Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 26, 2014
Researching fundamental rhythms of life
Casey Diekman, assistant professor of mathematical sciences at New Jersey Institute of Technology, is helping to gain greater insight into the biological clock that sets the pace for daily life.

New estrogen-based compound suppresses binge-like eating behavior in female mice
Researchers at the USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital found that the hormone estrogen can specifically trigger brain serotonin neurons to inhibit binge eating in female mice in a report today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Sorting cells with sound waves
Researchers from MIT, Pennsylvania State University, and Carnegie Mellon University have devised a new way to separate cells by exposing them to sound waves as they flow through a tiny channel.

Tumor blood vessel protein provides potential therapeutic target
A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation identifies a tumor vessel-specific protein, L1 that can be targeted to reduce tumor growth

Drug for rare blood disorder developed at Penn receives orphan drug status from EU
A Penn Medicine-developed drug has received orphan status in Europe this week for the treatment of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, a rare, life-threatening disease that causes anemia due to destruction of red blood cells and thrombosis.

NSF expands the National Innovation Network with 2 new I-Corps nodes
The National Science Foundation has awarded two major grants to further expand and support a national network of public-private partnerships to transition fundamental science and engineering discoveries to the marketplace under the Innovation Corps program.

EPO may help reduce risk of brain abnormalities in preterm infants
High-dose erythropoietin administered within 42 hours of birth to preterm infants was associated with a reduced risk of brain injury, as indicated by magnetic resonance imaging, according to a study in the Aug.

Study finds young driver's gender linked to crash type, injury severity
A study finds that gender differences do exist in young drivers when it comes to safety.

Education and dog-friendly neighborhoods could tackle obesity
A study from the University of Liverpool has recommended investing in dog owner education and facilities as a strategy to target physical inactivity and problems such as obesity in both people and their pets.

NASA sees huge Hurricane Marie slam Socorro Island
NASA's Terra satellite passed over Hurricane Marie when its eye was just to the west of Socorro Island in the Eastern Pacific.

Satellite shows Hurricane Marie about to swallow Karina
Massive Hurricane Marie appears like a giant fish about to swallow tiny Tropical Depression Karina on satellite imagery today from NOAA's GOES-West satellite.

Study identifies upside to financial innovations
A new study of financial innovations before and during the last financial crisis indicates that financial innovations are not all bad.

Study finds less domestic violence among married couples who smoke pot
New research findings from a study of 634 couples found that the more often they smoked marijuana, the less likely they were to engage in domestic violence.

Chameleon: Cloud computing for computer science
To help investigate and develop a promising cloud computing future, the National Science Foundation has announced a new $10 million project to create a cloud computing testbed called Chameleon, an experimental testbed for cloud architecture and applications.

Wii Balance Board induces changes in the brains of MS patients
A balance board accessory for a popular video game console can help people with multiple sclerosis (MS) reduce their risk of accidental falls, according to new research.

Trash burning worldwide significantly worsens air pollution
Unregulated trash burning around the globe is pumping far more pollution into the atmosphere than shown by official records.

Factors predicting functional recovery of the upper limb after peripheral nerve injuries
A study by Dr. Bo He and co-workers from the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University in China showed that predictors of outcome after the repair of peripheral nerve injuries include age, gender, repair time, repair materials, nerve injured, defect length, and duration of follow-up, and the nerve injured is the main factor affecting the rate of good to excellent recovery.

Getting things done: How does changing the way you think about deadlines help you reach your goals?
From doing yard work to finishing up the last few classes required for a college degree, consumers struggle to get things done.

Methadone treatment suppresses testosterone in opioid addicts
The study found men using methadone, which is used for opioid addiction treatment, have significantly suppressed testosterone levels of about a quarter of the testosterone of men not using opioids.

Crohn's disease gene discovery points towards new treatments
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have identified chemical changes in the DNA of patients with Crohn's disease that could help to screen people for the disease.

New technology may identify tiny strains in body tissues before injuries occur
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have developed algorithms to identify weak spots in tendons, muscles and bones prone to tearing or breaking.

Everest expedition provides first evidence of effects of altitude on blood pressure
An expedition to Mount Everest by Italian researchers has shown for the first time that blood pressure monitored over a 24-hour period rises progressively as people climb to higher altitudes.

Lack of naturally occuring protein linked to dementia
Scientists at the University of Warwick have provided the first evidence that the lack of a naturally occurring protein is linked to early signs of dementia.

Alcoholics have an abnormal CD8 T cell response to the influenza virus
Chronic drinking is associated with an increased incidence and severity of respiratory infections.

Change in tube feeding practice improves nutrition for ICU patients, audit finds
While the importance of enteral nutrition, or feeding patients through a tube, in an intensive care unit is well understood, underfeeding is still common.

Ames test adapted successfully to screen complex aerosols
The Ames test, which is used to determine whether a chemical has the potential to cause cancer, has been adapted for use with cigarette smoke and other complex aerosols.

Fear, safety and the role of sleep in human PTSD
The effectiveness of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment may hinge significantly upon sleep quality, report researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System in a paper published today in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Why pilgrims flock to the Holy Land
'Walking Where Jesus Walked: American Christians and Holy Land Pilgrimage' (NYU Press, 2014) is the first in-depth study of the cultural and religious significance of American Holy Land pilgrimage after 1948, and the book sheds new light on a multi-billion-dollar industry that shapes how many American Christians practice their faith.

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia reports on 100 recent fetal surgeries for spina bifida
Reporting on 100 recent cases of fetal surgery for spina bifida, specialists at a premier fetal surgery program achieved results similar to those published three years previously in a landmark clinical trial that established a new standard of care for prenatal repair of this birth defect.

ASTRO selects 2 California cancer patient support organizations to receive Survivor Circle grants
The American Society for Radiation Oncology has selected two California-based cancer patient support groups, Kids Konnected and the Breast and Gyn Health Project, to receive ASTRO's 2014 Survivor Circle grants.

Sleep apnea treatment is effective for older people
Continuous positive airway pressure is effective at treating sleep apnoea in older people, a new study has found.

How do former churchgoers build a new moral identity?
As their moral perspectives change, disillusioned churchgoers find it increasingly difficult to remain associated with their church, yet many also find it difficult to leave.

New statin guidelines an improvement, Yale study shows
New national guidelines can improve the way statin drugs are prescribed to patients at risk for cardiovascular disease, a Yale University study has found.

Gifts that generate gratitude keep customers loyal
They promise us discounts, upgrades and freebies in exchange for our allegiance -- so why are shoppers failing to stay faithful to customer loyalty programs?

Same-beam VLBI Technology successfully monitors the Chang'E-3 rover's movement on the lunar surface
During the Chang'E-3 rover and lander carried out the tasks of separation and taking photos of each other, differential phase delay, which contained cycle ambiguity and was obtained by using same-beam VLBI technology, successfully monitored the rover's movement on the lunar surface.

An inconvenient truth: Does responsible consumption benefit corporations more than society?
Are environmental and social problems such as global warming and poverty the result of inadequate governmental regulations or does the burden fall on our failure as consumers to make better consumption choices?

WSU flu outbreak provides rare study material
Five years ago this month, one of the first US outbreaks of the H1N1 virus swept through the Washington State University campus, striking some 2,000 people.

Coal's continued dominance must be made more vivid in climate change accounting
The world's accounting system for carbon emissions, run by the United Nations, disregards capital investments in future coal-fired and natural-gas power plants that will commit the world to several decades and billions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study from Princeton University and the University of California-Irvine.

NASA's TRMM and Aqua satellites gaze into Hurricane Cristobal
NASA's TRMM and Aqua satellites have been providing views of the outside and inside of Hurricane Cristobal as it heads for Bermuda.

What can 14th century Venice teach us about Ebola and other emerging threats?
The way in which the Italian city of Venice dealt with the outbreak of the plague in the 14th century holds lessons on how to even mitigate the consequences of today's emerging threats, like climate change, terrorism, and highly infectious or drug-resistant diseases.

Photon speedway puts big data in the fast lane
A series of experiments conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory researchers is shedding new light on the photosynthetic process and also illustrates how light sources and supercomputing facilities can be linked via a 'photon science speedway' to address emerging challenges in massive data analysis.

Attacking a rare disease at its source with gene therapy
The two main treatments for MPS I are bone marrow transplantation and intravenous enzyme replacement therapy, but these are only marginally effective or clinically impractical, especially when the disease strikes the central nervous system.

Inaugural Dean's Award for Emerging Leaders awarded at Rotman School of Management
A psychologist and professor from Columbia Business School is the first recipient of the Dean's Award for Emerging Leaders from the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.

US has seen widespread adoption of robot-assisted cancer surgery to remove the prostate
A new study reveals that the US has experienced widespread adoption of robot-assisted prostate removal surgery to treat prostate cancer in recent years.

Patients with eating disorders have an increased risk of autoimmune diseases
Finnish researchers have observed an association between eating disorders and several autoimmune diseases with different genetic backgrounds.

Hebew SeniorLife researcher receives $4.5 million grant to test videos for advance directives
A new NIH-funded project will assess whether videos can help nursing home residents, family members and staff have the difficult but important conversations about advanced directives for care.

Surgery to repair a hip fracture reduces lifetime health care costs by more than $65,000 per patient
Each year, more than 300,000 Americans, primarily adults over age 65, sustain a hip fracture, a debilitating injury that can diminish life quality and expectancy.

Yale journal explores advances in sustainable manufacturing
A new special issue of the Yale-based Journal of Industrial Ecology explores the latest research in sustainable manufacturing and how life cycle engineering is being used to reduce environmental impact.

Breakthrough antibacterial approach could resolve serious skin infections
In several cases, scientists found an ionic liquid was more efficacious on a pathogenic biofilm than a standard bleach treatment and exhibited minimal cytotoxicity effects on human cell lines (unlike bleach).

Unprecedented detail of intact neuronal receptor offers blueprint for drug developers
Scientists succeeded in obtaining an unprecedented view of a type of brain-cell receptor that is implicated in a range of neurological illnesses, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, depression, schizophrenia, autism, and ischemic injuries associated with stroke.

Bombarded by explosive waves of information, scientists review new ways to process and analyze Big Data
Big Data presents information-bombarded society with the potential for new levels of scientific discovery, but also delivers challenges to data scientists.

Expanding the age of eligibility for measles vaccination could increase childhood survival in Africa
Expanding the age of eligibility for measles vaccination from 12 to 15 months could have potentially large effects on coverage in Africa, according to a new report published by Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Symptoms after breast cancer surgery need to be treated on an individual basis
For those affected, breast cancer is a dramatic diagnosis. Patients often have to endure chemotherapy and surgery, which, depending on the individual scenario, may mean breast conserving surgery or breast removal -- mastectomy.

New tool to probe cancer's molecular make-up
Researchers from the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute based at the University of Manchester -- part of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre -- and the Institute of Cancer Research, London, looked at protein kinases, molecules that control various aspects of cellular function.

BioOne announces 2015 title additions
BioOne welcomes five new journals to BioOne Complete, its online aggregation of independently published, subscribed and open-access titles.

Do we live in a 2-D hologram?
A unique experiment at the US Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory called the Holometer has started collecting data that will answer some mind-bending questions about our universe -- including whether we live in a hologram.

Best view yet of merging galaxies in distant universe
An international team of astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array and the Karl G.

A glucose meter of a different color provides continuous monitoring
University of Illinois engineers are bringing a touch of color to glucose monitoring.

Challenges ahead in improving child health by increasing access to sanitation in India
A study published in this week's PLOS Medicine on large-scale rural sanitation programs in India highlights challenges in achieving sufficient access to latrines and reduction in open defecation to yield significant health benefits for young children.

San Francisco Bay Area cancer survivor will be honored with ASTRO's 2014 Survivor Circle Award
The American Society for Radiation Oncology has selected San Francisco Bay Area resident and cancer survivor Jasan Zimmerman to receive the 2014 Survivor Circle Award.

Animals first flex their muscles
A new fossil discovery identifies the earliest evidence for animals with muscles.

Are consumers more likely to purchase unintentionally green products?
A Fortune 500 company is redesigning a popular product using materials that are friendlier to the environment.

Competition for graphene
Berkeley Lab reports the first experimental observation of ultrafast charge transfer in photo-excited MX2 materials, the graphene-like two-dimensional semiconductors.

Collaborative care improves depression in teens
How best to care for the many adolescents who have depression?

HIV antibodies block infection by reservoir-derived virus in laboratory study
A laboratory study led by scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, lends further weight to the potential effectiveness of passive immunotherapy to suppress HIV in the absence of drug treatment.

Collaborative care intervention improves depression among teens
Among adolescents with depression seen in primary care, a collaborative care intervention that included patient and parent engagement and education resulted in greater improvement in depressive symptoms at 12 months than usual care, according to a study in the Aug.

Composition of Earth's mantle revisited
Research published recently in Science suggested that the makeup of the Earth's lower mantle, which makes up the largest part of the Earth by volume, is significantly different than previously thought.

Chinese scientists use laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy to identify toxic cooking 'gutter oil'
Toxic 'gutter oil,' made from waste cooking oil collected primarily from restaurants and sewage channels, threatens the public's health across China.

Key to speed? Elite sprinters are unlike other athletes -- deliver forceful punch to ground
The world's fastest sprinters have a distinctive ability unlike other runners to attack the ground and attain faster speeds, according to new research from Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

And then there were 10 -- unexpected diversity in New Zealand kanuka genus Kunzea
A New Zealand botanist has completed a 15-year study of the cryptic diversity in what was thought to be a single tree species from the myrtle family, Kunzea ericoides.

Existing power plants will spew 300 billion more tons of carbon dioxide during use
Existing power plants around the world will pump out more than 300 billion tons of carbon dioxide over their expected lifetimes, significantly adding to atmospheric levels of the climate-warming gas, according to UC Irvine and Princeton University scientists.

Laser pulse turns glass into a metal
For tiny fractions of a second, quartz glass can take on metallic properties, when it is illuminated be a laser pulse.

Razor-sharp TV pictures
The future of movie, sports and concert broadcasting lies in 4K definition, which will bring cinema quality TV viewing into people's homes.

Best view yet of merging galaxies in distant universe
Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, and other telescopes, an international team of astronomers has obtained the best view yet of a collision that took place between two galaxies when the Universe was half its current age.

Study questions generalizability of findings of CV trials for heart attack patients
An analysis of a cardiovascular registry finds that of clinical trials that included heart attack patients, participation among eligible patients was infrequent and has been declining, and trial participants had a lower risk profile and a more favorable prognosis compared with the broader population of patients who have had a heart attack, according to a study in the Aug.

Sheepdogs use simple rules to herd sheep
Sheepdogs use just two simple rules to round up large herds of sheep, scientists have discovered.

Fact or fiction: Which do moviegoers prefer?
Do you feel sadder watching a documentary about war or a drama about a young person dying of cancer?

Men who are uneducated about their prostate cancer have difficulty making good treatment choices
They say knowledge is power, and a new UCLA study has shown this is definitely the case when it comes to men making the best decisions about how to treat their prostate cancer.

Prenatal alcohol exposure is associated with later excess weight/obesity during adolescence
Growth deficiency is a defining feature of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).

Nagoya Medal Award Lectures 2014
The Nagoya Medal Award is awarded every year to two organic chemists who have made significant original contributions to the field.

In sync and in control?
What if the simple act of marching in unison -- as riot police commonly do -- increases the likelihood that law enforcement will use excessive force in policing protests?

No purchase required to win? Devoted customers not so sure
Loyal customers of a company feel that they are more likely and more deserving than others to win perks from the business -- even those that are randomly given out.

Some health care workers lack gear to protect from HIV, other bloodborne infections
Health care workers in some of the world's poorest countries lack basic equipment to shield them from HIV and other bloodborne infections during surgical and other procedures, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests.

Social inequalities in salt consumption remain
People from low socioeconomic positions in Britain still eat more salt than those from higher socioeconomic positions, irrespective of where they live.

PETA at 9th World Congress to present new research on alternatives to animal use in experiments
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the PETA International Science Consortium, LTD scientists will be in Prague this week at the 9th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences presenting original research on alternatives to the use of animals in research, testing and medical training, as well as studies identifying problems with current laboratory oversight systems.

EPO: Protecting the brains of very preterm infants
Premature babies are far more at risk than infants born at term of developing brain damage resulting in neurodevelopmental delay that may persist throughout their lives.

Introducing the multi-tasking nanoparticle
Kit Lam and colleagues from UC Davis and other institutions have created dynamic nanoparticles that could provide an arsenal of applications to diagnose and treat cancer.

New scientific review investigates potential influences on recent UK winter floods
A comprehensive review of all potential factors behind the 2013-14 UK winter floods is published today in the journal Nature Climate Change.

New and updated mobile apps for NSB Science and Engineering Indicators
The National Science Board today announced the launch of Science and Engineering Indicators (SEI) for Android.

HSP90 is a potential target for ameliorating skeletal muscle abnormalities in PD
Heat shock protein (HSP90) has been suggested to be involved in neuronal protein misfolding and accumulation in Parkinson's disease (PD) brains leading to dopaminergic neuronal death and the eventual dopamine depletion.

Fiber-based satiety ingredient shown to make you eat less
Scientists from the University of Liverpool have demonstrated the effectiveness of a fiber-based dietary ingredient that makes people feel less hungry and consume less food.

Targeting estrogen receptors prevents binge eating in mice
A new study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation suggests that estrogen replacement may limit binge-eating behaviors.

Best view yet of merging galaxies in distant universe
Using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and many other telescopes, an international team of astronomers has obtained the best view yet of a collision that took place between two galaxies when the Universe was half its current age.

Young children's sipping/tasting of alcohol reflects parental modeling
A new study examines antecedent predictors of childhood initiation of sipping or tasting alcohol.

Study calls into question link between prenatal antidepressant exposure and autism risk
Previous studies that have suggested an increased risk of autism among children of women who took antidepressants during pregnancy may actually reflect the known increased risk associated with severe maternal depression.

Common European MRSA originated in Africa
The predominant strain of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infecting people in Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa derived from a single sub-Saharan ancestor, a team of international researchers reported this week in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Piglet weaning age no bar to litter frequency
University of Adelaide research has shown that piglets can be weaned later with no negative effects on sow birthing frequency.

Researchers discover fever's origin
Fever is a response to inflammation, and is triggered by an onset of the signaling substance prostaglandin.

Life in Saxony-Anhalt: More attention should be paid to the heart!
According to a recent study reported by epidemiologists Andreas und Maximilian Stang in Deutsches Ă„rzteblatt International, the risk factors for heart disease are higher in Saxony-Anhalt than in all other German states, and more persons die from heart disease in the state.

Outsourcing parenthood? It takes a village AND the marketplace to raise a child
Ask any parent raising kids in today's fast-paced society and chances are they would agree that there are only so many hours in the day.

Scientists craft atomically seamless, thinnest-possible semiconductor junctions
The University of Washington researchers have demonstrated that two single-layer semiconductor materials can be connected in an atomically seamless fashion known as a heterojunction.

Tecnalia revolutionizes hotel sector with smart bracelets
The Tecnalia applied research center has revolutionized the hotel sector with smart bracelets -- the Smart VIB (Very Important Bracelet) that enables clients access hotel rooms without the need for a card, make payments using the PayPal system, share experiences on social networks via the numerous tactile screens at their disposition, and receive completely personalized services according to taste, while at all times guaranteeing protection of information.

Baicalin suppresses iron accumulation after substantia nigra injury
Findings published in Neural Regeneration Research indicate that baicalin down-regulated iron concentration, which positively regulated divalent metal transporter 1 expression and negatively regulated ferroportin 1 expression, and decreased iron accumulation in the substantia nigra.

Collaboration aims to reduce, treat vision problems in astronauts
To reduce and better treat spaceflight-induced visual impairment, University of Houston optometrists are collaborating on a NASA study that examines ocular changes seen in astronauts.

Symphony of nanoplasmonic and optical resonators produces laser-like light emission
By combining plasmonics and optical microresonators, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created a new optical amplifier (or laser) design, paving the way for power-on-a-chip applications.

Study: Earth can sustain more terrestrial plant growth than previously thought
A new analysis suggests the planet can produce much more land-plant biomass -- the total material in leaves, stems, roots, fruits, grains and other terrestrial plant parts -- than previously thought.

Brain benefits from weight loss following bariatric surgery
Weight loss surgery can curb alterations in brain activity associated with obesity and improve cognitive function involved in planning, strategizing and organizing, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Hypertension self-management program helps reduce blood pressure for high-risk patients
Among patients with hypertension at high risk of cardiovascular disease, a program that consisted of patients measuring their blood pressure and adjusting their antihypertensive medication accordingly resulted in lower systolic blood pressure at 12 months compared to patients who received usual care, according to a study in the Aug.

A high-resolution bedrock map for the Antarctic Peninsula
A high-resolution map of antarctic bedrock allows for better estimates of ice mass. 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