Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 03, 2014
International lifetime achievement award for Monash scientist and dean
The International Pharmaceutical Federation has honored a prominent Monash scientist and dean for his outstanding contribution to pharmaceutical sciences.

Tweets during 2013 Colorado floods gave engineers valuable data on infrastructure damage
Tweets sent during last year's massive flooding on Colorado's Front Range were able to detail the scope of damage to the area's infrastructure, according to a study by the University of Colorado Boulder.

Trouble starting a task? Perception of time may be the problem, study finds
Completing tasks and crossing them off the ubiquitous 'to-do' list is a great feeling.

Forming consensus in social networks
To understand the process through which we operate as a group, and to explain why we do what we do, researchers have developed a novel computational model and the corresponding conditions for reaching consensus in a wide range of situations.

UCLA-led study identifies genetic factors involved in pediatric ulcerative colitis
UCLA researchers were part of a team that has discovered the interplay of several genetic factors that may be involved in the development of early-onset ulcerative colitis, a severe type of inflammatory bowel disease.

Students report greater learning gains in traditional science courses
Students taking traditional, in-class science courses reported higher perceived learning gains than students enrolled in online distance education science courses.

CNIO experts discover the genomic origin of telomere protectors
A study led by Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas researchers has discovered that telomeric repeat-containing RNA do not originate in all telomeres that protect the 20 murine chromosomes, but do exclusively in chromosome 18 and, to a lesser extent, in chromosome 9.

Penn study: Sepsis patients fare better in hospitals with higher case volumes
Patients with sepsis, one of the most time-sensitive and hard-to-detect illnesses in medicine, are more likely to survive the life-threatening condition when treated at a hospital that sees a higher volume of sepsis cases, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine published online in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

NASA's HS3 hurricane mission and Terra satellite take on Tropical Storm Dolly
NASA has Tropical Storm Dolly covered by satellite and the remotely piloted Global Hawk aircraft.

On the way to a safe and secure Smart Home
A growing number of household operations can be managed via the Internet.

Research finds crowdsourcing is vulnerable to malicious behavior
New research has found that malicious behavior is the norm in crowdsourcing competitions -- even when it is in everyone's interest to cooperate.

Obsessive compulsive disorder diagnosis linked to higher rates of schizophrenia
A diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder appears to be associated with higher rates of schizophrenia and schizophrenia spectrum disorders.

Why HIV patients develop dementia
Researchers from Bochum have successfully demonstrated that infected cells activate specific immune cells in HIV patients' brains, which subsequently display harmful behavior and lead to the destruction of neurons.

Climate change science aided by huge but 'invisible' efforts of amateurs
Hundreds of thousands of volunteer data collectors are due for some thanks from scientists, according to a new PLOS ONE paper that reveals the role of citizen science in studies of birds and climate change.

NJIT to host US Department of Energy Quadrennial Energy Review public meeting on Sept. 8
New Jersey Institute of Technology will host a public meeting on Monday, Sept.

New deep sea mushroom-shaped organisms discovered
The new organisms are multicellular and mostly non-symmetrical, with a dense layer of gelatinous material between the outer skin cell and inner stomach cell layers.

Is a gluten-free diet enough to control the complications of celiac disease?
A detailed discussion of the metabolic disorders and functional abnormalities that can develop, and nutritional treatments for these is presented in a Review article published in Journal of Medicinal Food, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

Exposure of pregnant women to certain phenols may disrupt the growth of boys
A research consortium bringing together teams from Inserm, the Nancy and Poitiers University Hospitals, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and coordinated by the Inserm and University of Grenoble Environmental Epidemiology team, has just published an epidemiological study indicating that exposure to certain phenols during pregnancy, especially parabens and triclosan, may disrupt growth of boys during fetal growth and the first years of life.

Study links healthy sleep duration to less sick time from work
New research suggests that sleeping 7 to 8 hours per night is associated with the lowest risk of absence from work due to sickness.

Researchers unlock new mechanism in pain management
Neuroscientist Gerald Zamponi, Ph.D., and his team at the University of Calgary's Hotchkiss Brain Institute have discovered a new mechanism that can reverse chronic pain.

Are rising health care costs inevitable?
If continuing increases in health care costs are inevitable, as some economists predict, is it possible for health care delivery reform to succeed in reducing the overall burden of health care expenditures on the US economy?

Pesticide risk assessments seen as biased
The Environmental Protection Agency's pesticide toxicity assessments often rely heavily on industry-funded studies and may omit research that could lead to different findings.

Team develops new, inexpensive method for understanding earthquake topography
Using high-resolution topography models not available in the past, geologists can greatly enrich their research.

Around 1 in 10 UK women has dry eye disease, requiring artificial tears
Around one in 10 women in the UK has dry eye disease, requiring artificial tears or gel to lubricate the eyes and protect them from damage, reveals the first UK research of its kind published online in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

How much gravity is enough?
Keeping upright in a low-gravity environment is not easy, and NASA documents abound with examples of astronauts falling on the lunar surface.

Transplanted stem cells help prevent bladder fibrosis after spinal cord injury
Spinal cord injury can cause severe lower urinary tract dysfunction and conditions such as overactive bladder, urinary retention and increased bladder thickness and fibrosis.

Curb sitting time to protect aging DNA and possibly extend lifespan
Curbing the amount of time spent sitting down might help to protect aging DNA and therefore possibly extend the lifespan, suggests a small study published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Survey: Number of Texans without health insurance drops under Affordable Care Act
The percentage of Texans without health insurance dropped after the first enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act, according to a report released today by the Episcopal Health Foundation and Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Galapagos invasion is global warning
A new study led by a Ph.D. researcher at The University of Western Australia has revealed that parts of the iconic Galapagos Islands have been overrun by invasive plants from other parts of the world.

Airlock-like transport protein structure discovered
New work has for the first time elucidated the atomic structures of the bacterial prototype of the sugar transporters in plants and humans.

UTHealth researchers gain insights into severe form of dwarfism
A better understanding of the pathology of a severe form of dwarfism as well as a possible window of treatment have been discovered by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Hawaii scientist maps, names Laniakea, our home supercluster of galaxies
An international team of astronomers has defined the contours of the immense supercluster of galaxies containing our own Milky Way.

Ship ahoy! Fraunhofer displays innovations at SMM
Seven Fraunhofer Institutes will be presenting their latest developments in seafaring and navigation at the SMM Convention in Hamburg from Sept.

Simulations for better transparent oxide layers
Touchscreens and solar cells rely on special oxide layers. However, errors in the layers' atomic structure impair not only their transparency, but also their conductivity.

Study finds 'family meal' ideal is stressful, impossible for many families
Magazines, television and other popular media increasingly urge families to return to the kitchen, stressing the importance of home-cooked meals and family dinners to physical health and family well-being.

Unplanned births out-of-hospital increases risk of infant mortality
New research reveals that unplanned births out-of-hospital in Norway are associated with higher infant mortality.

Live from inside a battery
Lithium-ion batteries are seen as a solution for energy storage of the future and have become indispensable, especially in electromobility.

Innovative algorithm spots interactions lethal to cancer
An ideal anti-cancer treatment -- one that's immediately lethal to cancer cells, harmless to healthy cells, and resistant to cancer's relapse -- is still a dream.

Fingerprints for freight items
Security is a top priority in air freight logistics but screening procedures can be very time consuming and costly.

Ethanol fireplaces: The underestimated risk
Ethanol fireplaces are becoming more and more popular. However, they are not only highly combustible -- in the past, severe accents have occurred repeatedly with decorative fireplaces.

A 'clear' choice for clearing 3-D cell cultures
Scientists have hailed recent demonstrations of chemical technologies for making animal tissues see-through, but a new study is the first to evaluate three such technologies side-by-side for use with engineered 3-D tissue cultures.

Elsevier announces the launch of open access journal: Analytical Chemistry Research
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and solutions, is pleased to announce the launch of open access journal: Analytical Chemistry Research.

Rising risk of failed seasons as climate change puts pressure on Africa's farmers
Small-scale farmers across Africa risk being overwhelmed by the pace and severity of climate change, according to the 2014 African Agriculture Status Report.

The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Global epidemic of diabetes threatens to jeopardise further progress in tuberculosis control
The rapid increase in rates of type 2 diabetes in low- and middle-income countries where tuberculosis (TB) is endemic could hamper global efforts to control and eliminate TB, according to a new three-part Series about TB and diabetes, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Longitudinal study explores white matter damage, cognition after traumatic axonal injury
Traumatic Axonal Injury is a form of traumatic brain injury that can have detrimental effects on the integrity of the brain's white matter and lead to cognitive impairments.

Cosmic forecast: Dark clouds will give way to sunshine
Lupus 4, a spider-shaped blob of gas and dust, blots out background stars like a dark cloud on a moonless night in this intriguing new image.

IU researchers isolate process that damages lungs of donors with traumatic brain injury
Indiana University School of Medicine researchers have identified a therapeutic target for traumatic brain injury-induced lung impairment, which severely affects lung transplantation.

Is type 2 diabetes 'diabetes' as currently understood?
The current way of diagnosing type 2 diabetes using blood glucose levels needs to be revised, research by scientists from The University of Manchester and King's College London suggests.

So... do you know what is in your water?
Andrea Dietrich and Amanda Sain of Virginia Tech's Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering estimated that 50 percent of the population taste threshold for manganese II in water, the simplest ionic manganese oxide, to be more than 1,000 times the current EPA allowable level.

Wind energy cuts the electricity bill
The promoting of renewable energy is at the heart of the current debate on energy policy.

Story from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Sept. 2014
1) Precision projectile tracker. 2) Microscopic needles to imprint the patient's corneal tissue.

Study sets guideline for determining effectiveness of college football training methods
Athletic performance varies from day to day, which can make it difficult for strength and conditioning professionals to judge whether athletes' improvements are due to effective training.

UNH survey: Milk prices top concern of Northeastern organic dairy farmers
Northeastern organic dairy farms say their top concern is receiving steady, fair prices for their milk from milk processors, according to a new survey that is the first to assess the research and educational needs of organic dairy farmers in the region.

Genetic 'hotspot' linked to endometrial cancer aggressiveness
Scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston have identified genetic mutations in endometrioid endometrial carcinoma, the most common form of this cancer of the uterine lining.

Leaky gut -- A source of non-AIDS complications in HIV-positive patients
Human immunodeficiency virus infection is no longer a fatal condition, thanks to newer medications inhibiting the retrovirus, but a phenomenon has surfaced among these patients -- non-AIDS complications.

Breakthrough for carbon nanotube solar cells
Northwestern University professor Mark Hersam and collaborators have developed a carbon nanotube solar cell that is twice as efficient as its predecessors.

Airline pilots, cabin crews have higher incidence of melanoma
Airline pilots and cabin crews appear to have twice the incidence of melanoma as the general population.

Widely used depression drug associated with dental implant failure
IADR/AADR have published a paper titled 'SSRIs and the Risk of Osseointegrated Implant Failure - A Cohort Study.' Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, the most widely used drugs for the treatment of depression, have been reported to reduce bone formation and increase the risk of bone fracture.

Seizures and sudden death: When SUMO 'wrestles' potassium channels
A gene crucial for brain and heart development may also be associated with sudden unexplained death in epilepsy, the most common cause of early mortality in epilepsy patients.

Nature or nurture? It's all about the message
A Michigan State University study suggests that simply telling people that hard work is more important than genetics causes positive changes in the brain and may make them willing to try harder.

LSU Health New Orleans awarded grant to provide early data on cancer in kids
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health's Louisiana Tumor Registry a $1.3 million grant over five years to more rapidly find and report cases of cancer in children and young adults.

A fix to our cell-phone waste problem?
When it comes to cell phones, the world is stunningly wasteful.

You may have to watch what your fruits and veggies eat
A new article in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology reveals it might be possible to have an allergic reaction to antibiotic residues in food.

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual men and women in England report poorer health and experiences of health care
A survey of over two million people has found that lesbian, gay, and bisexual men and women in England are more likely to report poor health and unfavorable experiences of the National Health Service than their heterosexual counterparts.

Pioneer Award recipients Robin Ali, Ph.D., Jean Bennett, M.D., Ph.D., and William Hauswirth, Ph.D.
Robin Ali, Ph.D., University College London, Jean Bennett, M.D., Ph.D., Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and William Hauswirth, Ph.D., University of Florida College of Medicine, are co-recipients of the Pioneer Award, recognized for their leadership and contributions to the field of gene therapy to treat retinal degeneration leading to blindness.

Study shows cellular RNA can template DNA repair in yeast
Scientists have shown that RNA produced within cells of a common budding yeast can serve as a template for repairing the most devastating DNA damage -- a break in both strands of a DNA helix.

Peptoid nanosheets at the oil-water interface
Researchers at Berkeley Lab's Molecular Foundry have developed peptoid nanosheets that form at the interface between oil and water, opening the door to increased structural complexity and chemical functionality for a broad range of applications.

Natura 2000 could do a great deal more for nature protection
Overall, Europe's nature conservation areas are having a positive effect on maintaining biodiversity, but are not working for all species.

AIBS analysis of peer review offers insights into research productivity
In a paper published today in the journal PLOS ONE, investigators with the American Institute of Biological Sciences report findings from an analysis of the research output from a series of biomedical research grants funded after undergoing a scientific peer review process.

Sequencing of 5 African fishes reveals diverse molecular mechanisms underlying evolution
In an effort to understand the molecular basis of adaptation in vertebrates, researchers sequenced the genomes and transcriptomes of five species of African cichlid fishes.

Study finds wide gap in compensation from '07 South Korean oil spill
UT Dallas' Dr. Dohyeong Kim, second-year doctoral student Soojin Min and two Korean scholars have found a considerable gap between the economic loss claimed by residents and the compensation they received after the Hebei Spirit oil spill.

Researchers discover new clues to determining the solar cycle
Approximately every 11 years, the sun undergoes a complete personality change from quiet and calm to violently active.

Greater safety and security at Europe's train stations
When a suspicious individual fleas on a bus or by train, then things usually get tough for the police.

Newly identified galactic supercluster is home to the Milky Way
Astronomers using the Green Bank Telescope -- among other telescopes -- have determined that our own Milky Way galaxy is part of a newly identified ginormous supercluster of galaxies, which they have dubbed 'Laniakea,' which means 'immense heaven' in Hawaiian.

40 percent of women with severe mental illness are victims of rape or attempted rape
Women with severe mental illness are up to five times more likely than the general population to be victims of sexual assault and two to three times more likely to suffer domestic violence, reveals new research led by UCL and King's College London funded by the Medical Research Council and the Big Lottery.

E-cigarettes may promote illicit drug use and addiction
Like conventional cigarettes, e-cigarettes may function as a 'gateway drug' -- a drug that lowers the threshold for addiction to other substances, such as marijuana and cocaine -- according to the 120th Shattuck lecture, presented to the Massachusetts Medical Society by Columbia researchers Denise and Eric Kandel and published today in the online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

InSilico Medicine to present GeroScopeTM at the FEBS-EMBO 2014 Conference
InSilico Medicine's Director of Aging Research, Alexander Aliper, is able to present the company's new technology and platform, GeroScopeTM.

NIH-led scientists discover HIV antibody that binds to novel target on virus
An NIH-led team of scientists has discovered a new vulnerability in the armor of HIV that a vaccine, other preventive regimen or treatment could exploit.

Breast vs. bottle feeding in rhesus monkeys
Infant rhesus monkeys receiving different diets early in life develop distinct immune systems that persist months after weaning, a study by researchers University of California Davis, the California National Primate Research Center at University of California Davis and University of California San Francisco have shown.

'Drink responsibly' messages in alcohol ads promote products, not public health
Alcohol industry magazine ads reminding consumers to 'drink responsibly' or 'enjoy in moderation' fail to convey basic public health information, according to a new study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Could a protein be linked to heart attacks?
A team of researchers at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, led by Dr.

Carbon stored in the world's soils more vulnerable to climate change than expected
The response of soil microbial communities to changes in temperature increases the potential for more carbon dioxide to be released from the world's soils as global temperatures rise, scientists have revealed.

Scientists discover how to 'switch off' autoimmune diseases
Scientists have made an important breakthrough in the fight against debilitating autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis by revealing how to stop cells attacking healthy body tissue.

Lesbian, gay and bisexual populations in England report poorer health
Lesbian, gay and bisexual women and men in England are more likely to suffer from poor health than the general population, according to a new study conducted by the RAND Corporation, the University of Cambridge and Boston Children's Hospital.

$8.2 million grant to support Binghamton University's alcohol research efforts
The National Institutes of Health has awarded a five-year grant in the amount of $8.2 million to the SUNY Research Foundation in support of the Developmental Exposure Alcohol Research Center, an alcohol research center led by Binghamton University.

For kids with both asthma and obesity, which came first?
A new article in the September issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, examines the premise that obesity contributes to childhood asthma -- rather than the other way around.

Enjoying the possibility of defeat
Winning isn't everything, and in fact can even be a bit boring.

Tree frogs speed up their life cycle when becoming lunch
Think again if you've always believed that events in the life cycle of animals happen consistently, almost rigidly, as part of the natural rhythm of nature.

Lowering coal-fired power plant emissions may have saved 1,700 lives in 1 year
After scoring a Supreme Court victory this spring, the Environmental Protection Agency can move forward with its strategy to cut air pollution from coal-fired power plants in several states -- and new research suggests the impact could be lifesaving.

Penn study demonstrates wearable sensors to detect firearm use
A new study from the University of Pennsylvania demonstrates that wearable sensors could one day transform the correctional system by tracking gun use by community-based offenders, who account for a disproportionate share of fatal and non-fatal shootings.

New paper calls for more infection control surveillance, standardization in the emergency department
When researchers searched the literature to determine adherence rates for various infection prevention protocols in the emergency department (ED), they discovered both a dearth of studies reporting ED practices and a lack of standardization that rendered some studies incomparable, according to a literature review published in the September issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Norbert affecting Mexico's west coast
Tropical Storm Norbert has now triggered Tropical Storm Warnings for Mexico's West Coast, and NASA's Terra satellite showed how close it is to land.

Brown marmorated stink bug biology and management options described in open-access article
A new, open-access article in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management describes available management options for the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys), as well as information about its origin and spread, its pest status in other invaded regions, descriptions of its life stages and biology, its chemical ecology, and the types of damage it does to various host plants.

Central biobank for drug research
For the development of new drugs it is crucial to work with stem cells, as these allow scientists to study the effects of new active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Can sleep loss affect your brain size?
Sleep difficulties may be linked to faster rates of decline in brain volume, according to a study published in the Sept.

Spanish scientist obtains international award for 3-D video of a journey to the interior of a cicada
A researcher from the University of Granada has obtained an award at the 'Bruker micro-CT user meeting,' an international conference that took place in Ostend, Belgium, for a video which recreates a journey through the interior of an insect (Homalodisca vitripennis, commonly known as 'glassy-winged sharpshooter').

LA BioMed researcher honored for research paper
NAMS will present LA BioMed researcher Rowan T. Chlebowski, M.D., Ph.D., with the 2014 Menopause Journal Best Paper Award in October.

Mouse studies advance treatment for common eye diseases
Working with mice, a multicenter team of researchers has found a new way to reduce the abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage in the eye that accompany some eye diseases.

Ancient mammal relatives were active at night 100 million years before origin of mammals
New study reveals that nocturnality has older origin than previously thought.

Polyester clothes stink after exercise; cotton, not so much
Polyester clothes smell worse than cotton, following intensive exercise by their wearers, because bacteria that cause odor grow better on polyester, according to research published ahead of print in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Estrogen increases cannabis sensitivity
Smoking today's concentrated pot might be risky business for women, according to new research from Washington State University.

Lead and cadmium found in some chocolate bought in Brazil
Scientists have found that commercial samples of chocolate purchased in Brazil contain varying levels of lead and cadmium, which can cause health problems, and that those levels are linked to how much cocoa a product contains.

Bariatric surgical center accreditation improves patient survival and postop complications
Patients who underwent weight loss operations in recent years, when most bariatric surgical centers were accredited, had fewer postoperative complications and were 2.3 times less likely to die in the hospital than patients who had bariatric procedures performed before a national movement toward facility accreditation was taking place, according to new study findings.

Parrots go to carpentry school
Cognitive biologist Alice Auersperg from the University of Vienna and her team have shown that a spontaneous innovation by a Goffin's cockatoo can spread to other conspecifics by social learning.

Blood test for 'nicked' protein predicts prostate cancer treatment response
Prostate cancer patients whose tumors contain a shortened protein called AR-V7, which can be detected in the blood, are less likely to respond to two widely used drugs for metastatic prostate cancer, according to results of a study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

Stillbirth gap closing between indigenous and non-indigenous women, shows Australian study
The gap in stillbirth rates between indigenous and non-indigenous women in Queensland, Australia, is closing, however indigenous women are still at risk of stillbirth due to preventable causes, find researchers in a new study published today in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Ludwig Cancer Research and CRI collaborate on VentiRx's investigational immunotherapy
The nonprofits Ludwig Cancer Research and the Cancer Research Institute announced today an agreement with VentiRx Pharmaceuticals Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, to conduct a clinical trial with motolimod combined with other immunotherapy agents available to Ludwig and CRI through other industry partnerships.

The Aboriginal world and the challenges of living together
How can we bring about social change within Aboriginal communities so as to ensure social justice and a fairer and more harmonious coexistence?

Digital mammography system developed at Mass General Hospital receives FDA approval
Under license from MGH, GE Healthcare will make a new three dimensional digital mammography service available to women after FDA approval.

Researchers demonstrate direct brain-to-brain communication in human subjects
In a first-of-its-kind study, an international team of neuroscientists and robotics engineers have demonstrated the viability of direct brain-to-brain communication in humans.

Handheld scanner could make brain tumor removal more complete, reducing recurrence
Cancerous brain tumors are notorious for growing back despite surgical attempts to remove them -- and for leading to a dire prognosis for patients.

Parker Hannifin Foundation commits $2 million to endow engineering chair at CWRU
The Case School of Engineering at Case Western Reserve University has received an extraordinary gift from the Parker Hannifin Foundation: a $2 million commitment to create the Arthur L.

Changing temperature powers sensors in hard-to-reach places
University of Washington researchers have taken inspiration from a centuries-old clock design and created a power harvester that uses natural fluctuations in temperature and pressure as its power source.

Biodiversity in the balance
The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, brings together evolutionary theory and ecology to explore one of the big questions in ecology: How is biodiversity developed and maintained?
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