Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 25, 2014
Happy Camper and July fire complexes in California
The Happy Camp and July Fire Complex can both be seen in this Aqua satellite image from Aug.

Changes in the eye can predict changes in the brain
Researchers at the Gladstone Institutes and University of California, San Francisco have shown that a loss of cells in the retina is one of the earliest signs of frontotemporal dementia in people with a genetic risk for the disorder -- even before any changes appear in their behavior.

Complication risk of deep brain stimulation similar for older, younger Parkinson patients
Older patients with Parkinson disease who undergo deep brain stimulation appear to have a 90-day complication risk similar to younger patients, suggesting that age alone should not be a primary factor for excluding patients as DBS candidates.

Personal protective equipment is critical but not enough to shield health care workers from Ebola
Personal protective equipment designed to shield health care workers from contaminated body fluids of Ebola patients is not enough to prevent transmission, according to a commentary being published early online today in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Eye implant developed at Stanford could lead to better glaucoma treatments
Lowering internal eye pressure is currently the only way to treat glaucoma.

New clinical trial for children with autism to target parents
SLU Researchers will help parents apply strategies that could improve their child's behavioral problems.

Molecular regulation of hypoxic-ischemic brain damage
Dr. Lijun Yang and co-workers from Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University in China prepared whole brain slices from a rat model of oxygen-glucose deprivation and explored dynamic expression pattern of Olig1 during hypoxic-ischemic brain damage and after miRNA-9 transfection.

Expectant parents' play with doll predicts later parenting behavior
Having expectant parents role-play interacting with an infant using a doll can help predict which couples may be headed for co-parenting conflicts when their baby arrives.

Latino children make greatest gains in N.C. pre-K
A new summary of 12 years of research on North Carolina's pre-kindergarten program for at-risk 4-year-olds shows that 'dual-language learners' make the greatest academic progress in the program.

Ever growing number of women with gestational diabetes suggests future will be filled with children with early diabetes
New research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) shows that children exposed to gestational diabetes in the wombs of their mothers are themselves around six times more likely to develop diabetes or prediabetes than children not exposed.

EARTH Magazine: Changing the landscape: Geoscientists embrace 3-D printing
Three-dimensional printing offers the chance to make those structures replicable, communicable and malleable.

Aspirin may reduce the risks of reoccurring blood clots
Aspirin is a promising alternative for those who can't continue on anticoagulant drugs over a long period to prevent blood clots from reoccurring.

A long childhood feeds the hungry human brain
A study helps to solve the long-standing mystery of why human children grow so slowly compared with our closest animal relatives.

Drug used for DNA repair defects could treat leukemia and other cancers more effectively
A team of scientists led by research associate professor Motomi Osato and professor Yoshiaki Ito from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore at the National University of Singapore found that a drug originally designed for killing a limited type of cancer cells with DNA repair defects could potentially be used to treat leukemia and other cancers.

Rice's OpenStax College will add 10 new titles by 2017
Rice University-based publisher OpenStax College today announced $9.5 million in philanthropic grants from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, Rice alumni John and Ann Doerr and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to add 10 titles to its catalog of free, high-quality textbooks by 2017.

Revolutionary handheld DNA diagnostic unit allows lab-quality analysis in the field
A revolutionary handheld and battery-powered DNA diagnostic device invented at New Zealand's University of Otago is poised to become a commonly used field tool for rapidly detecting suspected viruses or bacteria in samples while also determining the level of infection.

ZigBee in the Sky
Engineers at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have successfully piloted the world's first ZigBee-based inter-satellite communication system.

Exposure to toxins makes great granddaughters more susceptible to stress
According to a new study by researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and Washington State University, male and female rats are affected differently by ancestral exposure to a common fungicide, vinclozolin.

To deter cyberattacks, build a public-private partnership
The best way to combat cyberattacks may be a joint public-private partnership between government and business, says a new paper from Jay Kesan, the H.

Tilted acoustic tweezers separate cells gently
Precise, gentle and efficient cell separation from a device the size of a cell phone may be possible thanks to tilt-angle standing surface acoustic waves, according to a team of engineers.

Scientists first to grow organ in animal from cells created in lab
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have grown a fully functional organ from transplanted laboratory-created cells in a living animal for the first time.

Key to universal flu vaccine: Embrace the unfamiliar
Human volunteers immunized against the avian flu virus H5N1 readily developed antibodies against the stem region of the viral hemagglutinin protein.

Sleep drunkenness disorder may affect 1 in 7
A study is shining new light on a sleep disorder called 'sleep drunkenness.' The disorder may be as prevalent as affecting one in every seven people.

Lower opioid overdose death rates associated with state medical marijuana laws
States that implemented medical marijuana laws appear to have lower annual opioid analgesic overdoses death rates -- both from prescription pain killers and illicit drugs such as heroin -- than states without such laws although the reason why is not clear.

Increased risk of stroke in people with cognitive impairment
People with cognitive impairment are significantly more likely to have a stroke, with a 39 percent increased risk, than people with normal cognitive function, according to a new study published in CMAJ.

Fires above the Great Slave Lake in Canada
Updates from report that there are 133 active fires in the North Slave Region of the Northwest Territories.

Physics research removes outcome unpredictability of ultracold atomic reactions
A physics model helps scientists accurately predict the likely outcome of a chemical reaction and sheds new light on mysterious quantum states, including the Efimov effect.

Yellow pigment in eye may aid vision through haze, suggests Optometry and Vision Science
Individuals with greater amounts of yellow pigment in the eye may be better able to see distant objects in hazy conditions, suggests a study in the September issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry.

Knee surgery not needed for mild osteoarthritis: Study
Middle-aged or older patients with mild or no osteoarthritis of the knee may not benefit from the procedure of arthroscopic knee surgery.

High insulin levels tied to obesity pathway, new UT Southwestern research shows
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have identified a crucial link between high levels of insulin and pathways that lead to obesity, a finding that may have important implications when treating diabetes.

Core mechanism for root growth identified
PLETHORA proteins and plant hormone auxin together orchestrate root growth.

APOB, a gene involved in lipid transport, linked to cases of familial extreme longevity
In a recent report in Aging Cell, a multidisciplinary team of Spanish scientists, led by Tim Cash and Manuel Serrano at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, identify rare variants in the APOB gene in several families where exceptional longevity (>100 years of age) appears to cluster.

Do closed-loop insulin delivery systems improve blood glucose control in type 1 diabetes?
The aim of this closed-loop insulin delivery system is improved control of blood glucose levels throughout the day and night.

ACEs are high with space station colloidal research
ACE-M-1, the first in a series of such investigations aboard the space station, was designed to help researchers understand how to use small colloidal particles as stabilizers in products.

Biomimetic photodetector 'sees' in color
Rice University researchers have created a CMOS-compatible, biomimetic color photodetector that directly responds to red, green and blue light in much the same way the human eye does.

Surgical complications of DBS no higher risk for older Parkinson's patients
Implantating deep brain stimulation devices poses no greater risk of complications to older patients than it does to younger patients with Parkinson's disease, researchers at Duke Medicine report.

Neuronal activation by acupuncture at Yongquan and sham acupoints for DOC: A PET study
Hao Zhang and colleagues from China Rehabilitation Research Center found that acupuncture at the Yongquan acupoints induced stronger neuronal activity than acupuncture at the sham acupoints shown on positron emission tomography.

UNC Lineberger researchers develop new approach to identify 'drivers' of cancer
UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have developed a new integrated approach to pinpoint the genetic 'drivers' of cancer, uncovering eight genes that could be viable for targeted breast cancer therapy.

American Heart Association issues e-cigarette recommendations
The American Heart Association issued new policy recommendations today on the use of e-cigarettes and their impact on tobacco-control efforts.

Researchers find boron facilitates stem cell growth and development in corn
The eastern half of the United States is plagued by boron deficient soil and corn and soybean farmers are required to supplement their soil with boron; however, little is known about the ways in which corn plants utilize the essential nutrient.

Anticipating experience-based purchases more enjoyable than material ones
To get the most enjoyment out of our dollar, science tells us to focus our discretionary spending on trips over TVs, on concerts over clothing, since experiences tend to bring more enduring pleasure than do material goods.

New biomarker highly promising for predicting breast cancer outcomes
A protein named p66ShcA shows promise as a biomarker to identify breast cancers with poor prognoses, according to research published ahead of print in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Cancer leaves a common fingerprint on DNA
Regardless of their stage or type, cancers appear to share a telltale signature of widespread changes to the so-called epigenome, according to a team of researchers.

Satellites capture the birth and movement of Tropical Storm Cristobal
The third tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season formed near the southeastern Bahamas on Sunday, Aug.

Weekend hospitalization linked to longer stay for pediatric leukemia patients
Weekend admission to the hospital for pediatric patients newly diagnosed with leukemia was associated with a longer length of stay, slightly longer wait to start chemotherapy and higher risk for respiratory failure but weekend admissions were not linked to an increased risk for death.

Black carbon -- a major climate pollutant -- also linked to cardiovascular health
Black carbon pollutants from wood smoke are known to trap heat near the earth's surface and warm the climate.

RNA sequence could help doctors to tailor unique prostate cancer treatment programs
Sequencing RNA, not just DNA, could help doctors predict how prostate cancer tumors will respond to treatment, according to research published in the open-access journal Genome Biology.

Is MSG bad for you? Debunking a long-running food myth (video)
Few ingredients come with as much baggage as monosodium glutamate.

Knee surgery shows no benefit for people with mild osteoarthritis
A new study indicates that there is no apparent benefit to arthroscopic knee surgery for age-related tears of the meniscus in comparison with nonsurgical or sham treatments.

Large-scale study focuses on heavy smokers
A study based on blood samples from more than 55,000 Danes conducted by the University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen University Hospital shows a direct correlation between smoking and mortality.

INFORMS study shows social welfare may fall in a more ethical market
For 'credence services' such as auto-repair, health care, and legal services, the benefit to the customers for the service is difficult to assess before and even after the service.

Medicaid reimbursements may affect cancer screening rates among beneficiaries
A recent study has found that in states with higher Medicaid payments for office visits, Medicaid beneficiaries were more likely to be screened for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer.

Racial and ethnic stereotypes may contribute to obesity among minorities
Many Americans need extraordinary willpower to avoid becoming obese -- or to slim down if they already weigh too much.

SA's Taung Child's skull and brain not human-like in expansion
By subjecting the skull of the first australopith discovered to the latest technologies in the Wits University Microfocus X-ray Computed Tomography facility, researchers are now casting doubt on theories that Australopithecus africanus shows the same cranial adaptations found in modern human infants and toddlers.

Sweet! Glycoconjugates are more than the sum of their sugars
Conventional wisdom says that the scaffold in an important class of biological molecules called 'glycoconjugates' is essentially inert.

CWRU's new MOOC teaches about making changes to improve quality and safety of patient care
'Take the Lead on Health Care Quality Improvement' -- a new free massive open online course offered this fall by Case Western Reserve University's school of nursing -- targets ways frontline health care workers can deliver safer and better care to patients.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Aug. 26, 2014
The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends that overweight or obese adults with at least one additional risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) be offered or referred to intensive behavioral counseling interventions to promote a healthful diet and physical activity for CVD prevention.

Former Hurricane Lowell finally fades away
Satellite data showed that Lowell had ceased its life as a tropical cyclone over the past weekend.

Study shows 25 percent fewer opioid-related deaths in states allowing medical marijuana
On average, states allowing the medical use of marijuana have lower rates of deaths resulting from opioid analgesic overdoses than states without such laws.

Two case reports of rare stiff person syndrome
Two female patients achieved clinical remission from the rare, debilitating neurological disease called stiff person syndrome (SPS, which can be marked by a 'tin soldier' gait) after an autologous -- from your own body -- stem cell transplant that eventually allowed them to return to work and regain their previous functioning.

Rice University computer scientists receive NSF grant to develop cloud-computing tools
A National Science Foundation grant of $1.2 million funds the development of new cloud computing resources by computer scientists at Rice University.

Organic vs. paid advertising? Inside the mind of an online browser
New research by Columbia Business School professor Kinshuk Jerath takes a unique look at a consumer's behavior between the keyword search and the point-of-click.

Duality principle is 'safe and sound'
Decades of experiments have verified the quirky laws of quantum theory again and again.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Karina overpowered by Hurricane Marie
Hurricane Marie is a powerhouse in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and because it is close to Tropical Storm Karina, Karina is being weakened by wind shear from the larger, more powerful storm.

New process helps overcome obstacles to produce renewable fuels and chemicals
There's an old saying in the biofuels industry: 'You can make anything from lignin except money.' But now, a new study may pave the way to challenging that adage.

Nursing home care improves with culture change
Nursing homes that invest in 'culture change' can develop a more residential and less hospital-like feel.

Cancer-fighting drugs might also stop malaria early
Scientists searching for new drugs for malaria have identified a number of compounds -- some of which are in clinical trials to treat cancer -- that could lead to new ways to fight the disease.

Fires in Western Australia
According to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services of Western Australia, a bushfire ADVICE remains for people traveling along Great Northern Highway approximately 20 kilometers east of Broome, and Cape Leveque Road approximately 40 kilometers north of Broome, in the Shire of Broome.

Virus, zebrafish enable scientists to map the living brain
A virus and a zebrafish are helping scientists map the living brain.

Deploying exosomes to win a battle of the sexes
A new study provides further detail into how male fruit flies ensure reproductive success by deploying exosomes to alter the mating behavior of females.

Kite Pharma announces positive results in patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Kite Pharma Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing engineered autologous T cell therapy products for the treatment of cancer, today announced the publication of clinical results in a cohort of patients demonstrating the potential to treat aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with an anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy.

Learning by watching, toddlers show intuitive understanding of probability
Most people know children learn many skills simply by watching people around them.

Unusual neural connection between injured cingulum and brainstem in a SAH patients
Dr. Sung Ho Jang and team from College of Medicine, Yeungnam University in Korea report on a patient who showed unusual neural connections between injured cingulums and brainstem cholinergic nuclei following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, using diffusion tensor tractography.

Riddell, TGen team with ASU football to further genetic research into concussion detection
Riddell, the leader in football helmet technology and innovation, and the Translational Genomics Research Institute, a leader in cutting-edge genomic research, today announced that the Pac-12's Arizona State University and its Sun Devil football program will again participate in a genetic research study designed to advance athlete concussion detection and treatment.

Zombie ant fungi 'know' brains of their hosts
A parasitic fungus that reproduces by manipulating the behavior of ants emits a cocktail of behavior-controlling chemicals when encountering the brain of its natural target host, but not when infecting other ant species, a new study shows.

Finding keys to glioblastoma therapeutic resistance
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found one of the keys to why certain glioblastomas -- the primary form of a deadly brain cancer -- are resistant to drug therapy.

MU researchers discover protein's ability to inhibit HIV release
A family of proteins that promotes virus entry into cells also has the ability to block the release of HIV and other viruses, University of Missouri researchers have found.

State medical marijuana laws linked to lower prescription overdose deaths
In states where it is legal to use medical marijuana to manage chronic pain and other conditions, the annual number of deaths from prescription drug overdose is 25 percent lower than in states where medical marijuana remains illegal, new research suggests.

New research: Parents of anxious children can avoid the 'protection trap'
A new Arizona State University study shows that parents whose children suffer from anxiety often fall into the 'protection trap' that may influence their child's behavior.

'Robo Brain' will teach robots everything from the Internet
Robo Brain -- a large-scale computational system that learns from publicly available Internet resources -- is currently downloading and processing about 1 billion images, 120,000 YouTube videos, and 100 million how-to documents and appliance manuals.

Scientists uncover navigation system used by cancer, nerve cells
A study in C. elegans worms identifies a 'roving detection system' on the surface of worm cells that may point to new ways of treating diseases like cancer, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Salmon forced to 'sprint' less likely to survive migration
Sockeye salmon that sprint to spawning grounds through fast-moving waters may be at risk, suggests new research by University of British Columbia scientists published in the journal Physiological and Biochemical Zoology.

Can auriculotherapy help relieve chronic constipation?
Nearly one in six adults worldwide may suffer from chronic constipation and, over time, the disorder can cause serious complications.

Gut bacteria that protect against food allergies identified
The presence of Clostridia, a common class of gut bacteria, protects against food allergies, a new study in mice finds.

NASA sees Marie become a major hurricane, causing dangerous surf
The National Hurricane Center expected Marie to become a major hurricane (Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) and it did.

Doctors miss opportunities to offer flu shots
Doctors should make a point of offering a flu vaccine to their patients.

New term will banish stigma, educate providers on postmenopausal problems
Talking about genital, sexual, and urinary problems can be uncomfortable for postmenopausal women and their doctors.

Study shows promise in automated reasoning, hypothesis generation over complete medical literature
With approximately 50 million scientific papers available in public databases -- and a new one publishing nearly every 30 seconds -- scientists cannot know about every relevant study when they are deciding where to take their research next.

Aspirin cuts risk of clots, DVT by a third -- new study
Low dose aspirin lowers the occurrence of new venous blood clots -- and represents a reasonable treatment option for patients who are not candidates for long-term anticoagulant drugs, such as warfarin, according to a new study published in today's issue of Circulation.

Illinois scientists work with World Health Organization to fortify condiments, seasonings
Two University of Illinois scientists are contributing to World Health Organization efforts to fortify condiments and seasonings for use in countries with widespread micronutrient deficiencies.

New coping strategy for the memory impaired and their caregivers
Mindfulness training for individuals with early-stage dementia and their caregivers together in the same class was beneficial for both groups, easing depression and improving sleep and quality of life. 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