Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 17, 2014
Toward making lithium-sulfur batteries a commercial reality for a bigger energy punch
A fevered search for the next great high-energy, rechargeable battery technology is on.

Fighting parents hurt children's ability to recognize and regulate emotions
Exposure to verbal and physical aggression between parents may hurt a child's ability to identify and control emotions, according to a longitudinal study led by NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

Natural born killers: Chimpanzee violence is an evolutionary strategy
Man's nearest relatives kill each other in order to eliminate rivals and gain better access to territory, mates, food or other resources -- not because human activities have made them more aggressive.

Mechanism behind age-dependent diabetes discovered
Ageing of insulin-secreting cells is coupled to a progressive decline in signal transduction and insulin release, according to a recent study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

Kessler Foundation receives first-round grant from International Progressive Multiple Sclerosis Alliance
Kessler Foundation is the recipient of one of the first grants awarded by the International Progressive Multiple Sclerosis Alliance.

Chromosome buffers hold key to better melanoma understanding
Buffers that guard against damage to the ends of chromosomes could hold the key to a better understanding of malignant melanoma -- the deadliest form of skin cancer -- according to new research from the University of Leeds.

Join GSA in Washington, D.C., for the nation's premier aging conference
The Gerontological Society of America invites all journalists to attend its 67th Annual Scientific Meeting -- the country's largest interdisciplinary conference in the field of aging -- from Nov.

Rooting out horse-meat fraud in the wake of a recent food scandal
As the United Kingdom forms a new crime unit designed to fight food fraud -- in response to an uproar last year over horse meat being passed off as beef -- scientists from Germany are reporting a technique for detecting meat adulteration.

Habitual Facebook users more likely to be caught in phishing scams
Receiving an email that claims you are the recipient of a large sum of money from an unknown deceased relative immediately raises a red flag.

In Joslin trial, Asian Americans lower insulin resistance on traditional diet
One part of this puzzle may lie in the transition from traditional high-fiber, low-fat Asian diets to current westernized diets, which may pose extra risks for those of Asian heritage, says George King, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at Joslin Diabetes Center and the senior author of the study.

ASU institute receives single-largest investment in human origins research
A $4.9 million, three-year grant from the John Templeton Foundation to Arizona State University's Institute of Human Origins will fund a multifaceted, transdisciplinary collaborative research project that seeks to increase our understanding of the process of 'how we became human.'

Gut bacteria, artificial sweeteners and glucose intolerance
Weizmann Institute research shows that artificial sweeteners promote glucose intolerance in a surprising way: by changing the composition and function of the gut microbiota.

Math model designed to replace invasive kidney biopsy for lupus patients
Mathematics might be able to reduce the need for invasive biopsies in patients suffering kidney damage related to the autoimmune disease lupus.

Lunar explorers will walk at higher speeds than thought
Scientists have shown than instead of breaking into a run on the moon at low speeds, astronauts will be able to continue walking at speeds (0.8-1.4m/s) at which they had been thought to become airborne, because forces generated by their swinging arms and legs will help them to remain attached to the moon.

Blood test could identify when cancer treatment has become detrimental
Some treatments for prostate cancer, while initially effective at controlling the disease, not only stop working over time but actually start driving tumour growth, a major new study shows.

NAMS issues first comprehensive recommendations on care of women at menopause and beyond
The North American Menopause Society has published its key, evidence-based recommendations for the comprehensive care of midlife women -- on everything from hot flashes to heart disease.

Yoga may help people with bipolar disorder, reports Journal of Psychiatric Practice
People with bipolar disorder who do yoga believe their yoga practice has significant mental health benefits, reports a survey study in the Sept.

Expedition finds Nemo can travel great distances to connect populations
Clownfish spend their entire lives nestling in the protective tentacles of host anemones, but new research shows that as babies they sometimes travel hundreds of kilometres across the open ocean.

Phthalates heighten risk for childhood asthma
Researchers at the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health at the Mailman School of Public Health are the first to demonstrate an association between childhood asthma and prenatal exposure to two phthalates used in a diverse array of household products.

Mellon Foundation awards grant for major project in the humanities and sciences
Penn State's Institute for the Arts and Humanities has received a $260,000 grant from the Andrew W.

Why bioethics literacy matters
From accessible and affordable health care to reproductive technologies, the justice and well-being of our society depend on the ability of people to identify key issues, articulate their values and concerns, deliberate openly and respectfully, and find the most defensible ways forward.

Lack of facial expression leads to perceptions of unhappiness, new OSU research shows
People with facial paralysis are perceived as being less happy simply because they can't communicate in the universal language of facial expression, a new study from an Oregon State University psychology professor shows.

The mobility model is closely linked to the city's characteristics
The massive use of motor vehicles leads to a whole host of problems, such as pollution, noise, accidents, occupation of space and others, which need to be tackled in two ways, according to the authors of this research: by improving the offer of public transport and properly managing the mobility demand.

Car hacking: The security threat facing our vehicles
The car of the future will be safer, smarter and offer greater high-tech gadgets, but be warned without improved security the risk of car hacking is real, according to a QUT road safety expert.

Survey finds benefits, risks of yoga for bipolar disorder
Newly published results from a survey of people with bipolar disorder who practice yoga have begun to document the reported benefits and risks of the practice.

Environmentalists and industry duke it out over plastic bags
Campaigns against disposable plastic shopping bags and their environmental impact recently scored a major win.

Coral growth rate plummets in 30-year comparison
A team of researchers working on a Carnegie expedition in Australia's Great Barrier Reef has documented that coral growth rates have plummeted 40 percent since the mid-1970s.

Wild berry extract may strengthen effectiveness of pancreatic cancer drug
A wild berry native to North America may strengthen the effectiveness of a chemotherapy drug commonly used to treat pancreatic cancer, reveals research published online in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.

A link between Jacobsen syndrome and autism
A rare genetic disorder known as Jacobsen syndrome has been linked with autism, according to a recent joint investigation by researchers at San Diego State University and the University of California, San Diego.

Researchers examine role of hormone in response to ovarian cancer treatment
Researchers at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island recently published the results of an investigation into how we might better tailor therapy for ovarian cancer.

Malaysia's 'Smart Villages' and 9 other proven ideas for sustainable development
As nations zero in on final agreement of the UN's post-2015 global Sustainable Development Goals, innovations being successfully pioneered in Malaysia offer several proven tactical ideas for improving the world, says an influential international sustainable development networking organization.

Space: The final frontier ... open to the public
Historically, spaceflight has been reserved for the very healthy. Astronauts are selected for their ability to meet the highest physical standards to prepare them for any unknown challenges.

Nobelist Klaus von Klitzing to receive 2014 Prange Prize
Nobel laureate Klaus von Klitzing has been named the 2014 recipient of the Richard E.

Big surprises can come in small packages
Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have found a monster lurking in a very unlikely place.

Many throat cancer patients can skip neck surgery
A new study shows that patients with human papillomavirus (HPV) -- the same virus associated with both cervical and head and neck cancer -- positive oropharyngeal cancer see significantly higher rates of complete response on a post-radiation neck dissection than those with HPV-negative oropharyngeal cancer.

Moffitt researchers help lead efforts to find new genetic links to prostate cancer
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center, including Center Director Thomas A.

Entrepreneurs aren't overconfident gamblers
Leaving one's job to become an entrepreneur is inarguably risky.

New non-invasive technique could revolutionize the imaging of metastatic cancer
In preclinical animal models of metastatic prostate cancer, scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center, VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine and Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions have provided proof-of-principle of a new molecular imaging approach that could revolutionize doctors' ability to see tumors that have metastasized to other sites in the body, including the bones.

Researchers use iPS cells to show statin effects on diseased bone
Scientists have generated iPSCs from fibroblasts of patients with thanatophoric dysplasia or achondroplasia, two types of skeletal dysplasia, and recapitulated the symptoms of the diseases in patient-specific iPSC-derived skeletal cells.

American-made wind turbine blades
Sandia National Laboratories is helping makers of wind turbine blades improve the labor productivity associated with blade fabrication and finishing.

UCLA scientists play key role in developing new Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index
UCLA atmospheric scientists were instrumental in the creation of the Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index -- a new tool to classify the fire threat potential of the powerful, hot, dry Santa Ana wind, which can turn a spark into an inferno.

A greater focus on socially disadvantaged women is needed to improve maternity care in England
Women from lower socioeconomic groups in the UK report a poorer experience of care during pregnancy and there needs to be a greater focus on their care, suggests a new study published today n BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Scripps Research Institute chemists modify antibiotic to vanquish resistant bacteria
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have devised a new antibiotic based on vancomycin that is powerfully effective against vancomycin-resistant strains of MRSA and other disease-causing bacteria.

Study links physical activity in older adults to brain white-matter integrity
Like everything else in the body, the white-matter fibers that allow communication between brain regions also decline with age.

Persian Gulf states have new role to play in Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution
The shifting regional geopolitics of the Middle East have created new opportunities for the Persian Gulf states to engage in Arab-Israeli conflict resolution, according to a new paper from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

International Journal of Surgery opens archive of journal content
The International Journal of Surgery has announced that it has opened up its archive of previously published content: after 24 months published journal issues become available for all to read.

For some lung cancer patients, surgery may yield better long-term results
Patients with early stage non-small cell lung cancer who are otherwise healthy fare better over time if they undergo conventional surgery versus less-invasive radiosurgery to remove their cancer, according to a Yale study.

Brain imaging research pinpoints neurobiological basis for key symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder like listlessness and emotional detachment in trauma victims
In a novel brain-imaging study among trauma victims, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center have linked an opioid receptor in the brain -- associated with emotions -- to a narrow cluster of trauma symptoms, including sadness, emotional detachment and listlessness.

Nature's designs inspire research into new light-based technologies
Solutions required for progress on the frontiers of photonics technology are close at hand: in nature, when viewed through the perspective of engineer, says Montana State University optics researcher Joseph Shaw.

California's King Fire east of Sacramento
California's King Fire tripled in size from Monday, Sept. 15, to Tuesday morning, Sept.

Wild berry extract may strengthen effectiveness of pancreatic cancer drug
A wild berry native to North America may strengthen the effectiveness of a chemotherapy drug commonly used to treat pancreatic cancer, reveals experimental research published online in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Kalmaegi weakening over Vietnam
Tropical Storm Kalmaegi made landfall on Sept. 17 near the border of Vietnam and China and moved inland.

Violence rates can be halved in just 30 years, say leading experts
Research shows that homicide rates in many countries are falling.

Hubble helps find smallest known galaxy containing a supermassive black hole
Astronomers using data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and ground observation have found an unlikely object in an improbable place -- a monster black hole lurking inside one of the tiniest galaxies ever known.

Election campaign 2014: A surge in 'dark money', study says
Dark money groups -- those who keep the names of donors secret -- are contributing record amounts into television political ads for the midterm election races, according to a Washington State University researcher who has tracked the campaign advertising.

Smallest known galaxy with a supermassive black hole
A University of Utah astronomer and his colleagues discovered that an ultracompact dwarf galaxy harbors a supermassive black hole -- the smallest galaxy known to contain such a massive light-sucking object.

NASA sees Odile soaking Mexico and southwestern US
Tropical Storm Odile continues to spread moisture and generate strong thunderstorms with heavy rainfall over northern Mexico's mainland and the Baja California as well as the southwestern US.

Vitiligo treatment holds promise for restoring skin pigmentation
A treatment regimen is safe and effective for restoring skin pigmentation in vitiligo patients, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study.

Global change: Trees continue to grow at a faster rate
Trees have been growing significantly faster since the 1960s. The typical development phases of trees and stands have barely changed, but they have accelerated -- by as much as 70 percent.

Parts of genome without a known function may play a key role in the birth of new proteins
Researchers in Biomedical Informatics at IMIM and at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya have recently published a study in eLife showing that RNA called non-coding plays an important role in the evolution of new proteins, some of which could have important cell functions yet to be discovered.

Targeted radiation, drug therapy combo less toxic for recurrent head, neck cancers
Patients with a recurrence of head and neck cancer who have previously received radiation treatment can be treated more quickly, safely and with fewer side effects with high doses of targeted radiation known as Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy in combination with a drug that also carefully targets cancerous tumors.

Nemo's epic journey to find a new home
New research has found clownfish larvae can swim up to 400 kilometres in search of a home, which makes them better able to cope with environmental change.

CT scan is no more accurate than ultrasound to detect kidney stones
To diagnose painful kidney stones in hospital emergency rooms, CT scans are no better than less-often-used ultrasound exams, according to a clinical study conducted at 15 medical centers.

NASA releases IRIS footage of X-class flare
On Sept. 10, 2014, NASA's newest solar observatory, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, joined other telescopes to witness an X-class flare -- an example of one of the strongest solar flares -- on the sun.

Researchers convert carbon dioxide into a valuable resource
Researchers at Aalto University have opened a pilot plant that converts carbon dioxide and slag, the by-product of steel manufacturing, into a valuable mineral product.

'Office life' of bacteria may be their weak spot
Scientists at the University of Leeds think we may be able to drown deadly bacteria in their own paperwork.

Magnetic resonance helps to detect and quantify fat in liver
A study undertaken by the research team led by Luis Bujanda, Professor of Medicine at the University of the Basque Country and in charge of the Area of Research into Hepatic and Gastrointestinal Diseases at the Biodonostia Health Research Institute, has shown that magnetic resonance is a good method -- better still than hepatic biopsy -- for detecting fats in the liver and for quantifying them.

Doing science just got cheaper -- and faster
A new open-source design library lets researchers make their own syringe pumps and save hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

New study examines the impact of socioeconomic position and maternal morbidity in Australia
The risk of severe maternal morbidity amongst women in Australia is increased by lower socioeconomic position, suggests a new study published today in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

NSF computing network grant will bolster research at UT Arlington
The National Science Foundation Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure will give The University of Texas at Arlington $500,000 to improve networking capacity to support research into high energy physics and numerous other fields.

Survey examines personal news cycle of African-American and Hispanic news consumers
A new national survey exploring how African-Americans and Hispanics get their news reveals that the predicted digital divide, in which people of color would be left behind in the use of technology, is not playing out as many of those forecasting the digital future anticipated.

Chimpanzee lethal aggression a result of adaptation rather than human impacts
A new study using long-term data gathered on chimpanzee aggression is the first effort to test the human impact versus adaptive strategies hypothesis and finds that human impact is not the culprit.

Shorebird's beak inspires UT Arlington research on water collection
A UT Arlington engineering professor and his doctoral student have designed a device based on a shorebird's beak that can accumulate water collected from fog and dew.

Power isn't enough: Study reveals the missing link for effective leadership
The research, just published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, finds that leaders who fail to take into account their audiences' perspective have a far greater propensity to bungle the issue and conversation.

Reducing traffic congestion with wireless system
At the Intelligent Transportation Systems World Congress last week, MIT researchers received one of the best-paper awards for a new system, dubbed RoadRunner, that uses GPS-style turn-by-turn directions to route drivers around congested roadways.

Nature of war: Chimpanzees inherently violent according to study
Of all of the world's species, humans and chimpanzees are some of the only species to coordinate attacks on their own members.

Large study reveals new genetic variants that raise risk for prostate cancer
In an analysis of genetic information among more than 87,000 men, a global team of scientists says it has found 23 new genetic variants -- common differences in the genetic code -- that increase a man's risk for prostate cancer.

Cape Cod saltmarsh recovery looks good, falls short
In some places Cape Cod's imperiled saltmarsh grasses have been making a comeback, but a new study reports that their ability to protect the coast has not returned nearly as fast as their healthy appearance would suggest.

New MRI technique helps clinicians better predict outcomes following mild traumatic brain injury
Diffusion Tensor Imaging, a specialized magnetic resonance imaging technique that detects microstructural changes in brain tissue, can help physicians better predict the likelihood for poor clinical outcomes following mild traumatic brain injury compared to conventional imaging techniques such as computed tomography, according to a new study published in Journal of Neurotrauma.

What set the Earth's plates in motion?
Professor Patrice Rey, from the University of Sydney's School of Geoscience, and his colleagues have a new explanation for the origin of plate tectonics.

Babies learn words differently as they age, researcher finds
In a new study, a University of Missouri researcher has found that toddlers learn words differently as they age, and a limit exists as to how many words they can learn each day.

An autoimmune response may contribute to hypertension
A new study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation suggests that an autoimmune response leads to the development high blood pressure.

Using solar energy to turn raw materials into ingredients for every day life
QUT scientist Dr. Sarina Sarina, who achieved outstanding progress in driving this energy intensive chemical production process at ambient temperature using light instead of fossil fuels, has won the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt fellowship at the famous Max Planck Institute in Berlin.

A massive black hole has been found at the center of an ultra-compact galaxy
A team of researchers, including an astronomer from Michigan State University, has discovered a huge black hole at the center of an ultra-compact galaxy -- the smallest galaxy known to contain one.

NASA sees Hurricane Edouard far from US, but creating rough surf
Although NASA's Aqua satellite showed that Hurricane Edouard is far from US soil, it is powerful enough that it is creating dangerous swells along the US East Coast.

Contributions on Fauna Europaea: Data papers as innovative model on expert involvement
Fauna Europaea started in 2000 as an EC-FP5 four-year project, delivering its first release in 2004.

Oxides discovered by CCNY team could advance memory devices
The quest for the ultimate memory device for computing may have just taken an encouraging step forward.

Abnormal properties of cancer protein revealed in fly eyes
Mutations in the human retinoblastoma protein gene are a leading cause of eye cancer.

Protein variant may boost cardiovascular risk by hindering blood vessel repair
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that the most common variant of the circulating protein apolipoprotein E, called apoE3, helps repair the lining of blood vessels.

The future of global agriculture may include new land, fewer harvests
Climate change may expand suitable cropland, particularly in the Northern high latitudes, but tropical regions may becoming decreasingly suitable.

PTSD symptoms associated with increased food addiction
Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder were associated with increased food addiction, especially when individuals had more symptoms or the symptoms occurred earlier in life.

Size at birth affects risk of adolescent mental health disorders
New research from the Copenhagen Centre for Social Evolution and Yale University offers compelling support for the general evolutionary theory that birth weight and -length can partially predict the likelihood of being diagnosed with mental health disorders such as autism and schizophrenia later in life.

Combo of phototherapy, drug results in faster repigmentation in vitiligo
Patients with the skin depigmentation disease known as vitiligo had faster and better repigmentation after a combination therapy of the implantable drug afamelanotide and narrowband UV-B (NB-UV-B) phototherapy as part of a clinical trial.

Migraine in middle age linked to increased risk of Parkinson's, movement disorders later
A new study suggests that people who experience migraine in middle age may be more likely to develop Parkinson's disease, or other movement disorders later in life.

First-ever research study examines impacts of diet and lifestyle on healthy aging
A new, first-of-its-kind research study was announced today that will analyze how changes in diet and lifestyle can impact long-term wellness and contribute to healthy aging.

Study finds Great Barrier Reef is an effective wave absorber
New research has found that the Great Barrier Reef, as a whole, is a remarkably effective wave absorber, despite large gaps between the reefs.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Polo intensifying
Tropical storm warnings now issued for a portion of the Southwestern coast of Mexico as Polo continues to strengthen.

Artificial 'beaks' that collect water from fog: A drought solution?
From the most parched areas of Saudi Arabia to water-scarce areas of the western US, the idea of harvesting fog for water is catching on.

Reinterpreting dark matter
Tom Broadhurst, an Ikerbasque researcher at the University of the Basque Country, has participated alongside scientists of the National Taiwan University in a piece of research that explores cold dark matter in depth and proposes new answers about the formation of galaxies and the structure of the universe.

New branch added to European family tree
Previous work suggested that Europeans descended from two ancestral groups: indigenous hunter-gatherers and early European farmers.

US health system not properly designed to meet needs of patients nearing end of life, says IOM
The US health care system is not properly designed to meet the needs of patients nearing the end of life and those of their families, and major changes to the system are necessary, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine.

Nanoscience makes your wine better
One sip of a perfectly poured glass of wine leads to an explosion of flavours in your mouth.

Transparent larvae hide opaque eyes behind reflections
Transparency is almost the perfect form of camouflage, however, transparent animals with compound eyes have a problem.

Being social: Learning from the behavior of birds
Science has learned a great deal about complex social behavior by studying nonhuman mammals and primates, but parrots might have something to teach too.

Recruiting bacteria to be technology innovation partners
For most people biofilms conjure up images of slippery stones in a streambed and dirty drains.

The Lancet Haematology: PET-CT predicts lymphoma survival better than conventional imaging
Positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET-CT) is more accurate than conventional CT scanning in measuring response to treatment and predicting survival in patients with follicular lymphoma, and should be used routinely in clinical practice, according to new research published in The Lancet Haematology.

Elsevier journal Maturitas publishes position statement on breast cancer screening
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced the publication of a position statement by the European Menopause and Andropause Society in the journal Maturitas on the topic of breast cancer screening.

Five genes to predict colorectal cancer relapses
Researchers at the Catalan Institute of Oncology-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute, led by David Garcia-MollevĂ­ have identified five genes differentially expressed in normal accompanying cells in colorectal tumors.

Peacock's train is not such a drag
The magnificent plumage of the peacock may not be quite the sacrifice to love that it appears to be, University of Leeds researchers have discovered.

Iberian pig genome remains unchanged after 5 centuries
A team of Spanish researchers have obtained the first partial genome sequence of an ancient pig.

Engineers develop algorithms to switch out and recharge battery modules in electric cars
Imagine being able to switch out the batteries in electric cars just like you switch out batteries in a photo camera or flashlight.

In mice, vaccine stops urinary tract infections linked to catheters
The most common type of hospital-associated infection may be preventable with a vaccine, new research in mice suggests.

Modern Europeans descended from three groups of ancestors
New studies of ancient DNA are shifting scientists' ideas of how groups of people migrated across the globe and interacted with one another thousands of years ago.

Nile River monitoring influences northeast Africa's future
Curtin University research that monitors the volume of water in the Nile River Basin will help to level the playing field for more than 200 million northeast Africans who rely on the river's water supply.

Failed Medicare payments law remains relevant
In a new commentary in the journal JAMA Surgery, Dr.

AGU Fall Meeting: Press registration open, book hotel now
Discover the latest Earth and space science news at the 47th annual AGU Fall Meeting this December, when about 22,000 scientists from around the globe are expected to assemble for the largest worldwide conference in the Earth and space sciences. 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