Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 06, 2014
New research debunks the family myth as primary reason for gender gap in politics
American University professor of government and director of the Women & Politics Institute Jennifer Lawless debunks the widely touted myth that traditional family structures and roles contribute to women's lower political ambition.

UTSA researcher awarded NSF grant to create computer models for food insecurity project
Eric Jing Du, assistant professor of Construction Science in The University of Texas at San Antonio College of Architecture, has been awarded major funding from the National Science Foundation Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Science Research Program to complete a four-year research project about food security issues in West Africa using real-time simulation computer models.

Discovery about wound healing key to understanding cell movement
Research by a civil engineer from the University of Waterloo is helping shed light on the way wounds heal and may someday have implications for understanding how cancer spreads, as well as why certain birth defects occur.

Enhanced international cooperation needed in Antarctica
Countries need to work together to ensure Antarctic research continues and key questions on the region are answered, researchers say.

Cheese still laden with salt, despite many products meeting reduction targets
The salt content of cheese sold in British supermarkets remains high, despite many products meeting the recommended government targets on salt reduction, finds research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Study: Link between vitamin D and dementia risk confirmed
In the largest study of its kind, researchers suggests that in older people, not getting enough vitamin D may double the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Seeing more African Americans in prison increases support for policies that exacerbate inequality
Informing the public about African Americans' disproportionate incarceration rate may actually bolster support for punitive policies that perpetuate inequality, according to a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Study: Many cancer survivors smoke years after diagnosis
Nearly one in 10 cancer survivors reports smoking many years after a diagnosis, according to a new study.

Simulation models optimize water power
The Columbia River basin in the Pacific Northwest offers great potential for water power; hydroelectric power stations there generate over 20,000 megawatts already.

Nutrition an issue for Indigenous Australians
Nutrition has not been given enough priority in national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health policy in recent years.

HSCI researchers identify another potential ALS treatment avenue
A series of studies begun by Harvard Stem Cell Institute scientists eight years ago has lead to a report published today that may be a major step forward in the quest to develop real treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Mercury in the global ocean
Mercury is a naturally occurring element as well as a by-product of such distinctly human enterprises as burning coal and making cement.

Nearly 10 percent of patients with cancer still smoke
Nine years after diagnosis, 9.3 percent of US cancer survivors were current smokers and 83 percent of these individuals were daily smokers who averaged 14.7 cigarettes per day, according to a report in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Fipronil and imidacloprid reduce honeybee mitochondrial activity
New research published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry addresses the effects of fipronil and imidacloprid on honeybees.

ASH to host agenda-setting scientific meeting on lymphoma biology
The American Society of Hematology (ASH), the world's largest professional organization dedicated to the causes and treatments of blood disorders, will hold its first ASH Meeting on Lymphoma Biology, a meeting focused on furthering the treatment of lymphoma, Aug.

NIST ion duet offers tunable module for quantum simulator
Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have demonstrated a pas de deux of atomic ions that combines the fine choreography of dance with precise individual control.

Frontal EEG lateralization as an objective indicator of emotional flexibility was found
Frontal electroencephalogram asymmetry could be considered as an objective index of the capability of emotion regulation. electroencephalogram measures of different emotion stimuli make it possible to explore whether frontal EEG lateralization can predict individuals' emotional flexibility.

Link between vitamin D and dementia risk confirmed
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease in older people, according to the most robust study of its kind ever conducted.

Boomers building muscle at the gym -- without passion
In a study recently published in the International Journal of Wellbeing, James Gavin, a professor in Concordia University's Department of Applied Human Sciences, investigates our motivations for exercise, from looking good to having fun.

Geography matters: Model predicts how local 'shocks' influence US economy
Hurricanes. Foreclosures. Factory shutdowns. How do these local industry 'shocks' influence the country as a whole?

Galápagos hawks hand down lice like family heirlooms
Studying Galápagos hawks and their lice, a University of Arizona-led research team provides some of the first field evidence for co-divergence between parasites and hosts as a major driver of biodiversity.

Skull shape risk factors could help in the welfare of toy dog breeds
New research has identified two significant risk factors associated with painful neurological diseases in the skull shape of the Cavalier King Charles spaniel.

Older adults have morning brains!
Older adults who are tested at their optimal time of day (the morning), not only perform better on demanding cognitive tasks but also activate the same brain networks responsible for paying attention and suppressing distraction as younger adults, according to Canadian researchers.

Discovery yields master regulator of toxin production in staph infections
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have discovered an enzyme that regulates production of the toxins that contribute to potentially life-threatening Staphylococcus aureus infections.

The Lancet: European trial with 13-year follow-up shows prostate cancer screening reduces deaths by a fifth, but does not recommend routine screening at this time
Screening for prostate cancer could reduce deaths from the disease by about a fifth, according to the long-term results of a major European study involving over 162,000 men published in The Lancet.

A synopsis of the carabid beetle tribe Lachnophorini reveals remarkable 24 new species
A synopsis of the carabid beetle tribe Lachnophorini reveals a remarkable 24 new species.

Researchers seek 'safety lock' against tumor growth after stem cell transplantation
Induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neural stem cells can promote functional recovery after spinal cord injury to laboratory animals; a drawback is their potential for tumorogenesis post-transplantation.

Increased adoption of complex care management can help meet cost savings, quality goals
In a Perspective article in the Aug. 7 New England Journal of Medicine and a issue brief from the Commonwealth Fund being released today, two Massachusetts General Hospital physicians and their co-authors outline best practices in complex care management, discuss barriers to wider adoption of the approach and describe potential strategies to surmount those barriers.

Wildlife corridors sometimes help invasive species spread, UF research finds
When the ants come marching in, having miles of linked habitats may not be such a good idea after all.

New standards proposed for reporting spinal cord injury experiments
The difficulty in replicating and directly comparing and confirming the scientific results reported by researchers worldwide who are studying new approaches to treating spinal cord injuries is slowing the translation of important new findings to patient care.

Pyrocumulonibus cloud rises up from Canadian wildfires
The Northern Territories in Canada is experiencing one of its worst fire seasons in history.

Crime Victims' Institute tracks the state of stalking in Texas
According to a 2010 survey by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1.4 million women in Texas experience stalking during their lifetimes.

Gene increases risk of breast cancer to 1 in 3 by age 70
Breast cancer risks for one of potentially the most important genes associated with breast cancer after the BRCA1/2 genes are today reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Wellness coaching: Mayo Clinic resiliency expert explains how it improves overall quality of life
Wellness coaching has become an increasingly prevalent strategy to help individuals improve their health and well-being.

Financial incentives for hospitals only reduce patient death rates in the short-term
New research funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Services and Delivery Research Programme published in the New England Journal of Medicine today demonstrates that while the quality of care continued to increase over the following two years, there was no further reduction in patient deaths in the region covered by the programme over that observed in the rest of England.

A new way to model cancer
New gene-editing technique from researchers at MIT allows scientists to more rapidly study the role of mutations in tumor development.

Curing arthritis in mice
With a new therapeutic product, researchers have managed to cure arthritis in mice for the first time.

Sensors that improve rail transport safety
A new kind of human-machine communication makes it possible to detect damage to rail vehicles before it's too late and service trains only when they need it -- all thanks to a cloud-supported, wireless network of sensors.

Community religious beliefs influence whether wives work outside home, Baylor study finds
Married women who live in communities in which a higher proportion of the population belongs to conservative religious traditions -- such as evangelical or Mormon -- are more likely to choose not to work outside the home, even if the women are not members of those faith groups, according to a Baylor University study.

SAGE and announces winners of the Society for Teaching of Psychology TIPD Award
SAGE and the Society for Teaching of Psychology are delighted to announce that Jennifer Stiegler-Balfour, assistant professor at the University of New England, and Kasey Powers, graduate student at The Graduate Center, CUNY, are the winners of the 2014 Teaching Innovations & Professional Development Award.

Photon hunting in the twilight zone
The eyes of deep-sea bioluminescent sharks have a higher rod density when compared to non-bioluminescent sharks.

Rett Syndrome Association of MA joins to explore treatment option
Rett Syndrome Association of Massachusetts and are thrilled to announce today their renewed commitment to work together to defeat Rett syndrome.

Exposure to inflammatory bowel disease drugs could increase leukemia risk
Immunosuppressive drugs called thiopurines have been found to increase the risk of myeloid disorders, such as acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare bone marrow disorder, seven-fold among inflammatory bowel disease patients.

History of fire and drought shapes the ecology of California, past and future
USGS ecologist Jon Keeley will present research on the history of wildfire across California, contrasting historical versus contemporary and forested versus non-forested patterns of wildfire incidence, at the Ecological Society of America's 99th Annual Meeting in Sacramento, Aug.

Coping skills help women overcome the mental anguish of unwanted body evaluation and sexual advances
Some young women simply have more resilience and better coping skills and can shrug off the effect of unwanted cat calls, demeaning looks and sexual advances.

Aggressive behavior increases adolescent drinking, depression doesn't
Adolescents who behave aggressively are more likely to drink alcohol and in larger quantities than their peers, according to a recent study completed in Finland.

NASA's Hubble finds supernova star system linked to potential 'zombie star'
Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, a team of astronomers has spotted a star system that could have left behind a 'zombie star' after an unusually weak supernova explosion.

Single-cell analysis holds promise for stem cell and cancer research
UC San Francisco researchers have identified cells' unique features within the developing human brain, using the latest technologies for analyzing gene activity in individual cells, and have demonstrated that large-scale cell surveys can be done much more efficiently and cheaply than was previously thought possible.

NREL uses industry best practices to add partners
The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory is accelerating the availability of next-generation energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in the marketplace by making it easier for industry partners to work with the laboratory.

Job insecurity in academia harms the mental wellbeing of non-tenure track faculty
Non-tenure-track academics experience stress, anxiety, and depression due to their insecure job situation, according to the first survey of its kind published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology.

New research links tornado strength, frequency to climate change
New research by a Florida State University geography professor shows that climate change may be playing a key role in the strength and frequency of tornadoes hitting the United States.

Correct seat belt use saves children's lives
9 out of 10 children are seriously or fatally injured in traffic accidents because they are incorrectly restrained or because of loose objects in cars.

Most kids with blunt torso trauma can skip the pelvic X-ray
Pelvic X-rays ordered as a matter of course for children who have suffered blunt force trauma do not accurately identify all cases of pelvic fractures or dislocations and are usually unnecessary for patients for whom abdominal/pelvic CT scanning is otherwise planned.

Triangulum galaxy snapped by VST
The VLT Survey Telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile has captured a beautifully detailed image of the galaxy Messier 33.

Brain tumors fly under the body's radar like stealth jets, new U-M research suggests
Brain tumors fly under the radar of the body's defense forces by coating their cells with extra amounts of a specific protein, new research shows.

Risks to penguin populations analyzed
A major study of all penguin populations suggests the birds are at continuing risk from habitat degradation.

Dr. Brenna Anderson publishes commentary in BJOG
Brenna Anderson, M.D., of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Women & Infants of Rhode Island and an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, has published a commentary in the current issue of BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, now available online.

NREL research earns 2 prestigious R&D 100 Awards
A growth system that can produce thin solar cells quickly and at low cost, and an ultra-efficient supercomputer platform -- both developed or advanced by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and its partners -- have been named among this year's most significant innovations by R&D Magazine.

Young loggerhead turtles not going with the flow
Juvenile loggerhead turtles swim into oncoming ocean currents, instead of passively drifting with them.

Study shows low uptake of colorectal cancer screening by African-Americans in a Veterans Affairs health-care network
According to researchers in California, African-Americans' participation in colorectal cancer screening is low and the use of colonoscopy infrequent despite similar access to care across races in a Veterans Affairs health-care system.

Dementia risk quadrupled in people with mild cognitive impairment
In a long-term, large-scale population-based study of individuals aged 55 years or older in the general population researchers found that those diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment had a four-fold increased risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer's disease compared to cognitively healthy individuals.

New material structures bend like microscopic hair
Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers have fabricated a new elastic material coated with microscopic, hairlike structures that tilt in response to a magnetic field.

Healthy diet set early in life
Promoting a healthy diet from infancy is important to prevent childhood obesity and the onset of chronic disease.

A website to help safeguard the United States borders against alien scale insect pests
A group of scientists has built an online interactive website to help state and federal identifiers safeguard the US ports-of-entry from alien scale insect pests.

Studying muscle function to advance treatment of heart failure
'Our understanding of muscle fatigue is currently limited by our inability to directly observe this process at the molecular level,' Debold says.

Man-made noise makes fish more susceptible to predators
Despite their reputation as slippery customers, a new study has shown that eels are losing the fight to survive when faced with marine noise pollution such as that of passing ships.

Aggressive outreach increases organ donation among Hispanic Americans
An outreach campaign that included local media and culturally sensitive educational programs in targeted neighborhoods was associated with an increase in consent rates for organ donation among Hispanic Americans in the Los Angeles area.

Stowers researchers reveal molecular competition drives adult stem cells to specialize
Adult organisms ranging from fruit flies to humans harbor adult stem cells, some of which renew themselves through cell division while others differentiate into the specialized cells needed to replace worn-out or damaged organs and tissues.

Burrowing animals may have been key to stabilizing Earth's oxygen
Evolution of the first burrowing animals may have played a major role in stabilizing the Earth's oxygen reservoir, according to a new study in Nature Geoscience.

NASA engineer set to complete first 3-D-printed space cameras
By the end of September, NASA aerospace engineer Jason Budinoff is expected to complete the first imaging telescopes ever assembled almost exclusively from 3-D-manufactured components.

Stress during pregnancy can be passed down through generations
To better understand problems during pregnancies today, we should look to the experiences of our ancestors, research published in the open-access journal BMC Medicine suggests.

Typhoon Halong opens its eye again for NASA
When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Typhoon Halong on its northern journey through the western North Pacific Ocean, it became wide-eyed again after going through eyewall replacement.

NIH and Italian scientists develop nasal test for human prion disease
A nasal brush test can rapidly and accurately diagnose Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, an incurable and ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disorder, according to a study by National Institutes of Health scientists and their Italian colleagues.

Scientists discover how 'jumping genes' help black truffles adapt to their environment
Black truffles are highly prized in the world of haute cuisine for their unique flavor.

Farm manager plays leading role in postharvest loss
Some farms in Brazil lose 10 to 12 percent of their yield at various points along the postharvest route.

Study: Arctic mammals can metabolize some pesticides, limits human exposure
Fortunately, you are not always what you eat -- at least in Canada's Arctic.

University of Michigan developing wearable tech for disease monitoring
A new wearable vapor sensor is being developed at the University of Michigan could one day offer continuous disease monitoring for patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, anemia or lung disease.

NASA satellite paints a triple hurricane Pacific panorama
In three passes over the Central and Eastern Pacific Ocean, NASA's Terra satellite took pictures of the three current tropical cyclones, painting a Pacific tropical panorama.

Wiki ranking
Wikipedia, the free, online collaborative encyclopedia, is an important source of information.

New hand-held device uses lasers, sound waves for deeper melanoma imaging
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, causing more than 75 percent of skin-cancer deaths.

Satellite shows Bertha merged with frontal system in North Atlantic
A visible satellite image from NOAA's GOES-East satellite shows that Post-Tropical Storm Bertha was merging with a frontal system in the North Atlantic Ocean.

A breath reveals a hidden image in anti-counterfeit drug labels
Terry Shyu, a doctoral student in chemical engineering at the University of Michigan, demonstrates a new high-tech label for fighting drug counterfeiting.

Adult myelination -- Wrapping up neuronal plasticity
The adult CNS is remarkably adaptable -- it retains the ability to generate and integrate new cells, and remodel pre-existing circuits.

Racial makeup of private prisons shows disparities, new OSU study finds
A disproportionate number of Hispanics are housed in private prisons across the United States, a pattern that could leave such prisons vulnerable to legal challenges, new research from Oregon State University shows.

New funding supports search for solutions to white-nose syndrome
Two US Forest Service research teams recently received more than $97,000 in grants from Bat Conservation International and the Tennessee Chapter of The Nature Conservancy for work aimed at identifying and developing tools to control Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the invasive fungus that causes white-nose syndrome. 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