Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 27, 2014
Drug represents first potential treatment for common anemia
An experimental drug designed to help regulate the blood's iron supply shows promise as a viable first treatment for anemia of inflammation, according to results from the first human study of the treatment published online today in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology.

Stop and listen: Study shows how movement affects hearing
When we want to listen carefully to someone, the first thing we do is stop talking.

Detecting neutrinos, physicists look into the heart of the sun
Using one of the most sensitive neutrino detectors on the planet, an international team of physicists including Andrea Pocar, Laura Cadonati and doctoral student Keith Otis at the University of Massachusetts Amherst report in the current issue of Nature that for the first time they have directly detected neutrinos created by the 'keystone' proton-proton fusion process going on at the sun's core.

Kessler Foundation scientists study impact of cultural diversity in brain injury research
Kessler Foundation scientists examined the implications for cultural diversity and cultural competence in brain injury research and rehabilitation.

The roots of human altruism
Apes hardly ever act selflessly without being solicited by others; humans often do.

Karina's remnants drawn into Hurricane Marie's spin
Karina finally became a remnant low pressure area after roaming around in the Eastern Pacific for two weeks.

Xenon exposure shown to erase traumatic memories
McLean Hospital researchers are reporting that xenon gas, used in humans for anesthesia and diagnostic imaging, has the potential to be a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and other memory-related disorders.

Brain networks 'hyper-connected' in young adults who had depression
Functional magnetic resonance imaging may help to better predict and understand depression in young adults.

Sciatic nerve repair using adhesive bonding and a modified conduit
Xiangdang Liang and co-workers from the General Hospital of Chinese PLA designed a special conduit for the adhesive technique and defined the best parameters for its use through in vitro testing, and then repaired nerves with cyanoacrylate and the modified conduit in an in vivo rat model.

Kessler Foundation researchers publish first study of brain activation in MS using fNIRS
Using functional near infrared spectroscopy, Kessler Foundation researchers showed differential brain activation patterns between people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and healthy controls.

Scientists map the 'editing marks' on fly, worm, human genomes
In the Aug. 28 issue of the journal Nature a multi-institution research network called modENCODE (the Model Organism ENCylopedia Of DNA Elements) published three major papers that map and compare the genomes and epigenomes of humans and two model organisms, the fly, D. melanogaster, and the worm, C. elegans, in unprecedented detail.

NIH issues finalized policy on genomic data sharing
The National Institutes of Health has issued a final NIH Genomic Data Sharing policy to promote data sharing as a way to speed the translation of data into knowledge, products and procedures that improve health while protecting the privacy of research participants.

Pilot program aims to improve cancer screening, specialty care in community health centers
Three locations will each receive $100,000 in funding to launch pilot programs to improve colorectal cancer screening rates and follow-up care for patients served by community health centers.

Pacific plate shrinking as it cools
The Pacific tectonic plate is not as rigid as scientists believe, according to new calculations by researchers at Rice University and the University of Nevada, Reno.

Center for Leadership in Disability awarded $600,000 grant
Georgia State University's Center for Leadership in Disability has received a two-year, $600,000 grant from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration to support implementation of the Autism Plan for Georgia, aimed at improving services for children and youth with autism spectrum disorder.

Encyclopedia of how genomes function gets much bigger
A big step in understanding the mysteries of the human genome was unveiled today in the form of three analyses that provide the most detailed comparison yet of how the genomes of the fruit fly, roundworm, and human function.

Expression of privilege in vaccine refusal
Not all students returning to school this month will be up to date on their vaccinations.

Protected areas proven to protect biodiversity
Protected areas conserve biodiversity and more action is needed to ensure safeguards are in place to protect these areas, researchers say.

Marijuana compound may offer treatment for Alzheimer's disease
Extremely low levels of the compound in marijuana known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, may slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer's disease, a recent study from neuroscientists at the University of South Florida shows.

Southwest may face 'megadrought' this century
Due to global warming, scientists say, the chances of the southwestern United States experiencing a decade long drought is at least 50 percent, and the chances of a 'megadrought' -- one that lasts over 30 years -- ranges from 20 to 50 percent over the next century.

'Junk' blood tests may offer life-saving information
Thirty percent of all positive hospital blood culture samples are discarded every day because they reflect the presence of skin germs instead of specific disease-causing bacteria.

Gamblers are greedy bird-brains, University of Warwick research finds
Gamblers show the same tendencies as pigeons when they make risky decisions, new research has shown.

Soda tax for adolescents and exercise for children best strategies for reducing obesity
Childhood obesity in the United States remains high. A tax on sugar-sweetened beverages such as sodas, energy drinks, sweet teas, and sports drinks would reduce obesity in adolescents more than other policies, such as exercise or an advertising ban, and would also generate significant revenue for additional obesity prevention activities, say researchers writing in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Research geared to keep women from fleeing IT profession
Employers have been trying for years to reverse the exodus of women from IT positions.

Microtechnologies for driving forward mobility and human health
CIC microGUNE, the Co-operative Research Centre into Microtechnologies, is coordinating the microSCALE project which seeks to generate innovative solutions based on microtechnologies to tackle the problems of the mobility industry and life sciences, among others.

Researchers discover why Listeria bacterium is so hard to fight
The harmful and potentially deadly bacterium Listeria is extremely good at adapting to changes.

Wolves susceptible to yawn contagion
Wolves may be susceptible to yawn contagion, according to a study published Aug.

Better classification to improve treatments for breast cancer
Breast cancer can be classified into ten different subtypes, and scientists have developed a tool to identify which is which.

Better health care as important as controlling risk factors for heart health
Keeping a healthy heart may have as much to do with the quality of health care you have available as it does you avoiding risk factors such as smoking, bad diet and little exercise.

Water 'thermostat' could help engineer drought-resistant crops
Researchers have identified a gene that could help engineer drought-resistant crops.

Scientists looking across human, fly and worm genomes find shared biology
Researchers analyzing human, fly, and worm genomes have found that these species have a number of key genomic processes in common, reflecting their shared ancestry.

Happy Camp and July Fire Complexes in California
As of seven hours ago the Happy Camp Complex of fires had consumed 24,939 acres of land in Northern California, the July complex had consumed 35,530 as of eight hours ago.

Flexing the brain: Why learning tasks can be difficult
Learning a new skill is easier when it is related to an ability we already have.

MU researchers develop more accurate Twitter analysis tools
'Trending' topics on Twitter show the quantity of tweets associated with a specific event but trends only show the highest volume keywords and hashtags, and may not give information about the tweets themselves.

West coast log exports up, lumber exports down in second quarter of 2014
Log exports from Washington, Oregon, northern California, and Alaska totaled 515 million board feet in volume in the second quarter of 2014, an increase of more than 10 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014, the US Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station reported today.

Group identity emphasized more by those who just make the cut
People and institutions who are marginal members of a high-status or well-esteemed group tend to emphasize their group membership more than those who are squarely entrenched members of the group, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

The high cost of hot flashes: Millions in lost wages preventable
The steep decline in the use of hormone therapy has spawned a prevalent but preventable side effect: millions of women suffering in silence with hot flashes, according to a study by a Yale School of Medicine researcher and colleagues.

Gang life brings deep health risks for girls
Being involved in a gang poses considerable health-related risks for adolescent African American girls, including more casual sex partners and substance abuse combined with less testing for HIV and less knowledge about preventing sexually transmitted diseases, according to a new study.

A touching story: The ancient conversation between plants, fungi and bacteria
The mechanical force that a single fungal cell or bacterial colony exerts on a plant cell may seem vanishingly small, but it plays a heavy role in setting up some of the most fundamental symbiotic relationships in biology.

Dosage of HIV drug may be ineffective for half of African-Americans
Many African-Americans may not be getting effective doses of the HIV drug maraviroc.

Parents, listen next time your baby babbles
Parents who try to understand their baby's babbling let their infants know they can communicate, which leads to children forming complex sounds and using language more quickly.

Rubber meets the road with new ORNL carbon, battery technologies
Recycled tires could see new life in lithium-ion batteries.

IU study: Social class makes a difference in how children tackle classroom problems
An Indiana University study has found that social class can account for differences in how parents coach their children to manage classroom challenges.

Promising new cancer therapy uses molecular 'Trash Man' to exploit a common cancer defense
While many scientists are trying to prevent the onset of a cancer defense mechanism known as autophagy, researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center are leveraging it in a new therapy that causes the process to culminate in cell death rather than survival.

How to prevent organic food fraud
A growing number of consumers are willing to pay a premium for fruits, vegetables and other foods labelled 'organic,' but whether they're getting what the label claims is another matter.

The thunder god vine, assisted by nanotechnology, could shake up future cancer treatment
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the second leading cause of cancer-associated death worldwide.

Orphaned children can do just as well in institutions
The removal of institutions or group homes will not lead to better child well-being and could even worsen outcomes for some orphaned and separated children, according to new findings from a three-year study across five low- and middle-income countries.

Potential therapy for incurable Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
Researchers discover a new treatment approach for this hereditary neurological disorder.

Vasopressin decreases neuronal apoptosis during cardiopulmonary resuscitation
According to a recent study reported in Neural Regeneration Research, Chinese scholars found that vasopressin alone or the vasopressin and epinephrine combination suppress the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase and c-Jun N-terminal kinase signaling pathways and reduce neuronal apoptosis during cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which is of great significance for improving the successful rate of cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

NASA telescopes uncover early construction of giant galaxy
Astronomers have for the first time caught a glimpse of the earliest stages of massive galaxy construction.

Protein in 'good cholesterol' may be a key to treating pulmonary hypertension
A new study at UCLA demonstrates that oxidized lipids may contribute to pulmonary hypertension.

Pitt and Carnegie Mellon engineers discover why learning can be difficult
Learning a new skill is easier when it is related to ability that we already possess.

Taking aim at added sugars to improve Americans' health
Now that health advocates' campaigns against trans-fats have largely succeeded in sidelining the use of the additive, they're taking aim at sugar for its potential contributions to Americans' health conditions.

Walking fish reveal how our ancestors evolved onto land
About 400 million years ago a group of fish began exploring land and evolved into tetrapods -- today's amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

Bundled approach to reduce surgical site infections in colorectal surgery
A multidisciplinary program (called a 'bundle') that spanned the phases of perioperative care helped reduce surgical site infections in patients undergoing colorectal surgery at an academic medical center.

New smartphone app can detect newborn jaundice in minutes
University of Washington engineers and physicians have developed a smartphone application that checks for jaundice in newborns and can deliver results to parents and pediatricians within minutes.

Witnessing the early growth of a giant
Astronomers have uncovered for the first time the earliest stages of a massive galaxy forming in the young Universe.

Malaria symptoms fade on repeat infections due to loss of immune cells, UCSF-led team says
Children who repeatedly become infected with malaria often experience no clinical symptoms with these subsequent infections, and a team led by UC San Francisco researchers has discovered that this might be due at least in part to a depletion of specific types of immune cells.

Stone-tipped spears more damaging than sharpened wooden spears
Experimental comparison may show that stone-tipped spears do not penetrate as deep, but may still cause more damage, than sharpened wooden spears.

Scientists plug into a learning brain
Scientists explored the brain's capacity to learn and found learning is easier when it only requires nerve cells to rearrange existing patterns of activity than when the nerve cells have to generate new patterns.

Self-deceived individuals deceive others better
Over-confident people can fool others into believing they are more talented than they actually are, a study has found.

Serotonin transporter is a mifepristone pharmacological target
Results show that mifepristone attenuates serotonin transporter activity by directly inhibiting the serotonin transporter, and suggests that the serotonin transporter is a pharmacological target of mifepristone for the treatment of psychotic depression.

Breaking benzene
In research published in Nature, Zhaomin Hou and colleagues from the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science in Japan have demonstrated a way to use a metallic complex, trinuclear titanium hydride, to accomplish the task of activating benzene by breaking the aromatic carbon-carbon bonds at relatively mild temperatures and in a highly selective way.

Bronze Age wine cellar found
A Bronze Age palace excavation reveals an ancient wine cellar, according to a study published Aug.

Penn paleontologists describe a possible dinosaur nest and young 'babysitter'
A new examination of a rock slab containing fossils of 24 very young dinosaurs and one older individual is suggestive of a group of hatchlings overseen by a caretaker, according to a new study by University of Pennsylvania researchers.

University of Utah biologist wins Turkey's top science prize
University of Utah biologist Çagan Sekercioglu, who campaigns to save wetlands in his native Turkey, has won that nation's highest science prize, which is similar to the US National Medal of Science.

Tracking spending among the commercially insured
Recent growth in health care spending for commercially insured individuals is due primarily to increases in prices for medical services, rather than increased use, according to a new study led by researchers at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, published in the American Journal of Managed Care.

Neuroscientists reverse memories' emotional associations
A new study from MIT neuroscientists reveals the brain circuit that controls how memories become linked with positive or negative emotions.

No cookie-cutter divorces, so what info should online co-parenting classes offer?
Required online classes for divorcing couples who have children are good at teaching parents how to deal with children's needs and responses to their family's new situation.

NASA sees massive Marie close enough to affect southern California coast
Two NASA satellites captured visible and infrared pictures that show the massive size of Hurricane Marie.

Scientist uncovers red planet's climate history in unique meteorite
Was Mars -- now a cold, dry place -- once a warm, wet planet that sustained life?

Lifetime of fitness: A fountain of youth for bone and joint health?
Being physically active may significantly improve musculoskeletal and overall health, and minimize or delay the effects of aging.

New study charts the global invasion of crop pests
Many of the world's most important crop-producing countries will be fully saturated with pests by the middle of the century if current trends continue, according to a new study led by the University of Exeter.

AGU: Yellowstone supereruption would send ash across North America
In the unlikely event of a volcanic supereruption at Yellowstone National Park, the northern Rocky Mountains would be blanketed in meters of ash, and millimeters would be deposited as far away as New York City, Los Angeles and Miami, according to a new study.

Educated consumers more likely to use potentially unreliable online healthcare information
Consumers are increasingly turning to forums, video-sharing sites, and peer support groups to gather anecdotal health-care information and advice, which may distract them from more reliable and trustworthy sources.

Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center awarded $18 million grant
Outstanding basic research, a growing focus on translating discoveries into treatments, and a dedication to patient care have earned the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center of Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital an $18 million, five-year Cancer Center Support Grant from the National Cancer Institute.

Stone-tipped spears lethal, may indicate early cognitive and social skills
Attaching a stone tip on to a wooden spear shaft was a significant innovation for early modern humans living around 500,000 years ago.

NASA's TRMM satellite sees powerful towering storms in Cristobal
NASA's TRMM satellite identified areas of heavy rainfall occurring in Hurricane Cristobal as it continued strengthening on approach to Bermuda.

New study throws into question long-held belief about depression
New evidence puts into doubt the long-standing belief that a deficiency in serotonin -- a chemical messenger in the brain -- plays a central role in depression.

The Lancet journals: Three-quarters of depressed cancer patients do not receive treatment for depression but a new approach could transform their care
Three papers published in The Lancet Psychiatry, The Lancet, and The Lancet Oncology reveal that around three-quarters of cancer patients who have major depression are not currently receiving treatment for depression, and that a new integrated treatment programme is strikingly more effective at reducing depression and improving quality of life than current care.

Scripps Research Institute scientists link alcohol-dependence gene to neurotransmitter
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have solved the mystery of why a specific signaling pathway can be associated with alcohol dependence.

Photodynamic therapy vs. cryotherapy for actinic keratoses
Photodynamic therapy (PDT, which uses topical agents and light to kill tissue) appears to better clear actinic keratoses (AKs, a common skin lesion caused by sun damage) at three months after treatment than cryotherapy (which uses liquid nitrogen to freeze lesions).

NASA begins hurricane mission with Global Hawk flight to Cristobal
The first of two unmanned Global Hawk aircraft landed at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia, on Aug.

Dartmouth isolates environmental influences in genome-wide association studies
Model allows researcher to remove false positive findings that plague modern research when many dozens of factors and their interactions are suggested to play a role in causing complex diseases.

Snowfall in a warmer world
A study finds big snowstorms will still occur in the Northern Hemisphere following global warming.

APOE, diagnostic accuracy of CSF biomarkers for Alzheimer disease
Cerebral spinal fluid levels of β-amyloid 42(Aβ42) are associated with the diagnosis of Alzheimer disease and (Aβ) accumulation in the brain independent of apolipoprotein E gene makeup.

Big data approach identifies Europe's most dangerous human and domestic animal pathogens
The pathogens posing the greatest risk to Europe based upon a proxy for impact have been identified by University of Liverpool researchers using a 'big data' approach to scientific research.

NOAA's Marine Debris Program reports on the national issue of derelict fishing traps
Thousands of fishing traps are lost or abandoned each year in US waters.

Nanodiamonds are forever
A new study focuses on the character and distribution of nanodiamonds across 50 million square kilometers of the Northern Hemisphere.

Experiments explain why some liquids are 'fragile' and others are 'strong'
Only recently has it become possible to accurately 'see' the structure of a liquid.

Stanford researchers work to understand gene expression across organisms
Fruit flies and roundworms have long been used as model organisms to learn more about human biology and disease.

EuropeanPioneers: 4.5 million Euros of EU funds for startups
Over the next two years, the EU funding program 'EuropeanPioneers' will support 25 startups and SMEs in the European Union with a total of 4.5 million Euros.

Evolution used similar molecular toolkits to shape flies, worms, and humans
Although separated by hundreds of millions of years of evolution, flies, worms, and humans share ancient patterns of gene expression, according to a massive Yale-led analysis of genomic data.

CWRU astronomers win time on Hubble to study galaxy formation
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University and Youngstown State University will use the Hubble Space Telescope to take a close look at the outskirts of the spiral galaxy M101 and test current understanding of galaxy formation.

Researchers switch emotion linked to memory
Researchers from the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics revealed the brain pathway that links external events to the internal emotional state, forming one memory by engaging different brain areas.

Global warming pioneer calls for CO2 to be taken from atmosphere and stored underground
Wally Broeker, the first person to alert the world to Global Warming, has called for atmospheric CO2 to be captured and stored underground.

Worms, flies and humans... Our common genomic legacy, key to understanding cell biology
CRG researchers contribute to a project that pointed out key sets of co-expressed genes that may be fundamental for animal cells.

Museum specimens, modern cities show how an insect pest will respond to climate change
Researchers from North Carolina State University have found that century-old museum specimens hold clues to how global climate change will affect a common insect pest that can weaken and kill trees -- and the news is not good.

More wolf spiders feasting on American toads due to invasive grass, UGA study shows
An invasive grass species frequently found in forests has created a thriving habitat for wolf spiders, who then feed on American toads, a new University of Georgia study has found.

Neuroscientists watch imagination happening in the brain
By showing people their own photos during MRI sessions, neuroscientists distinguished between brain activity that is specific to memory and activity that is specific to imagination.

Veld Fires in South Africa
South Africa is entering what is described by the Volunteer Wildfire Services of South Africa as 'Cape Fire Season.' The Eastern Cape provincial government warned residents in certain parts of the province on Monday of strong winds and veld fires.

Potential therapy for the Sudan strain of Ebola could help contain some future outbreaks
Ebola is a rare, but deadly disease that exists as five strains, none of which have approved therapies.

DTU researchers film protein quake for the first time
One of nature's mysteries is how plants survive impact by the huge amounts of energy contained in the sun's rays, while using this energy for photosynthesis.

Orion rocks! Pebble-size particles may jump-start planet formation
Astronomers using the National Science Foundation's Green Bank Telescope have discovered that filaments of star-forming gas near the Orion Nebula may be brimming with pebble-size particles -- planetary building blocks 100 to 1,000 times larger than the dust grains typically found around protostars.

Researchers investigating new treatment for multiple sclerosis
A new treatment under investigation for multiple sclerosis is safe and tolerable in phase 1 clinical trials, according to a study published Aug.

A prescription for better stroke care
Stroke patients are 70 percent more likely to continue taking their stroke prevention medications one year later if they have a prescription in hand when discharged -- according to researchers at St.

Preclinical development of tumor therapeutic agent starts
There is an urgent need for medical agents to treat metastatic tumors.

Novel 'butterfly' molecule could build new sensors, photoenergy conversion devices
Exciting new work by a Florida State University research team has led to a novel molecular system that can take your temperature, emit white light, and convert photon energy directly to mechanical motions.

Junk food makes rats lose appetite for balanced diet
A diet of junk food not only makes rats fat, but also reduces their appetite for novel foods, a preference that normally drives them to seek a balanced diet, reports a study published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology.

Fighting prostate cancer with a tomato-rich diet
Men who eat over 10 portions a week of tomatoes have an 18 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer, new research suggests.

What lit up the universe?
New research from UCL shows we will soon uncover the origin of the ultraviolet light that bathes the cosmos, helping scientists understand how galaxies were built.

Researchers change the emotional association of memories
By manipulating neural circuits in the brain of mice, scientists have altered the emotional associations of specific memories.

Measurement at Big Bang conditions confirms lithium problem
The field of astrophysics has a stubborn problem and it's called lithium.

Participants of cardiac clinic trials do not represent real world patients, study finds
A new analysis of clinical trial participation in the largest ongoing observational study of US heart attack patients has found participants are not representative of the larger patient base, according to a study led by Women's College Hospital cardiologist Dr.

New drug promises relief for inflammatory pain, Stanford scientists say
Researchers have discovered that a compound they developed could potentially serve as a painkiller, with particular utility for East Asians with an alcohol-metabolizing enzyme mutation.

Leading scientists call for a stop to non-essential use of fluorochemicals
A number of leading international researchers, amongst others from the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, recommend that fluorochemicals are only used where they are absolutely essential, until better methods exist to measure the chemicals and more is known about their potentially harmful effects. 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