Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 05, 2014
Brief counseling for drug use doesn't work, BU study finds
In an effort to stem substance use, the US has invested heavily in the past decade in a brief screening-and-intervention protocol for alcohol and other drugs.

Mammography benefits women over 75
Mammography-detected breast cancer is associated with a shift to earlier stage diagnosis in older women, subsequently reducing the rate of more advanced, difficult-to-treat cases, according to a new study.

Pyruvate oxidation is critical determinant of pancreatic islet number and β-cell mass
Glucose is not only a major nutrient regulator of insulin secretion but also impacts on gene expression in β-cells.

Relay strategies combined with axon regeneration: A promising approach to restore spinal cord injury
For decades, numerous investigations have only focused on axon regeneration to restore function after traumatic spinal cord injury, as interrupted neuronal pathways have to be reconnected for sensorimotor and autonomic recovery to occur.

Does your training routine really need to be that complicated?
A new study just published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism investigated the value of the Pre-Exhaustion training method and found that that the various arrangements of different exercise protocols is of less relevance than simply performing resistance training exercises with a high intensity of effort within any protocol.

Salk researcher Tony Hunter to receive 2014 Royal Medal in biological sciences
The award recognizes his pioneering discovery leading to cancer treatments.

Common tuberculosis vaccine can be used to prevent infection as well as disease
The vaccine used to protect against tuberculosis disease, bacillus calmette-guerin or BCG, also protects against tuberculosis infection, mycobacterium, as well as protecting against progression from infection to disease, finds a paper published on today.

Surprise discovery could see graphene used to improve health
A chance discovery about the 'wonder material' graphene -- already exciting scientists because of its potential uses in electronics, energy storage and energy generation -- takes it a step closer to being used in medicine and human health.

Aspirin: Scientists believe cancer prevention benefits outweigh harms
New research from Queen Mary University of London reveals taking aspirin can significantly reduce the risk of developing -- and dying from -- the major cancers of the digestive tract, i.e. bowel, stomach and esophageal cancer.

Butterflies change wing color in new Yale research
Yale University scientists have chosen the most fleeting of mediums for their groundbreaking work on biomimicry: They've changed the color of butterfly wings.

The Lancet: Meta-analysis shows that alteplase given promptly after stroke
Many more stroke patients could benefit from thrombolytic treatment, but it needs to be administered as quickly as possible after the first signs of illness, according to new findings from the largest meta-analysis to date investigating the clot-busting drug alteplase.

George W. Kattawar selected as 2014 Jerlov Award recipient
The Oceanography Society is pleased to announce that Professor George W.

3-in-1 optical skin cancer probe
Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering have now developed a probe that combines into one device three unique ways of using light to measure the properties of skin tissue and detect cancer.

Social networking is key to helping bugs spread, study shows
Fresh discoveries about how bacteria co-operate with each other when causing infection could help scientists identify animal diseases that might transmit to people.

Eating more dietary pulses can increase fullness, may help manage weight
Eating about one serving a day of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils can increase fullness, which may lead to better weight management and weight loss, a new study has found.

Diamond defect interior design
By carefully controlling the position of an atomic-scale diamond defect within a volume smaller than what some viruses would fill, researchers have cleared a path toward better quantum computers and nanoscale sensors.

NASA's Aqua satellite puts 2 eyes on Hurricane Bertha
Two instruments or 'eyes' from NASA's Aqua satellite were peering at Hurricane Bertha in the North Atlantic Ocean shortly after it became the season's second hurricane.

Rituals can help older people remember to take their asthma meds
Storing asthma medication in the bathroom and making it part of a daily routine may be helpful advice that doctors can give their older asthmatic patients who struggle to remember to take their daily prescribed medication.

A campaign involving Muslim clerics has increased uptake of polio vaccination in Nigeria
A coalition campaign involving imams, Islamic school teachers, traditional rulers, doctors, journalists, and polio survivors is gradually turning the tide against polio vaccine rejection in northern Nigeria, according to experts from Nigeria writing in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Grizzly research offers surprising insights into diabetes-obesity link
Researchers studying grizzly bears have now discovered a natural state of diabetes that serves a real biological purpose and is also reversible.

Genetic testing of tumor is recommended for colorectal cancer patients
Of the 143,000 patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer annually in the US, up to 25 percent have a familial risk of colorectal cancer.

Pheromones regulate aggression of non-mother female mice toward pups in wild-derived mice
Weizmann Institute scientists have created a new mouse model, which has allowed them to explore, for the first time, the biological roots of aggressive behavior in females, both toward each other and the pups of others.

In search for Alzheimer's drug, a major STEP forward
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have discovered a new drug compound that reverses the brain deficits of Alzheimer's disease in an animal model.

UH Case Medical Center study validates new approach to high blood pressure
A study published in Psychosomatic Medicine shows that mindfulness-based stress reduction resulted in a -4.8-mm Hg reduction in systolic blood pressure and a 1.9-mm Hg reduction in diastolic blood pressure when measured in the clinic.

This week from AGU: Sea-level spikes, volcanic risk, volcanos cause drought
Unforeseen, short-term increases in sea level caused by strong winds, pressure changes and fluctuating ocean currents can cause more damage to beaches on the East Coast over the course of a year than a powerful hurricane making landfall, according to a new study.

NASA sees heavy rain in Hurricane Iselle as it heads toward Hawaii
NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite, known as TRMM, flew directly over the eye of powerful Hurricane Iselle and found extremely heavy rainfall rates occurring there.

University of Minnesota researcher finds cooling effect in warming Arctic lakes
Scientists have known for a while that warming global temperatures are causing Arctic lakes to release methane, a potent greenhouse gas that leads to even more warming.

Effect of enriching feeding tube nutrition on risk of infection among ICU patients
Among mechanically ventilated intensive care unit patients, receipt of high-protein nutrition via a feeding tube enriched with immune-modulating nutrients (such as glutamine, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants) vs standard high-protein nutrition did not result in a significant difference in the incidence of new complications and may be harmful, as suggested by an increased risk of death at six months, according to a study in the Aug.

Our brains judge a face's trustworthiness -- even when we can't see it
Our brains are able to judge the trustworthiness of a face even when we cannot consciously see it, a team of scientists has found.

Used-cigarette butts offer energy storage solution
A group of scientists from South Korea have converted used-cigarette butts into a high-performing material that could be integrated into computers, handheld devices, electrical vehicles and wind turbines to store energy.

New hospital screening tool helps find children at nutritional risk easier, study finds
While hospitals do not commonly screen children for nutrition, a new tool developed in Australia could change that.

LEDs made from 'wonder material' perovskite
Colourful LEDs made from a material known as perovskite could lead to LED displays which are both cheaper and easier to manufacture in future.

Smart bacteria help each other survive
The body's assailants are cleverer than previously thought. New research from Lund University in Sweden shows for the first time how bacteria in the airways can help each other replenish vital iron.

Study examines effectiveness of brief intervention for problem drug use
During the 12 months following intervention, no significant treatment differences were found between the two groups for drug use or for secondary outcomes, which included admission to substance abuse treatment, emergency department and inpatient hospital admissions, arrests, death and behavior that increases risk of human immunodeficiency virus transmission.

Training schemes help jobless men feel better about themselves
Do the UK government's welfare-to-work training schemes improve the happiness and well-being of its unemployed citizens?

Biology made simpler with clear tissues
Thanks to techniques developed at Caltech, scientists can see through tissues, organs, and even an entire body.

Trapped: Cell-invading piece of virus captured in lab by SLU scientists
Scientists try to stay a step ahead of HIV in order to combat drug resistance and to develop better treatments.

Researchers boost insect aggression by altering brain metabolism
Scientists report they can crank up insect aggression simply by interfering with a basic metabolic pathway in the insect brain.

Pump up the music -- especially the bass -- to make you feel powerful
It's the day of the big game -- before heading out to the field, you put on your headphones and blast some music to pump you up.

No apparent link between sleep apnea and cancer: Large study
There appears to be no link between obstructive sleep apnea and cancer development, according to a large study published in CMAJ.

Researchers uncover novel process for creation of fuel and chemical compounds
A team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has identified the genes and enzymes that create a promising compound -- the 19 carbon furan-containing fatty acid (19Fu-FA).

Clues to the ageing of tendons unlocked for the first time
University of Liverpool scientists have examined the mechanisms that cause ageing in the tendons of horses, opening up the possibility of better treatment for humans.

PET/CT using FDG-labeled leucocytes may detect infection in acute pancreatitis patients
A new study diagnosing infection in patients with pancreatic fluid collections may swiftly and accurately rule out active infection in the body.

Marital tension between mom and dad can harm each parent's bond with child, study finds
Children suffer when mom and dad have problems in their marriage, according to a new study.

The interaction of climate change, fire, and forests in the US
A special section of the September issue of Forest Ecology and Management, available online now, assesses the interactions among fire, climate change, and forests for five major regions of the United States.

Kaiser Permanente study finds shingles vaccine remains effective after chemotherapy
The herpes zoster vaccine continues to be effective in protecting older adults against shingles, even after they undergo chemotherapy, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published today in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Preparing for a changing climate: Ecologists unwrap the science in the National Climate Change Assessment
Report authors will discuss key findings from each of the 10 regions: Northeast, Southeast and Caribbean, Midwest, Great Plains, Northwest, Southwest, Alaska, Hawai'i and US Affiliated Pacific Islands, Coasts, and Oceans and Marine Resources.

Monthly preventative treatment with a new drug combination reduces malaria in children
Preventative treatment with a monthly dose of a newer antimalarial drug can reduce the risk of malarial infection among young children, according to a study published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

UH professor named 2014 American Chemical Society Cope Scholar
University of Houston chemist Olafs Daugulis is one of 10 scientists receiving the American Chemical Society Arthur C.

Pistachios may lower vascular response to stress in type 2 diabetes
Among people with type 2 diabetes, eating pistachios may reduce the body's response to the stresses of everyday life, according to Penn State researchers.

Missouri research consortium receives $20 million grant from NSF to study impacts of climate variability
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $20 million grant to fund a five-year, multi-institutional project to study climate variability and its potential agricultural, ecological and social impacts in Missouri.

Centralizing stroke services can reduce deaths and time in hospital
Centralizing acute stroke services can reduce mortality and length of hospital stay, according to a study published on today.

Construction to begin in Hawaii on world's most advanced telescope
Initial construction for the Thirty Meter Telescope -- destined to be the most advanced and powerful optical telescope in the world -- is scheduled to start later this year.

A new 'whey' to control diabetes
Blood sugar surges -- after-meal glucose 'spikes' -- can be life threatening for the 29 million Americans with diabetes.

Patients with autism spectrum disorder are not sensitive to 'being imitated'
Japanese research group led by professor Norihiro Sadato, a professor of the National Institute for Physiological Sciences, National Institutes of Natural Sciences, have found that person with autism spectrum disorder has decreased activity in an area in the brain critical for understanding if his/her movement was imitated by others.

Physicists eye neural fly data, find formula for Zipf's law
Physicists have identified a mechanism that may help explain Zipf's law -- a unique pattern of behavior found in disparate systems, including complex biological ones.

Butterflies could hold key to probes that repair genes
New discoveries about how butterflies feed could help engineers develop tiny probes that siphon liquid out of single cells for a wide range of medical tests and treatments, according to Clemson University researchers.

Researchers determine why tendons break down with age
Scientists at Queen Mary University of London have identified differences in the proteins present in young and old tendons, in new research that could guide the development of treatments to stop tissue breakdown from occurring.

Seamless gene correction of beta-thalassemia mutations in patient-specific cells
A major hurdle in gene therapy is the efficient integration of a corrected gene into a patient's genome without mutating off-target sites.

New methods to identify MRSA in pigs
It is important to keep the number of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections at a low level.

Electronic cigarettes: Many questions, limited research
Electronic cigarettes are booming in popularity -- but there's still only limited evidence on their potential health risks, or their advertised benefits in helping people to quit smoking, according to a research review in the July/August Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

In search for Alzheimer's drug, a major STEP forward
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have discovered a new drug compound that may help reverse the cognitive deficits of Alzheimer's disease.

Berger Foundation funds innovative scholarship at UCR School of Medicine
The H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation is funding an innovative scholarship program that aims to bring back a Coachella Valley high school graduate as one of the area's trained physicians.

Pregnant women are often given inappropriate treatment for malaria
Not all pregnant women with symptoms of malaria seek care from their formal healthcare system and if they do seek care, they may be given inappropriate treatment because healthcare providers often fail to adhere to the standard (World Health Organization) diagnostic and treatment guidelines, according to a study by UK researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

NASA satellite sees a somewhat lopsided Typhoon Halong
Infrared satellite imagery from NASA shows bands of powerful thunderstorms around Typhoon Halong's center, southern and eastern quadrants, while the northern quadrant is lacking in them.

Vanderbilt finding may aid recovery from spinal cord injury
Researchers in the Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science have achieved the first conclusive non-invasive measurement of neural signaling in the spinal cords of healthy human volunteers.

Jam session: New ONR technology helps sailors on the digital frontier
During the world's largest international maritime exercise last month, Sailors demonstrated a new system that could transform the future of electronic warfare and defense of ships at sea.

The next graphene?
Three University of California, Riverside engineers are part of team recently awarded a nearly $1.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation to characterize, analyze and synthesize a new class of ultra-thin film materials that could improve the performance of personal electronics, optoelectronic devices and energy conversion systems.

Obesity paradox in survival from sepsis
Obesity usually leads to worse health outcomes, but study shows extra weight increases chances of surviving sepsis.

Carnegie Mellon photo editing tool enables object images to be manipulated in 3-D
Editors of photos routinely resize objects, or move them up, down or sideways, but Carnegie Mellon University researchers are adding an extra dimension to photo editing by enabling editors to turn or flip objects any way they want, even exposing surfaces not visible in the original photograph.

Planet-like object may have spent its youth as hot as a star
Astronomers have discovered an extremely cool object that could have a particularly diverse history -- although it is now as cool as a planet, it may have spent much of its youth as hot as a star.

Warning to parents on high acidity drinks
Dental researchers at the University of Adelaide are warning parents of the dangers of soft drinks, fruit juice, sports drinks and other drinks high in acidity, which form part of a 'triple-threat' of permanent damage to young people's teeth.

How spiders spin silk
Spider silk is an impressive material; lightweight and stretchy yet stronger than steel.

Prison smoking bans linked to substantial fall in deaths among US inmates
Prison smoking bans are associated with a substantial reduction in deaths from smoking related causes, such as heart disease and cancer, finds a US study published on today.

More than threefold surge in number of male teens drinking alcohol in India
The proportion of men who start to drink alcohol in their teens has surged more than threefold over the past few decades in India, suggests research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Salk scientists uncover new clues to repairing an injured spinal cord
Scientists hope to borrow strategy from simpler animals to repair damaged spinal cord nerves in humans.

'Treatments waiting to be discovered' inside new database
A University of Colorado Cancer Center study recently published in the top-ranked journal Nucleic Acids Research describes a database named multiMiR, the most comprehensive database collecting information about microRNAs and their targets.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Julio as part of a heated Eastern Pacific
The Eastern Pacific Ocean has been warm this springtime, and those warmer waters have contributed to the development of storms like Tropical Storm Julio and Hurricane Iselle.

Transplanting neural progenitors to build a neuronal relay across the injured spinal cord
Cellular transplantation for repair of spinal cord injury is a promising therapeutic strategy that includes the use of a variety of neural and non-neural cells isolated or derived from embryonic and adult tissue as well as embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells.

Year-round preventive treatment reduces malaria risk in young children
A year-round preventive drug treatment substantially reduces young children's risk of contracting malaria and poses no serious risk of adverse events, according to a study by researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health.The findings demonstrate that prolonged treatment given from six to 24 months of age is safe and effective for young children, according to the study authors.

NASA sees bursts of thunderstorms in Tropical Depression Genevieve's center
The AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite provided a look at what's happening under Tropical Depression Genevieve's clouds using infrared light, and it appears that thunderstorms are bubbling up again.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, August 2014
1) Glass used for military vehicle windshields is being put to the test.

Cancer fighter can help battle pneumonia
The tip of an immune molecule known for its skill at fighting cancer may also help patients survive pneumonia, scientists report.

Just one simple question can identify narcissistic people
Scientists have developed and validated a new method to identify which people are narcissistic: just ask them.

Study identifies genetic variants linked with severe skin reactions to antiepileptic drug
Researchers have identified genetic variants that are associated with severe adverse skin reactions to the antiepileptic drug phenytoin, according to a study in the Aug.

Baby aspirin? Many doctors don't recommend, despite guidelines
A majority of middle-aged men and women eligible to take aspirin to prevent heart attack and stroke do not recall their doctors ever telling them to do so, according to a University of Rochester study of a national sample of more than 3,000 patients.

Boost for cancer prevention research
Queen's University scientists are helping to spearhead a new £6 million initiative to find better ways to prevent cancer.

Common chemical in mothers may negatively affect the IQ of their unborn children
In some women abnormally high levels of a common and pervasive chemical may lead to adverse effects in their offspring.

Watching chemistry in motion: Chemical environments mapped using molecular vibrations
Scientists have long known that a molecule's behavior depends on its environment.

Using long-detection interval for ICDs associated with reduction in hospitalizations
Use of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) programmed with long-detection intervals for ventricular arrhythmias was associated with an increase in the time to first hospitalization and reductions in hospitalization rate, length of stay and costs, compared with standard interval programming, according to a study in the Aug.

Study finds brief interventions ineffective for reducing unhealthy drug use
Richard Saitz, M.D., of the Boston University School of Public Health, and colleagues tested the effectiveness of two brief counseling interventions for unhealthy drug use (any illicit drug use or prescription drug misuse) among primary care patients identified by screening.

What drives cybersex addiction among female internet pornography users?
Women who visit Internet pornography sites are at risk of developing cybersex addiction. 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