Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 02, 2014
Energy drinks cause insomnia and nervousness in athletes
A study analyzing the positive and negative effects of energy drinks on athletes has seen that, although in principle their sports performance was seen to improve by between 3 percent and 7 percent, there was also an increase in the frequency of insomnia, nervousness and the level of stimulation in the hours following competition.

'Mini-stroke' may lead to post-traumatic stress disorder
About 30 percent of transient ischemic attack or 'mini-stroke' patients had symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a new study.

Discovery helps to spot what makes a good drug
A new test developed by researchers from the University of Manchester could revolutionize the discovery of new prescription drugs.

Ancient protein-making enzyme moonlights as DNA protector
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have found that an enzyme best known for its fundamental role in building proteins has a second major function: to protect DNA during times of cellular stress.

Research from Penn and UCSB shows how giant clams harness the sun
Beneath the waves, many creatures sport iridescent structures that rival what materials scientists can make in the laboratory.

Treatment to reduce blood clots otolaryngology in patients admitted for surgery examined
The effectiveness of a treatment to reduce blood clots among otolaryngology patients admitted for surgery appears to differ based on patient risk and the procedure.

New software for Google Glass provides captions for hard-of-hearing users
A team of Georgia Institute of Technology researchers has created speech-to-text software for Google Glass that helps hard-of-hearing users with everyday conversations.

Common painkillers combined with other drugs may cause high risk of GI bleeding
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs -- such as ibuprofen and aspirin -- increase one's risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding.

Osteoporosis treatment may also benefit breast cancer patients
Treatment approaches to reduce the risk of bone metastasis associated with breast cancer may be one step closer to becoming a reality.

Counting the seconds for immunological tolerance
The immune system is loyal to cells in the body, but how this works is not fully understood.

Researchers identify new pathway linking the brain to high blood pressure
New research by scientists at the Ottawa Heart Institute and the University of Maryland School of Medicine has uncovered a new pathway by which the brain uses an unusual steroid to control blood pressure.

Caught in the social safety net
Andrea Campbell gives a firsthand perspective on the merits of means-tested social insurance programs.

Diet affects mix of intestinal bacteria and the risk of inflammatory bone disease
Diet-induced changes in the gut's bacterial ecosystem can alter susceptibility to an autoinflammatory bone disease by modifying the immune response, St.

To life! Practicing Judaism could protect against suicide
In 1897, Emile Durkheim, the father of sociology, speculated that religion could protect against against suicidal impulses.

Parents drive kids' car choices
A new study finds children are nearly 40 percent more likely to buy the auto brand their parents did.

SDSC granted $1.3 million award for '' data sharing infrastructure
Researchers at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego have received a three-year, $1.3 million award from the National Science Foundation to develop a web-based resource that lets scientists seamlessly share and access preliminary results and transient data from research on a variety of platforms, including mobile devices.

Study indicates possible new way to treat endometrial, colon cancers
A study led by Gordon Mills, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of Systems Biology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center with Lydia Cheung, Ph.D., as the first author, points to cellular mutations in the gene PIK3R1 which activate ERK and JNK, thus allowing tumor growth.

Satellite animation shows formation of Tropical Storm Simon off Mexico's southwestern coast
Mexico's western coast is again dealing with rain, wind and rough surf from another tropical storm.

New report urges caution in handling eyewitness identifications
A new report from the National Research Council recommends best practices that law enforcement agencies and courts should follow to improve the likelihood that eyewitness identifications used in criminal cases will be accurate.

How curiosity changes the brain to enhance learning
The more curious we are about a topic, the easier it is to learn information about that topic.

Study of mountain lion energetics shows the power of the pounce
Scientists at UC Santa Cruz, using a new wildlife tracking collar they developed, were able to continuously monitor the movements of mountain lions in the wild and determine how much energy the big cats use to stalk, pounce, and overpower their prey.

In-depth analysis of bat influenza viruses concludes they pose low risk to humans
Zoonosis -- transmission of infections from other vertebrates to humans -- causes regular and sometimes serious disease outbreaks.

Springer and Social Sciences Academic Press launch new book series
Social Sciences Academic Press and Springer are launching a new English-language book series called 'Research Series on the Chinese Dream and China's Development Path.' The titles in the new book series will present research by Chinese scholars comprehensively and objectively, reflecting the development model of China's success.

York academics reveal new findings about insect diversification
Biologists from the University of York have compiled two new datasets on insect evolution, revealing that metamorphosing insects diversify more quickly than other insects and are therefore the biggest contributors to the evolution of insect diversity.

New map uncovers thousands of unseen seamounts on ocean floor
Scientists have created a new map of the world's seafloor, offering a more vivid picture of the structures that make up the deepest, least-explored parts of the ocean.

New study finds link between depression and abnormal brain response to visceral pain in patients with IBS
High rates of anxiety and depression amongst patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have led many researchers to believe there could be a causal relationship between psychological factors and IBS symptoms.

Dog's epigenome gives clues to human cancer
This week the team led by Manel Esteller, director of the Program for Epigenetics and Cancer Biology at IDIBELL, has characterized the dog's epigenome and transferred the results to human cancer to understand the changes in appearance of tumors.

A discovery could prevent the development of brain tumors in children
Scientists at the IRCM in Montréal discovered a mechanism that promotes the progression of medulloblastoma, the most common brain tumor found in children.

Climate-KIC start-ups raise €59 million in external funding
Climate-KIC, the EU's main climate innovation initiative, has today announced that its unique Accelerator, launched in 2010, has so far helped 45 European cleantech start-ups to collectively raise €59 million in external investment.

Bioinspired materials enable new health-care options, reports Journal of Biomedical Optics
The October issue of the Journal of Biomedical Optics includes a special section on biomimetic materials and their applications in areas such as disease diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment and toxin detection.

To help solve slums, innovators build jobs, food security into affordable housing blueprints
33 percent of the developing world's urban population lives in informal settlements.

ONR-supported scientist earns 'genius' status from MacArthur Foundation
A scientist sponsored by the Office of Naval Research has won a 'genius grant' from the MacArthur Foundation for his investigations into how the tiniest materials can improve electronics, medical devices and renewable energy -- three critical areas for the Navy.

DNA 'bias' may keep some diseases in circulation, Penn biologists show
In a new study published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, University of Pennsylvania researchers Joseph Lachance and Sarah A.

Falling asleep: Revealing the point of transition
How can we tell when someone has fallen asleep? To answer this question, scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a new statistical method and behavioral task to track the dynamic process of falling asleep.

Seed science might save the world
Seeds' resilience will help meet the future needs of agronomy to feed the world.

Study gauges humor by age
Depending on your age, you may or may not find certain types of humor funny, especially if it pokes fun at others.

Conference brings international organic agriculture leaders together
Organic agriculture and food systems can contribute to society goals of sustainable food production.

Columbia awards Horwitz Prize to pioneer of immunotherapy
Columbia University will award the 2014 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize to James P.

INFORMS presents 12 new fellow awards, inducts analytics leaders
The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, the leading professional association for analytics professionals, today announced 12 new recipients of the annual INFORMS Fellow Award.

Washington University review identifies factors associated with childhood brain tumors
Older parents, birth defects, maternal nutrition and childhood exposure to CT scans and pesticides are increasingly being associated with brain tumors in children, according to new research from the Brown School at Washington University in St.

Creepy crawlers play key role in structure of grasslands
A new Yale-led study shows the critical importance of earthworms, beetles, and other tiny creatures to the structure of grasslands and the valuable ecosystem services they provide.

Grandparents' support linked to parents' willingness to have children and child welfare
Grandparents can significantly influence parents' decisions to have additional children and the well-being of grandchildren, according to a recent study completed at the University of Eastern Finland.

Why we can't tell a Hollywood heartthrob from his stunt double
Johnny Depp has an unforgettable face. Tony Angelotti, his stunt double in 'Pirates of the Caribbean,' does not.

Study: Big-headed ants grow bigger when faced with fierce competitors
The big-headed ant (Pheidole megacephala) is considered one of the world's worst invasive ant species.

Industrial hemp topic of lecture
This widely misunderstood crop has a productive history-- and future -- in the US.

Parent coaching early intervention program benefits young children with autism
A parent coaching intervention brings meaningful benefits for preschool-aged children with autism-spectrum disorders, according to a clinical trial in the October Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, the official journal of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

Thermotolerant yeast can provide more climate-smart ethanol
With a simple mutation, yeast can grow in higher than normal temperatures.

New approach to boosting biofuel production
MIT researchers find different environment helps yeast tolerate high levels of ethanol, making them more productive.

The Lancet: Ovarian tissue and egg freezing should be made widely available to prevent
Ovarian tissue and egg freezing to preserve fertility should no longer be reserved for cancer patients, and healthy women should also be offered these options to safeguard their future chances of conceiving a child, say world renowned fertility experts writing in a new Series on fertility preservation, published in The Lancet.

University of Maryland School of Medicine identifies new heart disease pathway
New research by scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Ottawa Heart Institute has uncovered a new pathway by which the brain uses an unusual steroid to control blood pressure.

Princeton scientists observe elusive particle that is its own antiparticle
Princeton University scientists have observed an exotic particle that behaves simultaneously like matter and antimatter, a feat of math and engineering that could yield powerful computers based on quantum mechanics.

Auditory system: The ruffling effect of rumble
Barely perceptible low-frequency signals nevertheless activate measurable responses in our auditory circuits.

Oregon Health & Science University receives $100,000 grant from Kay Yow
The Kay Yow Cancer Fund, in partnership with the Women's Basketball Coaches Association and The V Foundation for Cancer Research, has awarded a $100,000 young women's breast cancer research grant to the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University.

Link between past sexual violence and distress on pelvic exam
Women who have a history of violent sexual abuse may suffer emotional distress during a routine pelvic examination.

High alcohol intake linked to heightened HPV infection risk in men
A high alcohol intake is linked to a heightened risk of human papillomavirus infection among men, suggests research in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.

New map exposes previously unseen details of seafloor
Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and their colleagues have created a new map of the world's seafloor.

Soon to become a minority in the US, whites express declining support for diversity
Many white Americans are becoming less enthusiastic about diversity and multiculturalism as the US moves toward becoming a minority-majority nation, UCLA psychologists report.

Gout linked to heightened diabetes risk
Gout is linked to a heightened risk of type 2 diabetes, suggests research published online in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Making oxygen before life
About one-fifth of the Earth's atmosphere is oxygen, pumped out by green plants as a result of photosynthesis and used by most living things on the planet to keep our metabolisms running.

Blood tests predict kidney disease patients' risk of developing heart failure
Kidney disease patients with detectable levels of a blood protein called high-sensitivity troponin T had up to a five-fold increased risk of developing heart failure.

GVSU researcher earns grant to study biomarkers, advancement of Parkinson's
A researcher at Grand Valley State University has received a grant to continue studying if molecular biomarkers can be used to monitor the advancement of Parkinson's disease.

HHS releases 13th Report on Carcinogens
Four substances have been added in the US Department of Health and Human Services 13th Report on Carcinogens, a science-based document that identifies chemical, biological, and physical agents that are considered cancer hazards for people living in the United States.

Herbivores play important role in protecting habitats from invasive species
Herbivores consume more non-native oak leaf material in areas with diverse native plant communities than in less diverse communities.

£125 million announced by Business Secretary Vince Cable for the next generation of scientists to drive the economy of the future
Business Secretary Vince Cable will announce £125 million of funding over five years to support the training and development of 1,250 Ph.D. students Friday, Oct.

A closer look at the perfect fluid
By combining data from two high-energy accelerators, nuclear scientists have refined the measurement of a remarkable property of exotic matter known as quark-gluon plasma.

On invasive species, Darwin had it right all along, study shows
Based on insights first articulated by Charles Darwin, professors at Brown University and Syracuse University have developed and tested the 'evolutionary imbalance hypothesis' to help predict species invasiveness in ecosystems.

The fat suit study
Have you ever ordered more food at a restaurant than you intended?

New study suggests humans to blame for plummeting numbers of cheetahs
A new study led by Queen's University Belfast into how cheetahs burn energy suggests that human activity, rather than larger predators, may force them to expend more energy and thus be the major cause of their decline.

Supreme delay: Why the nation's highest court puts off big decisions until the last moment
Several 'blockbuster' cases -- including freedom of speech, religious freedoms in prison, pregnancy discrimination and a possible decision on gay marriage -- are on the docket for the Supreme Court, which begins its new session this month.

Drug-food interactions in mountaineering
UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country researchers have studied the nutritional and health situations existing at high altitudes as well as the routinely used nutritional ergogenic and pharmacological aids.

Strength as you age: 1 in 3 adults 50+ suffer progressive muscle loss, research shows
New findings from a review paper published in Age and Ageing show that approximately one out of three adults age 50+ suffer from sarcopenia, a condition that could interfere with aging adults' ability to live a full and active life.

Sense of invalidation uniquely risky for troubled teens
A study of 99 teens hospitalized out of concern about suicide risk found that a high perception of family invalidation -- or lack of acceptance -- predicted future suicide events among boys, and peer invalidation predicted future self harm, such as cutting, among the teens in general.

Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder associated with dendritic spine loss in brain
Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder both appear to be associated with dendritic spine loss in the brain, suggesting the two distinct disorders may share common pathophysiological features.

The Lancet: Second case of apparent HIV 'cure' in a baby followed by reappearance of virus
Researchers today report the case of a baby, born HIV-positive, who appeared to have been cured of HIV after being given early antiretroviral treatment to combat the virus, but ultimately exhibited detectable HIV infection.

LGBT bioethics: Visibility, disparities, and dialogue
A special report published by The Hastings Center, 'LGBT Bioethics: Visibility, Disparities, and Dialogue,' is a call to action for the bioethics field to help right the wrongs in the ways that law, medicine, and society have treated LGBT people.

Blackflies may be responsible for spreading nodding syndrome
Despite decades of research, scientists have yet to pinpoint the exact cause of nodding syndrome, a disabling disease affecting African children.

Global carbon capture conference looks at greenhouse gas mitigation
The University of Texas at Austin will host the world's leading conference on carbon capture and storage research, the 12th international Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies conference, Oct.

Strong working memory puts brakes on problematic drug use
Adolescents with strong working memory are better equipped to escape early drug experimentation without progressing into substance abuse issues, says a University of Oregon researcher.

52-million-year-old amber preserves 'ant-loving' beetle
Scientists have uncovered the fossil of a 52-million-year old beetle that likely was able to live alongside ants --preying on their eggs and usurping resources -- within the comfort of their nest.

Researchers discover gene that can predict aggressive prostate cancer at diagnosis
Researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have identified a biomarker living next door to the KLK3 gene that can predict which GS7 prostate cancer patients will have a more aggressive form of cancer.

Moderate weekly alcohol intake linked to poorer sperm quality in healthy young men
Moderate alcohol intake of at least five units every week is linked to poorer sperm quality in otherwise healthy young men, suggests research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

MRSA biofilms in joint fluid make infections tough to tackle
Jefferson scientists come one step closer to understanding why joint infections are difficult to treat.

A new approach to on-chip quantum computing
An international team of researchers led by professor Roberto Morandotti of INRS-EMT in Canada, is introducing a new method to achieve a different type of photon pair source that fits into the tiny space of a computer chip.

Making old lungs look young again
New research shows that the lungs become more inflammatory with age and that ibuprofen can lower that inflammation.

Socioeconomic factors, fashion trends linked to increase in melanoma
Researchers at New York University Langone Medical Center explored extenuating factors, such as socioeconomic and fashion trends, that may have contributed to increased incidence of melanoma over the past century.

On the scent of a wine's bouquet
The majority of wines are produced from around 20 different types of grape, all of which have their own typical aroma.

Horizon Report urges schools to tackle 'wicked' digital skills challenge
Low digital skills and competences among school pupils and the need to integrate effective use of information and communication technologies into teacher training are among the most pressing challenges faced by European school education today, according to a report published by the European Commission and the New Media Consortium, a US-based not-for-profit body bringing together experts in education technology.

Curiosity helps learning and memory
Curiosity helps us learn about a topic, and being in a curious state also helps the brain memorize unrelated information, according to researchers at the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience.

Exercise linked with improved physical and mental health among dialysis patients
Among dialysis patients, aerobic activity was linked positively with health-related quality of life and inversely with depressive symptoms and premature death.

In a bad mood? Head to Facebook and find someone worse off
When people are in a bad mood, they are more likely to actively search social networking sites like Facebook to find friends who are doing even worse than they are, a new study suggests.

Twice the DNA yield in less time
A new DNA isolation technique based on MagnaCel paramagnetic cellulose particles (PMC), originally designed and developed for forensic applications, was evaluated by researchers to determine its efficacy in extracting DNA from a wide range of plant species.

HIV pandemic's origins located
The present HIV pandemic almost certainly originated in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to a new study.

Researcher receives $1.2 million to create real-time seismic imaging system
Dr. WenZhan Song, a professor in the Department of Computer Science at Georgia State University, has received a four-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to create a real-time seismic imaging system using ambient noise.

NASA image shows Typhoon Phanfone's pinhole eye
Typhoon Phanfone's eye appeared the size of a pinhole on visible imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite on Oct.

Unexpectedly speedy expansion of human, ape cerebellum
A new study published in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on Oct.

Marijuana use associated with lower death rates in patients with traumatic brain injuries
A survey of patients with traumatic brain injuries found those who had used marijuana were more likely to survive than those who had not used the illicit substance.

Stopping liver cancer in its tracks
A University of Tokyo research group has discovered that AIM (apoptosis inhibitor of macrophage), a protein that plays a preventive role in obesity progression, can also prevent tumor development in mice liver cells.

Cheetahs never prosper: Energy expenditure linked to population decline
A new study from researchers in Europe, South Africa and at North Carolina State University suggests that the energy cheetahs spend looking for prey, rather than their high-speed hunting tactics or food stolen by other predators, may be to blame for their dwindling numbers.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center awarded $20 million grant to study HIV treatment
A grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will test broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of HIV. 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