schools beef up math and science requirements for graduation, researchers at Washington University in St.

Mosaicism: Study clarifies parents as source of new disease mutations
Scientists have long speculated that mosaicism -- a biological phenomenon, in which cells within the same person have a different genetic makeup -- plays a bigger role in the transmission of rare disease mutations than is currently known.

Heavy metals and hydroelectricity
Hydraulic engineering is increasingly relied on for hydroelectricity generation. However, redirecting stream flow can yield unintended consequences.

Goalkeepers prone to 'gambler's fallacy' but penalty takers fail to exploit it
After a string of penalties aimed in the same direction, goalkeepers are more likely to dive in the opposite direction on the next penalty but kickers fail to exploit this pattern, finds new UCL research.

Women in military less likely to drink than civilian women
While it is known that members of the US military overall are more likely to use alcohol, a new study finds that female enlistees and female veterans are actually less likely to drink than their civilian counterparts.

Carnegie Mellon chemists create nanofibers using unprecedented new method
Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have developed a novel method for creating self-assembled protein/polymer nanostructures that are reminiscent of fibers found in living cells.

Scientists discover biochemical mechanisms contributing to fibromuscular dysplasia
A new report appearing in August 2014 issue of The FASEB Journal, suggests FMD may not be limited to the arteries as currently believed.

Depressive symptoms and pain may affect health outcomes in dialysis patients
Among patients on chronic hemodialysis, those with depressive symptoms and pain were more likely to abbreviate or miss dialysis sessions, visit the emergency department, and be hospitalized.

Latest NIST Mass Spectral Library: Expanded coverage, features
The world's most widely used and trusted resource for identifying mass spectra, the 'fingerprints' of molecules, has undergone a major expansion, according to its managers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Effect of microenvironment modulation on stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury pain
Remyelination of demyelinated/dysmyelinated axonsin the injured spinal cord could be an important repair therapy for spinal cord injury (SCI) and one of the key elements for functional recovery and aberrant sprouting prevention after SCI.

Shrinking dinosaurs evolved into flying birds
A new study involving scientists from the University of Southampton has revealed how massive, meat-eating, ground-dwelling dinosaurs evolved into agile flying birds: they just kept shrinking and shrinking, for over 50 million years.

Scientists find growing consensus: Political attitudes derive from body and mind
Neither conscious decision-making or parental upbringing fully explain why some people lean left and others lean right, researchers say.

Chemists demonstrate 'bricks-and-mortar' assembly of new molecular structures
Chemists at Indiana University Bloomington have described the self-assembly of large, symmetrical molecules in bricks-and-mortar fashion, a development with potential value for the field of organic electronic devices such as field-effect transistors and photovoltaic cells.

Free pores for molecule transport
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) can take up gases similar to a sponge that soaks up liquids.

Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation partners with Riders for Health in Malawi
Today the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and Riders for Health announced a new partnership that will expedite the delivery of laboratory samples and HIV-related test results to health facilities in two districts of the Northern and Central Zones of Malawi.

Research proves there is power in numbers to reduce electricity bills
Consumers can save money on their electricity bills and negotiate better deals by joining forces with similar groups of customers to switch energy suppliers according to new research.

Childhood coxsackie virus infection depletes cardiac stem cells and might compromise heart health in adults
There is epidemiological evidence that links type B coxsackie virus infection with heart disease, and research published on July 31 in PLOS Pathogens now suggests a mechanism by which early infection impairs the heart's ability to tolerate stress at later stages of life.

Boat noise impacts development and survival of sea hares
The development and survival of an important group of marine invertebrates known as sea hares is under threat from increasing boat noise in the world's oceans, according to a new study by researchers from the UK and France.

Multidisciplinary study reveals big story of cultural migration
Dr. Maximilian Schich, associate professor of arts and technology at the University of Texas at Dallas, has brought together a team of network and complexity scientists to create and quantify a big picture of European and North American cultural history.

Transplantation shown to be highly effective in treating immune deficiency in children
Babies who are born with severe combined immunodeficiency can be successfully treated with a transplant of blood-forming stem cells, according to experts led by Memorial Sloan Kettering's Richard J.

New bipartisan House bill draws on U-M health research
A new bill introduced in Congress with bipartisan support would allow Medicare to test a concept born from University of Michigan research, which could improve the health of patients with chronic illness while reducing what they spend on the medicines and tests they need most.

Strict genomic partitioning by biological clock separates key metabolic functions
Much of the liver's metabolic function is governed by circadian rhythms -- our own body clock -- and UC Irvine researchers have now found two independent mechanisms by which this occurs.

New paper describes how DNA avoids damage from UV light
A new paper published by Montana State University scientists and their collaborators in Utah and Italy describes how DNA avoids damage when exposed to UV light.

The 'memory' of starvation is in your genes
Epigenetic 'experiments' -- changes resulting from external rather than genetic influences -- suggest that the body's physiological responses to hardship could be inherited, although the underlying mechanism has been a mystery.

Nanostructured metal-oxide catalyst efficiently converts CO2 to methanol
Scientists have discovered a new catalytic system for converting carbon dioxide (CO2) to methanol -- a key commodity used to create a wide range of industrial chemicals and fuels.

New mapping approach lets scientists zoom in and out as the brain processes sound
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have mapped the sound-processing part of the mouse brain in a way that keeps both the proverbial forest and the trees in view.

NPL launches atomic timing service for financial trading
The National Physical Laboratory has signed a distribution agreement with trading technology company Intergence to deliver NPLTime -- a new service providing a precise time signal directly traceable to Coordinated Universal Time and independent of GPS.

Surgeons report significant migraine relief from cosmetic eyelid surgery technique
Dr. Oren Tessler, Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine, is part of a team of plastic and reconstructive surgeons who report a high success rate using a method to screen and select patients for a specific surgical migraine treatment technique.

Invasive lionfish likely safe to eat after all
Scientists from University of Hawaii have learned that recent fears of invasive lionfish causing fish poisoning may be unfounded.

NYU research looks to combat US Latina immigrant obesity
NYU College of Nursing student researcher sought to identify the factors that contribute to this problem by compiling a systematic review of qualitative studies that focused on food patterns in Latina women recently published in Nursing Research.

Molecule enhances copper's lethal punch against microbes
Harnessing a natural process in the body that pumps lethal doses of copper to fungi and bacteria shows promise as a new way to kill infectious microbes, a team of scientists at Duke University report.

NIST corrosion lab tests suggest need for underground gas tank retrofits
A hidden hazard lurks beneath many of the roughly 156,000 gas stations across the United States.The hazard is corrosion in parts of underground gas storage tanks -- corrosion that could result in failures, leaks and contamination of groundwater, a source of drinking water.

NYU CDUHR researchers look at prescription opioid abuse among young adults in NYC
The study explores within a social context the drug-use and sexual experiences of young adult nonmedical PO users as they relate to risk for HIV and HCV transmission.

Study of bigeye tuna in Northwest Atlantic uses new tracking methods
This NOAA-funded research, which used a new approach to study one of the most important commercial tuna species in the Atlantic, provides the longest available fishery-independent record of bigeye tuna movements to date.

Expanding the breadth and impact of cybersecurity and privacy research
As our lives and businesses become ever more intertwined with the Internet and networked technologies, it is crucial to continue to develop and improve cybersecurity measures to keep our data, devices and critical systems safe, secure, private and accessible.

Monoamine oxidase A: Biomarker for postpartum depression
Postpartum mood swings are correlated with high monoamine oxidase A binding.

Brother of hibiscus is found alive and well on Maui
Most people are familiar with hibiscus flowers -- they are an iconic symbol of tropical resorts worldwide where they are commonly planted in the landscape.

UF study advances 'DNA revolution,' tells butterflies' evolutionary history
By tracing nearly 3,000 genes to the earliest common ancestor of butterflies and moths, University of Florida scientists have created an extensive 'Tree of Lepidoptera' in the first study to use large-scale, next-generation DNA sequencing.

Study finds benefits to burning Flint Hills prairie in fall and winter
A new study looks at 20 years of data concerning the consequences of burning Flint Hills prairie at different times of the year.

Fermi satellite detects gamma-rays from exploding novae
ASU professor Sumner Starrfield is part of a team that used the Large Area Telescope onboard NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope satellite to discover very high energy gamma rays being emitted by an exploding star.

$1.6 million NCI grant to CWRU trains nurses to increase participation in clinical trials
Case Western Reserve University medical and nursing school researchers hope to drastically increase the number of qualified cancer patients who participate in clinical trials, a critical step in testing and developing new treatments and preventions.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Halong move northwest of Guam
NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM Satellite passed over Guam as heavy rain fell over the island while Tropical Storm Halong's center passed just to the north of the island.

Stanford professor finds that wildfires and other burns play bigger role in climate change
Research demonstrates that it isn't just the CO2 from biomass burning that's the problem.

Parenting skills improve in ADHD parents with medication
Parenting skills of adults with ADHD improve when their ADHD is treated with medication, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Oldest rove beetle in the Omaliini tribe found in French amber
An international team of scientists from Spain, France, and the US has discovered and described a rove beetle that is the oldest definitive member of the tribe Omaliini that has ever been found in amber.

Study of twins discovers gene mutation linked to short sleep duration
Researchers who studied 100 twin pairs have identified a gene mutation that may allow the carrier to function normally on less than six hours of sleep per night.

Chapman University scientists introduce new cosmic connectivity
Recently physicists at Chapman University's Institute for Quantum Studies introduced the Quantum Cheshire Cat.

See-through organs and bodies will accelerate biomedical discoveries
The ability to see through organs and even the entire body has been a long-time dream of biologists.

NASA's Fermi space telescope reveals new source of gamma rays
Observations by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope of several stellar eruptions, called novae, firmly establish these relatively common outbursts almost always produce gamma rays, the most energetic form of light.

Hope for the overweight
The body has different types of adipose tissue that perform various metabolic tasks: white, beige and brown.

A new way to generate insulin-producing cells in Type 1 diabetes
Researchers discover a simple peptide that can induce new beta-cell formation in the pancreas.

New report calls for strong, positive safety culture in academic chemical labs
Everyone involved in the academic chemical research enterprise -- from researchers and principal investigators to university leadership -- has an important role to play in establishing and promoting a strong, positive safety culture, says a new report from the National Research Council.

Hubble shows farthest lensing galaxy yields clues to early universe
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have unexpectedly discovered the most distant galaxy that acts as a cosmic magnifying glass.

Charging electric cars efficiently inductive
We already charge our toothbrushes and cellphones using contactless technology.

Scripps Research Institute scientists find new calorie-burning switch in brown fat
Biologists at the Scripps Research Institute have identified a signaling pathway that switches on a powerful calorie-burning process in brown fat cells.

Common drugs adversely impair older adults' physical as well as cognitive functioning
A class of medications previously linked to cognitive impairment in older adults also appears to negatively affect their physical functioning according to a review of more than a decade of studies on the effects of drugs with anticholinergic properties by researchers from the Regenstrief Instititute, Indiana University Center for Aging Research and the University of East Anglia.

Shrinking dinosaurs evolved into flying birds
A new study led by an Adelaide scientist has revealed how massive, meat-eating, ground-dwelling dinosaurs -- the theropods -- evolved into agile flyers: they just kept shrinking and shrinking, for over 50 million years.

Companion planets can increase old worlds' chance at life
Having a companion in old age is good for people -- and, it turns out, might extend the chance for life on certain Earth-sized planets in the cosmos as well.

Comfortable climate indoors with porous glass
Proper humidity and temperature play a key role in indoor climate.

Researchers uncover clues to flu's mechanisms
Scientists calculate the transformation of a protein associated with influenza and discover details of intermediate states that may be treated with new drugs.

The Rim Fire 1 year later: A natural experiment in fire ecology and management
The 2013 California Rim Fire crossed management boundaries when it burned out of the Stanislaus National Forest and into to Yosemite National Park, providing a natural demonstration of the effects of a history of fire suppression on wildfire dynamics.

Study finds physical link to strange electronic behavior
Inelastic neutron-scattering experiments have revealed the first evidence of physical properties that correspond with a directionally dependent electronic phase in the iron-based high-temperature superconductor barium iron nickel arsenide.

Vets' alcohol problems linked to stress on the home front
Regardless of traumatic events experienced during deployment, returning National Guard soldiers were more likely to develop a drinking problem if faced with civilian life setbacks, including job loss, legal problems, divorce, and serious financial and legal problems -- all commonplace in military families.

Asteroid attacks significantly altered ancient Earth
New research shows that more than four billion years ago, the surface of Earth was heavily reprocessed as a result of giant asteroid impacts.

Engineering a protein to prevent brain damage from toxic agents
New research may help prevent brain damage for those exposed to pesticides and chemical weapons.

Recent advances in stem cell biology
Advances in stem cell research will provide enormous opportunities for both biological and future clinical applications.

Pressure probing potential photoelectronic manufacturing compound
Molybdenum disulfide is a compound often used in dry lubricants.

NASA sees Genevieve squeezed between 3 tropical systems
The resurrected Tropical Depression Genevieve appears squeezed between three other developing areas of low pressure.

Insular cortex alterations in mouse models of autism
Scientists unravel a neural circuit that could play an important role in autism.

U-M researchers find protein that fuels repair of treatment-resistant cancer cells
Imagine you're fighting for your life but no matter how hard you hit, your opponent won't go down.

Breakthrough in understanding of important blood protein
New Danish research describes a previously unknown protein mechanism. This provides an exceptionally detailed understanding of how nature works, and it can also provide the ability to control nature -- in this case, it is about how coagulated blood can be dissolved, and this can lead to treatment of diseases carrying a risk of blood clots.

New mothers still excessively sleepy after 4 months: QUT study
New mothers are being urged to be cautious about returning to work too quickly, after a QUT study found one in two were still excessively sleepy four months after giving birth.

C. difficile vaccine proves safe, 100 percent effective in animal models
An experimental vaccine protected 100 percent of animal models against the highly infectious and virulent bacterium, Clostridium difficile, which causes an intestinal disease that kills approximately 30,000 Americans annually.

Misinformation diffusing online
The spread of misinformation through online social networks is becoming an increasingly worrying problem.

NASA chooses ASU to design and operate camera system for Mars 2020 mission
Arizona State University has been selected by NASA to design, deliver and oversee the Mastcam-Z imaging investigation, a pair of color panoramic zoom cameras, on the next rover mission to be launched to the surface of Mars in 2020.

Birthday matters for wiring-up the brain's vision centers
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have evidence suggesting that neurons in the developing brains of mice are guided by a simple but elegant birth order rule that allows them to find and form their proper connections.

Vacuum treatment may limit damage after traumatic brain injury
Controlled application of vacuum pressure is a promising approach to limiting tissue damage after traumatic brain injury, suggests an experimental study in the August issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Sustained efficacy, immunogenicity, and safety for GlaxoSmithKline's HPV vaccine
A long-term follow-up study shows the sustained efficacy, immunogenicity and safety of GlaxoSmithKline's human papillomavirus vaccine Cervarix.

Simple tips to fend off freak-outs
A UC study reports that college students have difficulty managing their stress.

Gulf oil spill researcher: Bacteria ate some toxins, but worst remain
A Florida State University researcher found that bacteria in the Gulf of Mexico consumed many of the toxic components of the oil released during the Deepwater Horizon spill in the months after the spill, but not the most toxic contaminants.

Scientist underlines threat of inevitable 'solar super-storms'
In this month's issue of Physics World, Ashley Dale from the University of Bristol warns of the 'catastrophic' and 'long-lasting' impacts of 'solar super-storms' and the dangers we face if the threat continues to go unnoticed.

'Rewired' mice show signs of longer lives with fewer age-related illnesses
While developing a new cancer drug, researchers at The Wistar Institute discovered that mice lacking a specific protein live longer lives with fewer age-related illnesses.

Master HSF supports reprogramming of normal cells to enable tumor growth and metastasi
Long associated with enabling the proliferation of cancer cells, the ancient cellular survival response regulated by Heat-Shock Factor 1 can also turn neighboring cells in their environment into co-conspirators that support malignant progression and metastasis.

Congressional rift over environment influences public
American citizens are increasingly divided over the issue of environmental protection and seem to be taking their cue primarily from Congress, finds new research led by a Michigan State University scholar.

Acrolein as a novel therapeutic target for motor and sensory deficits in spinal cord injury
Acrolein, a highly reactive unsaturated aldehyde, has been shown to play a major role in the secondary injury by contributing significantly to both motor and sensory deficits.

Certain Arctic lakes store more greenhouse gases than they release
New research, supported by the National Science Foundation, counters a widely-held scientific view that thawing permafrost uniformly accelerates atmospheric warming, indicating instead that certain Arctic lakes store more greenhouse gases than they emit into the atmosphere.

Harmful drinkers would be affected 200 times more than low risk drinkers with an MUP
A new study of liver patients by the University of Southampton shows that a minimum unit price (MUP) policy for alcohol is exquisitely targeted towards the heaviest drinkers with cirrhosis.

UT Dallas study reveals effect of loud noises on brain
Prolonged exposure to loud noise alters how the brain processes speech, potentially increasing the difficulty in distinguishing speech sounds, according to neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Dallas.

Neutron tomography technique reveals phase fractions of crystalline materials in 3-dimensions
Researchers at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and The University of Tennessee Knoxville developed a novel method, based on energy-selective neutron imaging for visualization of crystalline phase distributions within the bulk of metallic samples.

Refocusing research into high-temperature superconductors
Scientists around the globe are trying to understand the phenomenon of loss-free electric power transmission by high-temperature superconductors.

Algorithm reduces use of CT scans when diagnosing children with appendicitis
Implementation of an algorithm aimed to diagnose pediatric patients with suspected appendicitis reduces the utilization of computed tomography scans, without affecting diagnostic accuracy, Mayo Clinic Children's Center researchers have found.

Blood and saliva tests help predict return of HPV-linked oral cancers
Physicians at Johns Hopkins have developed blood and saliva tests that help accurately predict recurrences of HPV-linked oral cancers in a substantial number of patients.

Veterans' alcohol problems linked to stress on the home front
Regardless of traumatic events experienced during deployment, returning National Guard soldiers were more likely to develop a drinking problem if faced with civilian life setbacks, including job loss, legal problems, divorce, and serious financial and legal problems -- all commonplace in military families.

Developmental regulation of important plant phloem components discovered
Researchers at the University of Helsinki's Institute of Biotechnology, Finland, have combined traditional genetic approaches with 3-D reconstructions from scanning electron microscopy to discover and characterize genes regulating the development of plant sieve elements.

Groundbreaking research maps cultural history
New research from Northeastern's Center for Complex Network Research presents a pioneering approach to understanding European and North American cultural history by mapping out the mobility patterns of notable intellectuals over a 2,000-year span.

Lead in teeth can tell a body's tale, UF study finds
Your teeth can tell stories about you, and not just that you always forget to floss.

Singing the same tune: Scientists develop novel ways of separating birdsong sources
Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have pioneered a new study that could greatly improve current methods of localizing birdsong data.

SwRI-led team's research shows giant asteroids battered early Earth
A new terrestrial bombardment model developed by an international group of scientists led by Southwest Research Institute indicates that Earth's surface was heavily reprocessed -- or melted, mixed and buried -- as a result of giant asteroid impacts more than four billion years ago.

Selective logging takes its toll on mammals, amphibians
The selective logging of trees in otherwise intact tropical forests can take a serious toll on the number of animal species living there.

Researchers uncover cause of gum disease related to type 2 diabetes
Going to the dentist isn't fun for anyone, but for those with periodontal disease related to type 2 diabetes, a new research discovery published in the August 2014 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology may have them smiling.

Drug target identified for common childhood blood cancer
In what is believed to be the largest genetic analysis of what triggers and propels progression of tumor growth in a common childhood blood cancer, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center report that they have identified a possible new drug target for treating the disease.

Scientists shine bright new light on how living things capture energy from the sun
In a new research report published in the August 2014 issue of the FASEB Journal, scientists may have uncovered a new method of exploiting the power of sunlight by focusing on a naturally occurring combination of lipids that have been strikingly conserved throughout evolution.

Research reveals pervasive implicit hierarchies for race, religion, and age
As much as social equality is advocated in the United States, a new study suggests that besides evaluating their own race and religion most favorably, people share implicit hierarchies for racial, religious, and age groups that may be different from their conscious, explicit attitudes and values.

CU Denver study links self-identified ethnic labels to cultural values
A study by a researcher at the University of Colorado Denver and published in the Journal of Humanistic Counseling explores why people of Latin American descent self-identify using terms like Latina/o, Hispanic, and Chicana/o.

Vision-correcting electronic displays could let users dispense with glasses
Technology could lead to e-readers, smartphones, and displays that let users dispense with glasses.

Privileged strategies for direct transformations of inert aliphatic carbon-hydrogen bonds
Direct carbon-hydrogen transformations, which could be used to perform synthetic chemistry in a greener and more atom-economical way, is highly appealing.

Innovative 'genotype first' approach uncovers protective factor for heart disease
Extensive sequencing of DNA from thousands of individuals in Finland has unearthed scores of mutations that destroy gene function and are found at unusually high frequencies.

Symbiotic survival
One of the most diverse families in the ocean today -- marine bivalve mollusks known as Lucinidae (or lucinids) -- originated more than 400 million years ago in the Silurian period, with adaptations and life habits like those of its modern members.

New international tree nut council study looks at nuts, diabetes and metabolic syndrome
Tree nuts have a positive impact on glycemic control in diabetes and on metabolic syndrome criteria.

Molecular gate that could keep cancer cells locked up
Researchers from MRC Clinical Sciences Centre and the Brookhaven National Laboratory, N.Y., have revealed the location of a molecular gate on a ring-shaped enzyme that opens up to embrace DNA during the process of cell division.

Research finds numerous unknown jets from young stars and planetary nebulae
Preliminary research findings from the University of Kent have identified hundreds of so far unknown jets from young stars, as well as numerous new planetary nebulae in the Galactic Plane.

Is it really a concussion? Symptoms overlap with neck injuries so diagnosis is tough call
Athletes and others reporting cognitive difficulties after a head injury are usually diagnosed as having had a concussion.

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