Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 22, 2014
Graphene imperfections key to creating hypersensitive 'electronic nose'
Researchers have discovered a way to create a highly sensitive chemical sensor based on the crystalline flaws in graphene sheets.

Broad physician coalition urges Congress to extend Medicaid pay parity
The efforts and leadership of Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to ensure access to vital primary care services were lauded yesterday by the American College of Physicians and 20 other organizations, representing internal medicine and related subspecialties.

Arctic sea ice helps remove CO2 from the atmosphere
Climate change is a fact, and most of the warming is caused by human activity.

Variability keeps the body in balance
Although the heart beats out a very familiar 'lub-dub' pattern that speeds up or slows down as our activity increases or decreases, the pattern itself isn't as regular as you might think.

Sporting events should ditch nutritional supps and sports drinks sponsorship
Sporting bodies should ditch the sponsorship of nutritional supplement and sports drinks manufacturers, because they could be lending 'unwarranted credibility' to these products, conclude two leading authorities on the promotion of sports for health and wellbeing in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

NASA sees Tropical Depression Polo winding down
Infrared satellite imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite showed only a swirl of low-level clouds some deep clouds around Polo's weakening center on Sept.

Nurse survey shows longer working hours impact on quality of care
Results of a survey of more than 30,000 nurses across Europe show that nurses who work longer shifts and more overtime are more likely to rate the standard of care delivered on their ward as poor, give a negative rating of their hospitals safety and omit necessary patient care.

We drink more alcohol on gym days
A new Northwestern Medicine study finds that on days when people exercise more -- typically Thursdays to Sundays -- they drink more alcohol, too.

Wildfires in Khabarovsk Krai, Russia
Most of the fires captured in this image burn in Khabarovsk Krai, a territory occupying the coastline of the Sea of Okhotsk.

Genetic switch regulates a plant's internal clock based on temperature
Scientists have found the molecular cog in a plant's biological clock that modulates its speed based on temperature.

Online ratings influence parents' choices of physicians for their children
U-M research shows almost three-quarters of parents are aware of physician-rating Web sites and about one-quarter have used them to select children's docs.

Lack of thyroid hormone blocks hearing development
Fatigue, weight gain, chills, hair loss, anxiety, excessive perspiration -- these symptoms are a few of the signs that the thyroid gland has gone haywire.

Experts provide much-needed policy analysis for clinical integration of next generation sequencing
As genetic sequencing technologies continue to evolve rapidly, becoming part of clinical care, there is a critical need to establish appropriate policies and regulatory frameworks to address potential challenges, legal and ethical experts have said.

Hold on, tiger mom
Less supportive and punitive parenting techniques used by some Chinese parents might lead to the development of low self-esteem and school adjustment difficulties in their children and leave them vulnerable to depression and problem behaviors, according to a paper recently published by a University of California, Riverside assistant professor and other researchers.

Cowpea book published by Crop Science Society of America
BB Singh devoted his life to studying this important crop that 'closes the protein gap.'

Immune response turned up, not down, by flu during pregnancy, Stanford/Packard study finds
Pregnant women have an unusually strong immune response to influenza, an unexpected finding that may explain why they get sicker from the flu than other healthy adults, new research from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford has found.

Priorities for research on pharmaceutical and personal care products in the environment
The results from a survey designed to identify and prioritize the scientific research needed to understand the risks of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the environment have been published in the latest issue of IEAM.

New rules for anticancer vaccines
Scientists have found a way to find the proverbial needle in the cancer antigen haystack.

Involving female offenders in release planning can increase reintegration success
Women who are about to be released from prison need to be more involved in their discharge planning if they are to successfully reintegrate into their communities and avoid returning to prison, according to a new study.

UTHealth researchers study impact of smoking ban in homeless shelter
Instituting a partial smoking ban at a homeless shelter can lead to a reduction in expired carbon monoxide levels, an indicator of exposure to cigarette smoke, and may have positive effects on shelter residents' health, according to new research.

Modern Day Marine: ONR features technology for marines of the future
From virtual training to laser weapons, the Office of Naval Research this week is showcasing a range of technologies at Modern Day Marine exposition that will prepare Marines as they continue to face an increasingly complex security landscape.

Brief intervention may prevent increased risk of depression in teens
A low-cost, one-time intervention that educates teens about the changeable nature of personality traits may prevent an increase in depressive symptoms often seen during the transition to high school, according to new research published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

AHRQ grant awarded to study the impact of health IT on patient safety at Montefiore and Einstein and Brigham and Women's Hospital
Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Brigham and Women's Hospital have received a $300,000 grant from The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to study the impact of health Information Technology on patient safety.

Old drug may be key to new antibiotics
An anticonvulsant drug called lamotrigine is the first chemical inhibitor of the assembly of ribosomes in bacteria.

Lego-like modular components make building 3-D 'labs-on-a-chip' a snap
Thanks to new Lego-like components developed by researchers at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering, it is now possible to build a 3-D microfluidic system (or 'lab-on-a-chip') quickly and cheaply by simply snapping together small modules by hand.

News from Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet -- Sept. 23, 2014
The Sept. 24, 2014, issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine includes the following articles: 'USPSTF publishes two new recommendations on preventing sexually transmitted infections' and 'New mosquito-borne infection may spread in United States.'

WEGA fusion experiment passed on to the USA
The small WEGA fusion device at Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics (IPP) in Greifswald is being handed over to the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

Massachusetts General study reveals gene expression patterns in pancreatic CTCs
Analysis of circulating tumor cells in a mouse model of pancreatic cancer identified distinct patterns of gene expression in several groups of CTCs, including significant differences from the primary tumor that may contribute to the ability to generate metastases.

Common diabetes drug associated with risk of low levels of thyroid hormone
Metformin, a commonly used drug for treating type 2 diabetes, is linked to an increased risk of low thyroid-stimulating hormone levels in patients with underactive thyroids, according to a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Discount generic drug programs grow over time
Generic discount drug programs have grown over time and their initial lower use by racial and ethnic minorities has evaporated.

Engineers show light can play seesaw at the nanoscale
University of Minnesota electrical engineering researchers have developed a unique nanoscale device that for the first time demonstrates mechanical transportation of light.

Think the system for paying US doctors is rigged to favor surgeons? Study may surprise you
A new study pulls back the curtain on one of the most contentious issues in health care: differences in payment between physicians who perform operations and those who don't.

Statin use during hospitalization for hemorrhagic stroke associated with improved survival
Patients who were treated with a statin in the hospital after suffering from a hemorrhagic stroke were significantly more likely to survive than those who were not, according to a study published today in JAMA Neurology.

Reversing the effects of pulmonary fibrosis
Yale University researchers are studying a potential new treatment that reverses the effects of pulmonary fibrosis, a respiratory disease in which scars develop in the lungs and severely hamper breathing.

Singapore researchers discover a gene that increases incidence of AML
A novel study by the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore at the National University of Singapore found that an increase in a gene known as Leo1 affects other genes that are directly implicated in acute myelogenous leukaemia, increasing the incidence of cancer.

Maternal breast milk is risk factor for cytomegalovirus transmission in premature infants
Premature infants, especially those born with very low-birth-weight, are particularly vulnerable to cytomegalovirus infection because of their immature immune systems.

Looking ahead: Whole eye transplant under development
The concept of a whole eye transplant seems futuristic, if not impossible.

Project launched to study evolutionary history of fungi
The University of California, Riverside is one of 11 collaborating institutions that are funded a total of $2.5 million by the National Science Foundation for a project focused on studying zygomycetes -- ancient lineages of fungi that include plant symbionts, animal and human pathogens and decomposers of a wide variety of organic compounds.

New study finds 34 percent of severely injured patients undertriaged in the United States
According to the American College of Surgeons' Committee on Trauma, patients with severe injuries should be treated at level I or level II trauma centers.

Comprehensive Neurosurgery supplement covers sports-related concussions
Neurosurgeons have treated head and spinal sports injuries since the specialty was formed in the early 20th century, with formal efforts to mitigate these injuries dating back to 1931.

Classroom intervention helps shy kids learn
A program that helps teachers modify their interactions with students based on an individual's temperament helps shy children to become more engaged in their class work, and in turn, improves their math and critical thinking skills.

Actions on climate change bring better health, study says
The number of extremely hot days in Eastern and Midwestern US cities is projected to triple by mid-century, according to a new study.

Geoscience topics in the spotlight -- Vancouver, B.C.
More than 7,000 geoscientists will gather in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, to present 4,500-plus papers at The Geological Society of America's 126th Annual Meeting & Exposition on Oct.

Healthy lifestyle choices may dramatically reduce risk of heart attack in men
Following a healthy lifestyle, including maintaining a healthy weight and diet, exercise, not smoking and moderating alcohol intake, could prevent four out of five coronary events in men, according to a new study publishing today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Good bowel cleansing is key for high-quality colonoscopy
The success of a colonoscopy is closely linked to good bowel preparation, with poor bowel prep often resulting in missed precancerous lesions, according to new consensus guidelines released by the US Multi-Society Task force on Colorectal Cancer.

Where is that spacecraft?
Space surveillance is inherently challenging when compared to other tracking environments due to various reasons, not least of which is the long time gap between surveillance updates.

Dartmouth's new ZEBRA bracelet strengthens computer security
In a big step for securing critical information systems, such as medical records in clinical settings, Dartmouth College researchers have created a new approach to computer security that authenticates users continuously while they are using a terminal and automatically logs them out when they leave or when someone else steps in to use their terminal.

Communication without detours
Certain nerve cells take a shortcut for the transmission of information: signals are not conducted via the cell's center, but around it like on a bypass road.

Some concussion education more useful than others, parents say
Those who saw video or presentation most likely to say they are confident about managing a child's concussion, according to University of Michigan's National Poll on Children's Health.

Snail shells show high-rise plateau is much lower than it used to be
Geologists have long debated when and how the Tibetan Plateau reached a 14,000-foot-plus elevation, but new research shows it once was probably several thousand feet higher.

Gravitational waves according to Planck
Scientists of the Planck collaboration, and in particular the Trieste team, have conducted a series of in-depth checks on the discovery recently publicized by the Antarctic Observatory, which announced last spring that it had detected some direct effects of gravitational waves on cosmic microwave background radiation, a potentially groundbreaking discovery in the field of cosmology.

Why do leaves change color in the fall? (video)
It's the first day of autumn, and the telltale signs are here: crisp weather, pumpkin spice lattes and, most importantly, the leaves are changing colors.

Environmental finance expert and 'father of carbon trading' publishes new book
'Sustainable Investing and Environmental Markets: Opportunities in a New Asset Class' by Richard Sandor, Murali Kanakasabai, Rafael Marques and Nathan Clark of Environmental Financial Products will be released on Oct.

Platelets modulate clotting behavior by 'feeling' their surroundings
Platelets respond to surfaces with greater stiffness by increasing their stickiness, the degree to which they

King Fire rages on in Eldorado National Forest
Evacuations of 2,819 people have occurred in the wake of the huge King Fire blazing out of control near the Eldorado National Forest.

New chip promising for tumor-targeting research
Researchers have developed a chip capable of simulating a tumor's 'microenvironment' and plan to use the new system to test the effectiveness of nanoparticles and drugs that target cancer.

Plant variants point the way to improved biofuel production
Scientists have discovered variant plants with straw that are more easily digested for biofuel production.

Few kids receive psychotherapy along with medication for ADHD, study finds
For many children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, medication alone can manage symptoms.

The fine line between breast cancer and normal tissues
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital have successfully tested a tool they developed that will help surgeons better distinguish cancerous breast tissue from normal tissue, thereby decreasing the chances for repeat operations.

The Jackson Laboratory and BIDMC announce multifaceted affiliation
The Jackson Laboratory and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have established a new academic, research and service relationship to advance cancer research and patient care and accelerate personalized genomic medicine.

The accelerator of molecular motors
Peroxisomes are vital cell components that degrade cellular toxins and long-chain fatty acids.

Neurosurgery tackles past, current and future concepts of sports concussion
An estimated 1.68 to 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur in the United States each year, and there are likely a significant number that go unreported.

Answer to restoring lost island biodiversity found in fossils
Many native species have vanished from tropical islands because of human impact, but University of Florida scientists have discovered how fossils can be used to restore lost biodiversity.

Statins associated with better outcomes in hospitalization for brain hemorrhage
Hospitalized patients who took statins after a stroke caused by an intracerebral hemorrhage appeared to have better 30-day survival and were more likely to be discharged to their home or an acute rehabilitation facility than patients who did not use statins or whose statin use was discontinued in the hospital.

Study: Antifreeze proteins in Antarctic fishes prevent freezing ... and melting
Antarctic fishes that manufacture their own 'antifreeze' proteins to survive in the icy Southern Ocean also suffer an unfortunate side effect, researchers report: The protein-bound ice crystals that accumulate inside their bodies resist melting even when temperatures warm.

Compound from hops aids cognitive function in young animals
Xanthohumol, a type of flavonoid found in hops and beer, has been shown in a new study to improve cognitive function in young mice, but not in older animals.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Fung-Wong move through East China Sea
Tropical Storm Fung-Wong weakened over the weekend of Sept. 20-21 as it moved over Taiwan and approached Shanghai, China.

Sandia magnetized fusion technique produces significant results
Working with two magnetic fields and a laser, all at low points of their power outputs, Sandia's Z machine has released neutrons in an amount surprisingly close to 'break-even' fusion.

2014 Arctic sea ice minimum sixth lowest on record
Arctic sea ice coverage continued its below-average trend this year as the ice declined to its annual minimum on Sept.

Growing scientists: World's future jobs are rooted in STEM
Malaysia today became a founding partner in the Global STEM Alliance, a new high-tech multi-million dollar initiative dedicated to promoting young talent in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) around the world led by the New York Academy of Sciences.

Influenza A potentiates pneumococcal co-infection: New details emerge
Influenza infection can enhance the ability of the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae to cause ear and throat infections, according to research published ahead of print in the journal Infection and Immunity.

NASA's TRMM satellite tallies Hurricane Odile's heavy rainfall
During the week of Sept. 15, Hurricane Odile and its weakened remnants produced heavy rainfall that caused dangerous flooding over Mexico's Baja California peninsula and southwestern United States.

University of Utah engineers unlock potential for faster computing
University of Utah engineers discovered a way to create a special material -- a metal layer on top of a silicon semiconductor -- that could lead to cost-effective, superfast computers that perform lightning-fast calculations but don't overheat.

Announcing the 5th PCR London Valves, 2014
PCR London Valves, the course dedicated to valvular interventions, will take place Sept.

E-cigarettes unhelpful in smoking cessation among cancer patients
In a new study of cancer patients who smoke, those using e-cigarettes, in addition to traditional cigarettes, were more nicotine dependent and equally or less likely to have quit smoking traditional cigarettes than non-users.

Infant solar system shows signs of windy weather
Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array have observed what may be the first-ever signs of windy weather around a T Tauri star, an infant analog of our own Sun.

Food affected by Fukushima disaster harms animals, even at low-levels of radiation
Butterflies eating food collected from cities around the Fukushima nuclear meltdown site showed higher rates of death and disease, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology.

Safely on the road in electric cars
Efficient, subcompact vehicles with electric drives provide an excellent opportunity to push forward electromobility.

Rutgers receives $2 million grant to prepare biomedical students for roles in industry
Rutgers' School of Engineering and Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences are joint recipients of a $2 million 2014 BEST grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Canada funds 22 innovative projects to help save 'Every Woman, Every Child'
Grand Challenges Canada announces 22 grants to innovators in Canada and the developing world to address maternal, newborn and child health.

Mown grass smell sends SOS for help in resisting insect attacks, researchers say
The smell of cut grass in recent years has been identified as the plant's way of signalling distress, but new research says the aroma also summons beneficial insects to the rescue.

Obesity and stress pack a double hit for health
If you're overweight, you may be at greater risk for stress-related diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, according to a new study by Brandeis University.

Mothers of children with autism less likely to have taken iron supplements
Mothers of children with autism are significantly less likely to report taking iron supplements before and during their pregnancies than the mothers of children who are developing normally, a study by researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute has found.

Evidence supports deep brain stimulation for obsessive-compulsive disorder
Available research evidence supports the use of deep brain stimulation for patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder who don't respond to other treatments, concludes a review in the October issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Research study analyzes the best exercise for obese youths
What exercise program can best fight the 'epidemic' of teen obesity?

Pitt engineers receive grants to enhance additive manufacturing
Engineers at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering are proposing to develop enhanced modeling and simulation technology and new qualification standards that will further the adoption of additive manufacturing by industry.

Blood test may help determine who is at risk for psychosis
A new study led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers reports preliminary results showing that a blood test, when used in psychiatric patients experiencing symptoms that are considered to be indicators of a high risk for psychosis, identifies those who later went on to develop psychosis.

Cheater, cheater: UGA study shows what happens when employees feel excluded at work
When employees feel left out, they act out. That's the message that new research from the University of Georgia Terry College of Business delivers as it explains why employees can become weasels to benefit their work group.

Hardwiring AHA guidelines into order system reduced telemetry orders
A health care system reduced its use of telemetry (monitoring to detect irregular heartbeats) by 70 percent by integrating the American Heart Association's guidelines into its electronic ordering system.

Kessler pilot study demonstrates benefits of wellness program for people with MS
Kessler researchers have published a pilot study showing the benefits of a 10-week psychoeducational wellness program in people with multiple sclerosis.

Environment plays bigger role than genetics in food allergic disease eosinophilic esophagitis
Researchers have found that environment has a much stronger role than genetics in eosinophilic esophagitis, a severe, often painful food allergy that renders children unable to eat a wide variety of foods.

Research evaluates neurodevelomental and medical outcomes in single family room NICU
Researchers have found that a single-family room neonatal intensive care unit provides for appropriate levels of maternal involvement, developmental support, and staff involvement, which are essential to provide the kind of care that can optimize the medical and neurodevelopmental outcome of preterm infants and lead to the development of preventive interventions to reduce later impairment.

University of Chicago neuroscientists challenge long-held understanding of the sense of touch
Different types of nerves and skin receptors work in concert to produce sensations of touch, University of Chicago neuroscientists argue in a review article published Sept.

Finding hints of gravitational waves in the stars
Scientists have shown how gravitational waves -- invisible ripples in the fabric of space and time that propagate through the universe -- might be 'seen' by looking at the stars.

Job loss fears may boost first-time asthma risk
Job loss fears may boost the risk of developing asthma for the first time, indicates research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation awards 200 NARSAD Young Investigator grants
The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation today announced the award of NARSAD Young Investigator Grants valued at more than $12.7 million to 200 of the world's most promising young scientists.

Can tapioca replace corn as the main source for starch sweeteners?
Cassava, also known as tapioca, has large starch-filled roots and can grow at high yields in areas of Africa, Asia, and Latin America where corn and sugarcane are not commonly grown.

Higher risk of heart disease for South Asians in Canada
Findings emphasize the need to develop a standardized surveillance system for non-communicable diseases, such as CVD, cancer and lung diseases, by ethnic group in Canada.

Firelight talk of the Kalahari Bushmen
After human ancestors controlled fire 400,000 to 1 million years ago, flames not only let them cook food and fend off predators, but also extended their day.

New guidelines issued for managing peri- and postoperative atrial fibrillation
The American Association for Thoracic Surgery has released new evidence-based guidelines for the prevention and treatment of perioperative and postoperative atrial fibrillation and flutter for thoracic surgical procedures.

Cytomegalovirus linked to maternal breast milk in very-low-birth-weight infants
The primary source of postnatal infection with cytomagelovirus, a common virus usually without symptoms in very-low-birth-weight infants appeared to be maternal breast milk because no infections were linked to transfusions of cytomagelovirus-seronegative and leukoreduced blood products.

Scientists seen as competent but not trusted by Americans
While Americans view scientists as competent, they are not entirely trusted.

New RFID technology helps robots find household objects
Researchers have created a new search algorithm that improves a robot's ability to find and navigate to tagged objects.

Brainwave test could improve autism diagnosis and classification
A new study by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University suggests that measuring how fast the brain responds to sights and sounds could help in objectively classifying people on the autism spectrum and may help diagnose the condition earlier. 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