Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 15, 2014
On the edge of graphene
Researchers at the National Physical Laboratory have discovered that the conductivity at the edges of graphene devices is different to that of the central material.

Personal, public costs of scientific misconduct calculated
Much has been assumed about the private and public damage of scientific misconduct.

Bigger government makes for more satisfied people, international Baylor study finds
People living in countries with governments that spend more on social services report being more contented, according to a Baylor University study.

Environment and health experts commit to actions on climate change
More than 500 delegates to the EcoHealth 2014 conference have issued a call to action to urgently and collaboratively address the impacts of climate change on the health of humans, animals and the global environment in light of the lack of a truly collective response to date.

Best in their 'Field'
From funding the first woman to be awarded a Fields Medal to supporting several other noteworthy honorees, the National Science Foundation has invested in some of the world's best mathematical scientists, judging from those recognized at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Seoul, Korea.

TUM researchers develop defense against cyberattacks
A group of journalists has reported the existence of the 'Hacienda' spy program.

Bats bolster brain hypothesis, maybe technology, too
Decades of research on how bats use echolocation to keep a focus on their targets not only lends support to a long debated neuroscience hypothesis about vision but also could lead to smarter sonar and radar technologies.

Previous pulmonary disease linked to increased lung cancer risk in large study
Links between a number of common respiratory diseases and an increased risk of developing lung cancer have been found in a large pooled analysis of seven studies involving more than 25,000 individuals.

Guidelines can predict early menopause in child cancer survivors
Girls with cancer who are most likely to become infertile after treatment can be identified using guidelines developed almost 20 years ago, new research from the University of Edinburgh shows.

NASA sees no punch left in Tropical Storm Julio
Tropical Storm Julio doesn't have any strong thunderstorms or strong convection left in it according to infrared satellite imagery from NASA.

Do gut bacteria rule our minds?
It sounds like science fiction, but it seems that bacteria within us -- which outnumber our own cells about 100-fold -- may very well be affecting both our cravings and moods to get us to eat what they want, and often are driving us toward obesity.

Scientists discover interstellar stardust
Scientists have been examining stardust collected from the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector, and have determined seven dust particles come from outside our solar system.

Human milk fat improves growth in premature infants
For premature infants, adequate growth while in the neonatal intensive care unit is an indicator of better long-term health and developmental outcomes.

UTMB named a World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Vaccine Research
The world experts on vaccine development at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have received an international designation acknowledging their unique niche in a sphere where research, government regulation and big pharma often collide.

New X-ray imaging developed by scientists
Scientists have developed an X-ray imaging system that enables researchers to see 'live' how effective treatments are for cystic fibrosis.

Low vitamin D levels linked to increased risks after noncardiac surgery
Patients with low blood levels of vitamin D are at increased risk of death and serious complications after noncardiac surgery, suggests a study in Anesthesia & Analgesia.

Utility of sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) markers
Sequence-related amplified polymorphism markers have proved to be useful for agronomic studies (including crop development and identification of pathogen-resistant markers), but their use in other fields of plant biology has been limited.

The Great Lakes: Understanding and protecting North America's 'third coast'
he fragile natural environment of North America's 'third coast,' home to 34 million people, gets some well-deserved attention in this new book from The Geological Society of America.

Incentives, innovation and growth
Over the past decades, the economic sciences have seen fundamental breakthroughs in our understanding of human responses to incentives in the face of uncertainty and strategic interactions.

Stroke researchers link ability to self-administer medication with memory loss
Stroke researchers have identified an association between over-optimistic estimation of the ability to take medications accurately and memory loss among stroke survivors.

Bivalirudin versus heparin in patients planned for coronary stenting
Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital conducted an analysis of all of the previous trials to date to better define both the benefits and risks of the competing anticoagulants.

Politicians need to address transport taboos, not just new technology, to meet carbon targets
New research published today in the Journal of Transport Geography has found that a focus on new technology is not enough to meet carbon reduction targets in the transport industry.

Visual control of big data
A data-visualization tool identifies sources of aberrant results and recomputes visualizations without them.

Depression often untreated in Parkinson's disease
Depression is known to be a common symptom of Parkinson's disease, but remains untreated for many patients, according to a new study by Northwestern Medicine.

Stronger drunk driving laws lead to safer roads: Study
Changes to British Columbia's laws against driving while impaired have reduced fatal crashes as well as ambulance calls and hospital admissions resulting from motor vehicle crashes, a new University of British Columbia study finds.

Visual exposure predicts infants' ability to follow another's gaze
Following another person's gaze can reveal a wealth of information critical to social interactions and also to safety.

NASA satellite spots a weakening Karina, now a tropical storm
NASA's Terra satellite passed over Hurricane Karina before it weakened to a tropical storm early on Aug.

Samtools CRAMS in support for improved compression formats
The rapidly rising volume of genomic data means that genomic scientists need fast and efficient methods to share, analyze and store sequence information.

Experts close to perfect in determining truth in interrogations using active question methods
Determining deception is a tool of the trade for law enforcement.

'Science' features PRB, WSU, DMC advances in preterm birth
The Aug. 15 edition of the prestigious journal Science features a major article about the most important problem in obstetrics: preterm labor.

Dopamine replacement associated with impulse control increase in early Parkinson's
Penn Medicine research shows that neuropsychiatric symptoms such as depression, anxiety and fatigue are more common in newly diagnosed Parkinson's disease patients compared to the general population.

Charges for blood tests vary across California hospitals
New UC San Francisco research shows significant price differences for ten common blood tests in California hospitals, with some patients charged as little as $10 for one test while others were charged $10,169 for the identical test.

Texas Biomed gains $2.7 million NIH grant to research genetic basis of diseases
The Texas Biomedical Research Institute has been awarded a $2.7 million grant from the US National Institutes of Health to fund innovative approaches to genetics research aimed at developing new therapies for heart disease and other conditions with genetic components.

A study of possible extended symmetries of field theoretic systems
Many physical systems, from superfluids to pi mesons, are understood to be manifestations of spontaneous symmetry breaking, whereby the symmetries of a system are not realized by its lowest energy state.

Credit allocation among researchers determined by new algorithm
A new algorithm developed at Northeastern's Center for Complex Network Research may help to accurately allocate credit to authors on multi-author papers across disciplines.

New study takes the shine off magpie folklore
Magpies are not attracted to shiny objects and don't routinely steal small trinkets such as jewelry, according to a new study.

Follow that cell
The National Institutes of Health is challenging science innovators to compete for prizes totaling up to $500,000, by developing new ways to track the health status of a single cell in complex tissue over time.

The beetle's white album
The physical properties of the ultra-white scales on certain species of beetle could be used to make whiter paper, plastics and paints, while using far less material than is used in current manufacturing methods.

Federal agencies provide new opportunities for dying languages
The National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities recently announced 27 awards totaling more than $4 million in the 10th round of a joint effort to document languages threatened with extinction.

New ways to treat solid tumors
An international team of scientists has shown that an antibody against the protein EphA3, found in the micro-environment of solid cancers, has anti-tumor effects.

Wireless sensors and flying robots: A way to monitor deteriorating bridges
As a recent report from the Obama administration warns that one in four bridges in the United States needs significant repair or cannot handle automobile traffic, Tufts University engineers are employing wireless sensors and flying robots that could have the potential to help authorities monitor the condition of bridges in real time. 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