Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 11, 2014
Bioengineers create functional 3-D brain-like tissue
Bioengineers have created three-dimensional brain-like tissue that functions like and has structural features similar to tissue in the rat brain and that can be kept alive in the lab for more than two months.

Celebrity promotion of charities 'is largely ineffective,' says research
Celebrity promotion of charities is ineffective at raising awareness, but can make the stars more popular with the public, new research says.

Blood cells are a new and unexpected source of neurons in crayfish
Researchers have strived to determine how neurons are produced and integrated into the brain throughout adult life.

Inequality -- a key issue of economic research
The drivers of rising inequality of income and wealth and the various scientific models for counteractive measures will be among the central topics debated among 17 Nobel Laureates in Economic Sciences and approximately 450 aspiring young economists from more than 80 countries in Lindau, Germany, next week.

Novel study maps infant brain growth in first 3 months of life using MRI technology
A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the University of Hawaii demonstrates a new approach to measuring early brain development of infants, resulting in more accurate whole brain growth charts and providing the first estimates for growth trajectories of subcortical areas during the first three months after birth.

US immigration is associated with rise in smoking among Latinos and Asians
Immigration to the US may result in increased smoking in Latino and Asian women, according to new research from sociologists at Rice University, Duke University and the University of Southern California.

Crime rates may fluctuate depending on authority in charge
A new broad-based study from Tel Aviv University has found that police are more inclined to issue arrests when prison authorities have administrative responsibility for detainees.

How breast cancer usurps the powers of mammary stem cells
During pregnancy, certain hormones trigger specialized mammary stem cells to create milk-producing cells essential to lactation.

Two NREL scientists named to highly cited researcher list
Two scientists at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory have been included in Thomson Reuters' Highly Cited Research list for the thousands of citations of their work by fellow researchers over the past decade.

Synthetic molecule makes cancer self-destruct
Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and five other institutions have created a molecule that can cause cancer cells to self-destruct by ferrying sodium and chloride ions into the cancer cells.

Elusive viral 'machine' architecture finally rendered
Biologists have worked with the Lambda virus as a model system for more than 50 years but they've never had an overarching picture of the molecular machines that allow it to insert or remove DNA from the cells that it infects.

New global research reveals most adults need to double fruit and vegetable intake
New research published in the September issue of the British Journal of Nutrition and featured in the just released Global Phytonutrient Report highlights a significant shortfall in fruit and vegetable consumption in people's diets around the world.

Megascale icebergs run aground
Scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, have found between Greenland and Spitsbergen the scours left behind on the sea bed by gigantic icebergs.

Climate change negatively impacting Great Lakes, GVSU researcher says
Climate change is having a direct negative effect on the Great Lakes, including impacts to recreational value, drinking water potential, and becoming more suited to invasive species and infectious pathogens, according to a Grand Valley State University researcher.

New study reveals the effect of habitat fragmentation on the forest carbon cycle
Drier conditions at the edges of forest patches slow down the decay of dead wood and significantly alter the cycling of carbon and nutrients in woodland ecosystems, according to a new study.

Search for biomarkers aimed at improving treatment of painful bladder condition
Taking advantage of technology that can analyze tissue samples and measure the activity of thousands of genes at once, scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center are on a mission to better understand and treat interstitial cystitis, a painful and difficult-to-diagnose bladder condition.

Want to kill creativity of women in teams? Fire up the competition
Women tend to outperform men when it comes to collaboration and creativity in small working groups, but force teams to go head to head in highly competitive environments and the benefits of a female approach are soon reversed, suggests new research from Washington University in St.

A global temperature conundrum: Cooling or warming climate?
When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently requested a figure for its annual report, the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Zhengyu Liu knew that was going to be a problem.

Bone drugs may not protect osteoporotic women from breast cancer
Osteoporosis drugs known as bisphosphonates may not protect women from breast cancer as had been thought, according to a new study led by researchers at UC San Francisco.

New study: Ravens rule Idaho's artificial roosts
A new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society, US Geological Survey and Idaho State University explored how habitat alterations, including the addition of energy transmission towers, affect avian predators nesting in sagebrush landscapes.

New global research reveals significant shortfall in fruit and vegetable consumption
New research published in the September issue of the British Journal of Nutrition highlights a significant shortfall in fruit and vegetable consumption in people's diets around the world.

Industrial, manufacturing and systems engineering professor named IIE Fellow
Professor Jamie Rogers was named a fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers during the June IIE Annual Conference and Expo in Montreal.

Bioengineers make functional 3-D brain-like tissue model
Tufts University researchers have developed the first complex three-dimensional model made of brain-like cortical tissue that exhibits biochemical and electrophysiological responses and can function in the laboratory for months.

School violence, gun-related injury among top 10 child health concerns nationally
Childhood obesity remains the top health concern for children in 2014, but when asked about national concerns, adults put school violence and gun-related injuries in the top 10, according to a new University of Michigan C.S.

Reclamation awards $1.4 million to 9 desalination & water purification research studies
Bureau of Reclamation Acting Commissioner Lowell Pimley announced that nine research projects and pilot studies will receive $1.4 million to address desalination and water purification needs.

New tools reveal mysteries of an ancient Arctic terrane
The evolution and origin of Earth's Arctic realm and the nature, location, and age of its major tectonic boundaries remain subjects of considerable uncertainty.

Highly drug resistant, virulent strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa arises in Ohio
A team of clinician researchers has discovered a highly virulent, multidrug resistant form of the pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, in patient samples in Ohio.

Beaumont awarded research grant from National Cancer Institute
Metro Detroit area residents with cancer, and those throughout Michigan, will have access to federally-funded cancer research studies thanks to a five-year grant recently awarded to the Beaumont Cancer Institute.

One in 6 lupus patients readmitted to hospital within 30 days of discharge
A new study reveals that one in six patients with systemic lupus erythematosus is readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged.

An easier way to manipulate malaria genes
A new approach to knocking out parasite's genes could make it easier to identify drug targets.

Rutgers researchers show that how fast you drive might reveal exactly where you are going
Some drivers are letting auto insurance companies monitor their driving habits in return for a premium discount, but these drivers may not know that the information could reveal where they are driving.

Robotic-assisted imaging: from trans-Atlantic evaluation to help in daily practice
While in Germany, Partho P. Sengupta, M.D., of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai used a computer to perform a robot-assisted trans-Atlantic ultrasound examination on a person in Boston.

Testosterone in healthy men increases their brains' response to threat
Testosterone, a steroid hormone, is well known to contribute to aggressive behavior in males, but the neural circuits through which testosterone exerts these effects have not been clear.

Seven physicians awarded a total of $675,000 to fund radiation oncology-specific studies
The American Society for Radiation Oncology has selected seven leading physicians to receive a total of $675,000 in awards and grants to advance radiation oncology research.

How the woodpecker avoids brain injury despite high-speed impacts via optimal anti-shock body structure
Researchers worldwide recognize the woodpecker's body functions as an excellent anti-shock organism; its brain can bear deceleration of 1,200 g during rapid pecking.

Gloves after hand washing associated with fewer infections in preterm babies
Extremely premature babies in a neonatal intensive care unit had fewer infections when medical staff wore gloves after washing their hands compared with hand washing alone.

Customized surface inspection
The quality control of component surfaces is a complex undertaking.

Study: 1 out of 5 adult orthopaedic trauma patients sought additional providers for narcotic prescriptions
'Doctor shopping,' the growing practice of obtaining narcotic prescriptions from multiple providers, has led to measurable increases in drug use among postoperative trauma patients.

Follow the radio waves to exomoons, UT Arlington physicists say
In a paper published by The Astrophysical Journal, researchers from The University of Texas at Arlington suggest following radio wave emissions to find exomoons.

Native bacteria block Wolbachia from being passed to mosquito progeny
Native bacteria living inside mosquitoes prevent the insects from passing Wolbachia bacteria -- which can make the mosquitoes resistant to the malaria parasite -- to their offspring, according to a team of researchers.

Solving a sticky problem with fetal surgery using a glue inspired by the sandcastle worm
In creating an adhesive patterned after glue produced by the lowly underwater sandcastle worm, researchers are reporting today that they may have solved the problem of premature births that sometimes result from fetal surgery.

A new cause of osteoarthritis identified by research on a rare disease
A new mechanism of joint destruction caused by a natural material that grinds away healthy cartilage and worsens osteoarthritis has been identified in human hip joints for the first time by University of Liverpool scientists.

Neuroprotective effect of tongxinluo: A PET imaging study in small animals
Tongxinluo has been widely used in China for the treatment of acute stroke and for neuroprotection.

Springer launches ChemTexts
Beginning in 2015, Springer will publish a new online-only journal called ChemTexts -- The Textbook Journal of Chemistry.

Malaria medicine chloroquine inhibits tumor growth and metastases
A recent study by investigators at VIB and KU Leuven has demonstrated that chloroquine also normalizes the abnormal blood vessels in tumors.

Challenges and strategies for women pursuing STEM careers
New research shows the importance of social support for women preparing for STEM careers.

Keeping filler ingredients out of your cup of coffee
Coffee drinkers beware: Surprise ingredients may be hiding in your coffee, and growing shortages may well increase the chance of having more fillers in the future.

Emergency gallbladder surgery: Do you need it, or can you afford to wait?
Gallstone pain is one of the most common reasons patients visit emergency rooms.

Sensitive acid sensor controls insulin production
ETH Zurich researchers from the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering in Basel have developed an implantable device that precisely monitors acid build-up in the body for people with diabetes and produces insulin if acidosis becomes a risk.

Making cashews safer for those with allergies
For the millions of adults and children in the US who have to shun nuts to avoid an allergic reaction, help could be on the way.

US lung cancer rates vary by subtype, sex, race/ethnicity, and age
A new analysis confirms that US lung cancer rates are declining overall, but it also uncovers previously unrecognized trends related to cancer subtype, sex, race/ethnicity, and age.

Trapped atmospheric waves triggered more weather extremes
Weather extremes in the summer -- such as the record heat wave in the United States that hit corn farmers and worsened wildfires in 2012 -- have reached an exceptional number in the last ten years.

Preemies' gut bacteria may depend more on gestational age than environment
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that in infants born prematurely, the population of bacteria in babies' gastrointestinal tracts may depend more on their biological makeup and gestational age at birth than on environmental factors.

All-you-can-eat at the end of the universe
A new model shows how early black holes could have grown to billions of times the mass of our sun.

Medicinal oil reduces debilitating epileptic seizures associated with Glut 1 deficiency
A rare metabolic disease that caused hundreds of seizures daily for six-year-old Chloe Olivarez is now significantly under control as part of a clinical trial led by Dr.

CU-Boulder study paved way for stocking state's 'true' greenback cutthroat into wild
A genetic sleuthing effort led by the University of Colorado Boulder that resulted in the identification of Colorado's 'true' native greenback cutthroat trout two years ago has come full circle with the stocking of the official state fish into Colorado's high country.

School board study: Women far more silent than men in meetings
Scholars analyzed 87 school board meetings from 20 different states.

Postmenopausal breast cancer risk decreases rapidly after starting reg. physical activity
Postmenopausal women who in the past four years had undertaken regular physical activity equivalent to at least four hours of walking per week had a lower risk for invasive breast cancer compared with women who exercised less during those four years, according to data published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

CRI scientists pinpoint gene likely to promote childhood cancers
Researchers at the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern have identified a gene that contributes to the development of several childhood cancers, in a study conducted with mice designed to model the cancers.

Biomarker could reveal why some develop post-traumatic stress disorder
Blood expression levels of genes targeted by the stress hormones called glucocorticoids could be a physical measure, or biomarker, of risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder.

Fertile discovery
Queen's University researcher Richard Oko and his co-investigators have come up with a promising method of treating male infertility using a synthetic version of the sperm-originated protein known as PAWP.

Julio embarking on weakening trend
The Central Pacific Hurricane Center has issued its 30th warning on Julio today at 1500 GMT.

ASU-Mayo researchers use calcium isotope analysis to predict myeloma progression
A team of researchers from Arizona State University and Mayo Clinic is showing how a staple of Earth science research can be used in biomedical settings to predict the course of disease.

UChicago Medicine and Advocate Health Care receive $1.8M NIH grant for diabetes research
The grant will establish the first Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Clinical Center in Chicago.

LSUHSC research shows program to combat childhood obesity gets kids in daycare moving
Research led by Dr. Melinda Sothern, Professor and Director of Behavioral & Community Health at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health, reports that a turn-key intervention program significantly increased physical activity levels among children in daycare.

Grand Challenges Canada funds seven new global health innovations in ASEAN countries
Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Government of Canada, has announced funding of seven projects implemented in Association of Southeast Asian Nations member countries.

Scientists demonstrate long-sought drug candidate can halt tumor growth
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have disrupted the function of MYC, a cancer regulator thought to be 'undruggable.' The researchers found that a credit card-like molecule they developed somehow moves in and disrupts the critical interactions between MYC and its binding partner.

Digoxin tied to increased risk of death in patients with atrial fibrillation
In 'An Account of the Foxglove and Some of its Medical Uses,' published in 1785, Sir William Withering cautioned readers that extracts from the plant foxglove, also called digitalis, was not a perfect drug.

First gene therapy trial launched for heart patients with mechanical pumps
For the first time in the world, a patient with a mechanical heart pump has received a new gene therapy for heart failure at Harefield Hospital, London.

Keeping viruses at bay
Our immunosensory system detects virus such as influenza via specific characteristics of viral RNA.

Stanford researchers uncover cancer-causing mechanism behind powerful human oncogene
A protein present at high levels in more than half of all human cancers drives cell growth by blocking the expression of just a handful of genes involved in DNA packaging and cell death, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

More intensive interventions needed to combat severe obesity in teens
The serious health problems associated with severe obesity and the poor long-term prognosis and quality of life projected for these children and teens demand more serious consideration of safe and effective treatment options that go beyond diet and lifestyle modifications.

Focal blood-brain-barrier disruption with high-frequency pulsed electric fields
Novel method uses bursts of nanosecond duration electric pulses to open the blood-brain-barrier as a potential therapy for brain cancer and neurological disorders.

Tackling liver injury
Researchers uncover a new drug that spurs liver regeneration after surgery.

Study: New tool proves effective in evaluating doctor's bedside manner
The best way to improve a doctor's bedside manner may lie in a new tool that evaluates and helps medical residents improve their communication and other soft skills to become better doctors, according to a new study led by Women's College Hospital's Dr.

Genevieve downgraded to a tropical storm
Once Super Typhoon Genevieve has now been downgraded to a tropical storm.

Venom gets good buzz as potential cancer-fighter (video)
Bee, snake or scorpion venom could form the basis of a new generation of cancer-fighting drugs, scientists will report.

'Seeing' through virtual touch is believing
Surprising results from University of Cincinnati research could lead to new ways to help the visually impaired better navigate everyday life.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Aug. 12, 2014
The Aug. 12, 2014, issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine includes the following articles: '19th Century medicine paves way for 'miraculous' Ebola serotherapy'; 'Reviews address challenges of interpreting troponin levels in patients with chronic kidney disease'; and 'Therapies containing rifamycin effective and well-tolerated for preventing active TB in patients with latent infection.'

Climate change, predators, and the trickle down effects on ecosystems
Because predator species are animals that survive by preying on other organisms, they send ripples throughout the food web, regulating the effects other animals have on that ecosystem.

Can fiction stories make us more empathetic?
Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada, discussed how exposure to narrative fiction may improve our ability to understand what other people are thinking or feeling in his session at the American Psychological Association's 122nd Annual Convention.

Reconstructions show how some of the earliest animals lived -- and died
A bizarre group of uniquely shaped organisms known as rangeomorphs may have been some of the earliest animals to appear on Earth, uniquely suited to ocean conditions 575 million years ago.

Not only in DNA's hands
Weizmann Institute scientists show that epigenetics has a large say in blood formation.

NIST therapy for ultraviolet laser beams: Hydrogen-treated fibers
Scientists have known for years that hydrogen can alter the performance of optical fibers, which are often used to transmit or even generate laser light in optical devices.

Blacks, women face greater burden from CVD risk factors
The impact of major cardiovascular risk factors combined is greater in women than men and in blacks than whites.

Novel drug action against solid tumors explained
Researchers at UC Davis, City of Hope, Taipai Medical University and National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan have discovered how a drug that deprives the cells of a key amino acid specifically kills cancer cells.

Sugary bugs subvert antibodies
Researchers reveal how a lung-damaging bacterium turns the body's antibody response in its favor.

GW researcher receives grant to develop genetic tools to study parasitic infections
John Hawdon, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology, immunology, and tropical medicine at the George Washington University, was recently awarded $430,722 from the National Institutes of Health to develop a model system to study parasitic nematode infection, which will lead to greater understanding of the infective process and the host's immune response to infection.

Kessler Foundation researchers publish study on task constraint and task switching
Kessler Foundation scientists published cognitive research showing the negative effects that unexpected task constraint, following self-generated task choice, has on task-switching performance.

Changes in motor function in the unaffected hand of stroke patients should not be ignored
Changes in motor function in the unaffected hand of stroke patients should not be ignored.

Breech babies have higher risk of death from vaginal delivery compared to C-section
While a rise in cesarean section delivery rates due to breech presentation has improved neonatal outcome, 40 percent of term breech deliveries in the Netherlands are planned vaginal deliveries.

Taking astronomy to the next level
Construction of the highly anticipated Large Synoptic Survey Telescope can begin now that the National Science Foundation has finalized funding.

Aberrant mTOR signaling impairs whole body physiology
The protein mTOR is a central controller of growth and metabolism.

Bisphosphonates for osteoporosis not associated with reduced breast cancer risk
An analysis of data from two randomized clinical trials finds that 3-4 years of treatment with bisphosphonates to improve bone density is not linked to reduced risk of invasive postmenopausal breast cancer.

A vaccine alternative protects mice against malaria
A study led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers found that injecting a vaccine-like compound into mice was effective in protecting them from malaria.

Professor Qi Wang wins EMBS Early Career Achievement Award
Qi Wang, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, recently won the prestigious 2014 Early Career Achievement Award from the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.

Normal cognition in patient without apolipoprotein E, risk factor for Alzheimer's
A 40-year-old California man exhibits normal cognitive function although he has no apolipoprotein E, which is believed to be important for brain function but a mutation of which is also a known risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.

Nanocubes get in a twist
Competing forces coax nanocubes into helical structures.

Apply for press credentials: ACS Clinical Congress October 26-30
Writers, editors, and producers with an interest in contemporary surgical topics are invited to apply for press credentials to cover the 2014 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons -- one of the largest international meetings of surgeons in the world.

Western Wall weathering: Extreme erosion explained
Hebrew University researchers investigating erosion at Jerusalem's Western Wall found that limestone with very small crystals eroded up to 100 times faster and had sometimes receded by tens of centimeters, potentially weakening the wall's structure.

Innovations with far-reaching potential for the environment and health
The Kavli Foundation Lecture series features two prominent scientists: one in the booming area of ionic liquids, the other in medical materials.

Ecology could break deadlock between grouse shooting and hen harrier conservation
As another grouse shooting season begins, research out today in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology shows ecology could help break the decades-long deadlock between grouse shooters and conservationists seeking to protect hen harriers on UK moorlands.

Southfork and Staley Complex fires in Oregon
The Southfork Complex fire began with a lightning strike on July 31, 2014.

Neutrino detectors could help curb nuclear weapons activity
Scientists at Virginia Tech believe neutrinos could be used to monitor nuclear power plants for signs of nuclear proliferation.

Kessler Foundation scientists link environment & inclusion in adults with disabilities
Kessler Foundation researchers have identified an association between the built environment and disability-related outcomes for adults with physical impairments.

Clues emerge to genetic architecture of cognitive abilities in children
A large new genetic study in thousands of children and adolescents offers early glimpses of the overall patterns and connections among cognitive abilities such as language reasoning, reading skill and types of memory.

Penn-led expert panel calls for public health research on natural gas drilling
A group of environmental health researchers, led by Penn's Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology published recommendations for public health research associated with unconventional natural gas drilling operations.

Devil's Elbow Complex in Washington state
The Devil's Elbow Complex is four wildfires that are located on the Colville Indian Reservation in northeastern Washington. 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