Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 13, 2014
Lead-free glass decor
Whether on baby bottles, beer mugs or perfume bottles, imprints on glass consist mainly of lead oxide.

Study reveals how deadly MERS virus enters human cells
Cornell University researchers have uncovered details of how the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) enters host cells, and offer possible new avenues for treatment.

Swiss scientists explain evolution of extreme parasites
Extreme adaptations of species often cause such significant changes that their evolutionary history is difficult to reconstruct.

Tip sheet from Annals of Internal Medicine Oct. 14, 2014
The Oct. 14 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine includes the following articles: Experts urge cautious use of experimental Ebola drugs; Health economists find major flaw in FDA's tobacco label regulation cost-benefit analysis; National study is first to report on medical resident knowledge of High Value Care via exam vignettes.

Clemson leads research on new materials that could make it safer to store nuclear waste
Minerals that endure in nature for millions of years are inspiring a Clemson University-led research team to explore whether new materials could be developed to encase nuclear waste for safe storage.

Treating cancer: UI biologists find gene that could stop tumors in their tracks
UI researchers have found a gene in a soil amoeba that can overcompensate for the specific mutations of a similar gene.

Study estimates 14 million smoking-attributable major medical conditions in US
Adults in the United States suffered from approximately 14 million major medical conditions attributable to smoking.

High carb diet, acidic sports drinks and eating disorders take toll on athletes' teeth
A high carb diet, acidic sports drinks and a heightened risk of eating disorders are taking their toll on athletes' teeth, says a Consensus Statement on mouth health and elite sport performance, published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Fly genome could help us improve health and our environment
The house fly might be a worldwide pest, but its genome will provide information that could improve our lives.

SETAC North America 35th Annual Meeting
The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) will be hosting its 35th annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia Nov.

Some sections of the San Andreas Fault system in San Francisco Bay Area are locked, overdue
Four urban sections of the San Andreas Fault system in Northern California have stored enough energy to produce major earthquakes, according to a new study that measures fault creep.

New cancer drug to begin trials in multiple myeloma patients
Scientists at Imperial College London have developed a new cancer drug which they plan to trial in multiple myeloma patients by the end of next year.

Cautious optimism as childhood obesity rates in Ireland plateau
Childhood overweight and obesity rates have plateaued in primary school aged children in the Republic of Ireland, reveals research published today in the open access journal BMC Public Health.

Spinal cord injury victims may benefit from stem cell transplantation studies
Two studies show transplantation of different types of stem cells may be effective treatments for spinal cord injury (SCI).

Rising sea levels of 1.8 meters in worst-case scenario
The climate is getting warmer, the ice sheets are melting and sea levels are rising -- but how much?

Magnetic superconductor: Strange bedfellows
Chemists at Ludwig-Maximilias-Universitaet in Munich have synthesized a ferromagnetic superconducting compound that is amenable to chemical modification, opening the route to detailed studies of this rare combination of physical properties.

Paving the way for a fructose tolerance test
A new study finds that the hormone FGF21 is a reliable predictor of fructose metabolism and could, in essence, provide the basis for a 'fructose tolerance test.'

No association seen between physical activity, depressive symptoms in adolescents
A study of teenagers suggests there is no association between physical activity and the development of depressive symptoms later in adolescence.

Greater rates of mitochondrial mutations discovered in children born to older mothers
The discovery of a 'maternal age effect' could be used to predict the accumulation of mitochondrial DNA mutations in maternal egg cells -- and the transmission of these mutations to children.

PTPRZ-MET fusion protein: A new target for personalized brain cancer treatment
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a new fusion protein found in approximately 15 percent of secondary glioblastomas or brain tumors.

University of Tennessee study finds crocodiles are sophisticated hunters
Vladimir Dinets, a research assistant professor in UT's Department of Psychology, has found that crocodiles work as a team to hunt their prey.

Balancing renewable energy costs
Increasing reliance on renewable energies is the way to achieve greater CO2 emission sustainability and energy independence.

Size of minority population impacts states' prison rates, Baker Institute researcher finds
New research from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy found that states with a large minority population tend to incarcerate more people.

New discovery will enhance yield and quality of cereal and bioenergy crops
A team of scientists led by Thomas Brutnell, Ph.D., have developed a new way of identifying genes that are important for photosynthesis in maize, and in rice.

Paper on haptic steering support winner of 2014 Human Factors Prize
The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society congratulates Bastiaan Petermeijer, David Abbink, and Joost de Winter on receiving the 2014 Human Factors Prize for their article, 'Should Drivers Be Operating Within an Automation-Free Bandwidth?

Tropical Storm Gonzalo triggered many warnings in Eastern Caribbean
The Eastern Caribbean islands were getting the brunt of Tropical Storm Gonzalo as the storm slowly moved through on Oct.

The chemistry of pizza (video)
Whether it's a plain cheese, a deep-dish stacked with meats or a thin-crust veggie delight, there's just something about pizza that makes it delicious.

Inside the Milky Way
Is matter falling into the massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way or being ejected from it?

Stenting safe and effective for long-term stroke prevention
Using stents to keep neck arteries open is just as effective as invasive neck surgery for long-term prevention of fatal and disabling strokes, reports an international trial led by University College London funded by the Medical Research Council and Stroke Association.

Tailored flexible illusion coatings hide objects from detection
Developing the cloak of invisibility would be wonderful, but sometimes simply making an object appear to be something else will do the trick, according to Penn State electrical engineers.

Researchers say academia can learn from Hollywood
According to a pair of University of Houston professors and their colleague from the IMT Lucca Institute for Advanced Studies in Italy, while science is increasingly moving in the direction of teamwork and interdisciplinary research, changes need to be made in academia to allow for a more collaborative model to flourish.

Nearly 1 in 3 UK lung cancer patients dies within 3 months of diagnosis
Nearly one in three lung cancer patients in the UK dies within three months of diagnosis, despite having visited their family doctor several times beforehand, reveals an analysis of primary care data, published online in the journal Thorax.

Uncertain reward more motivating than sure thing, study finds
In 'The Motivating-Uncertainty Effect: Uncertainty Increases Resource Investment in the Process of Reward Pursuit,' Professors Ayelet Fishbach and Christopher K.

Impact of mental stress on heart varies between men, women
Men and women have different cardiovascular and psychological reactions to mental stress, according to a study of men and women who were already being treated for heart disease.

Study: Only 58 percent of votes cast on tamper-resistant systems counted
A Rice University study of tamper-resistant voting methods revealed that only 58 percent of ballots were successfully cast across three voting systems.

A new land snail species named for equal marriage rights
With more than 300 land snail species, Taiwan holds a remarkable diversity of these creatures and still continues to surprise.

Precise control over genes results from game-changing research
The application of a new, precise way to turn genes on and off within cells is likely to lead to a better understanding of diseases and possibly to new therapies, according to UC San Francisco scientists.

Chemical present in broccoli, other vegetables may improve autism symptoms
A small study led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has found evidence that daily treatment with sulforaphane -- a molecule found in foods such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage -- may improve some symptoms of autism spectrum disorders.

ORNL researchers make first observation of atoms moving inside bulk material
Researchers have obtained the first direct observations of atomic diffusion inside a bulk material.

Guideline offers direction in genetic testing for certain types of muscular dystrophy
A new guideline from the American Academy of Neurology and the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine recommends guidance on how doctors should evaluate the full picture -- from symptoms, family history and ethnicity to a physical exam and certain lab test results -- in order to determine what genetic tests may best diagnose a person's subtype of limb-girdle or distal muscular dystrophy.

Older women more likely to have multiple health conditions
In the context of an aging population, the number of cases of people with multimorbidity, or multiple health conditions, is increasing, creating significant healthcare challenges.

Bio-inspired 'nano-cocoons' offer targeted drug delivery against cancer cells
Biomedical engineering researchers have developed a drug delivery system consisting of nanoscale 'cocoons' made of DNA that target cancer cells and trick the cells into absorbing the cocoon before unleashing anticancer drugs.

Genetic testing seeks co-ordinated approach in re-contacting patients
A new study will be examining the implications of when and how NHS healthcare professionals re-contact patients with new genetic information that may impact their health or that of their family.

Stanford scientists create a 'smart' lithium-ion battery that warns of fire hazard
Stanford University scientists have developed a 'smart' lithium-ion battery that gives ample warning before it overheats and bursts into flames.

Smartphone network could track incoming cosmic rays, UCI-led research finds
Your smartphone could become part of the world's largest telescope.

Scientists identify potential cause for 40 percent of pre-term births
Scientists from Queen Mary University of London and University College London have identified what they believe could be a cause of pre-term premature rupture of the fetal membrane, which accounts for 40 percent of pre-term births, and is the main reason for infant death world-wide.

Turtle tumors linked to excessive nitrogen from land-based pollution
Hawai'i's sea turtles are afflicted with chronic and often lethal tumors caused by consuming non-native algae 'superweeds' along coastlines where nutrient pollution is unchecked.

Variable glass coatings to stop condensation on windows
Thin-film coatings impart new properties to glass in applications as diverse as window glazing, solar cells and touchscreens.

Oral health problems in elite athletes 'must be addressed'
Poor oral health affecting athletes' general health and performance shows 'no signs of improvement' and must be remedied, say a group of UCL-led health experts and sporting bodies.

Fermented milk made by Lactococcus lactis H61 improves skin of healthy young women
There has been much interest in the potential for using probiotic bacteria for treating skin diseases and other disorders.

Discovery of cellular snooze button advances cancer and biofuel research
The discovery of a cellular snooze button has allowed a team of Michigan State University scientists to potentially improve biofuel production and offer insight on the early stages of cancer.

Sustained feedback to doctors may help maintain appropriate antibiotic usage in children
A program that provides guidance to primary care physicians about appropriately prescribing antibiotics for children is effective, but its improvements wear off after regular auditing and feedback are discontinued.

Study reports on medical resident knowledge of High Value Care via exam vignette
High Value Care sub-scores from the Internal Medicine In-Training Examination (reflect the importance of training medical residents to understand the benefits, harms, and costs of tests and treatments, according to a study published today in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Out-of-step cells spur muscle fibrosis in Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients
Like a marching band falling out of step, muscle cells fail to perform in unison in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Taking infestation with a grain of salt
New research shows that salinity plays a major role in salt marsh grass's response to insect grazing.

Moderate levels of 'free radicals' found beneficial to healing wounds
Long assumed to be destructive to tissues and cells, 'free radicals' generated by the cell's mitochondria -- the energy producing structures in the cell -- are actually beneficial to healing wounds.

Penn Medicine researcher receives New Innovator Award from National Institutes of Health
Roberto Bonasio, Ph.D., an assistant professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and a core member of the Penn Epigenetics Program is one of the recipients of a 2014 New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health.

Cushing's syndrome: LCSB researchers characterize a new tumor syndrome
Scientists at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine of the University of Luxembourg have published their findings that mutations in a gene known as 'ARMC5' promote the growth of benign tumors in the adrenal glands and on the meninges: ARMC5 appears to belong to the group of so-called tumor suppressor genes.

Scientists link ALS progression to increased protein instability
A new study by scientists from The Scripps Research Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and other institutions suggests a cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

University of Leicester archaeologists discover bronze remains of Iron Age chariot
A team uncovers a matching set of decorated bronze parts from a 2nd or 3rd century BC Celtic chariot at Burrough Hill Iron Age hillfort.

Stress may be harder on women's hearts than men's
Researchers have known for decades that stress contributes to heart disease.

Earliest-known lamprey larva fossils unearthed in Inner Mongolia
Researchers describe the oldest identified lamprey fossils displaying the creature in stages of pre-metamorphosis and metamorphosis.

Major grant to fund research into advanced, economically viable bioproducts
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Minnesota and Argonne National Laboratory will explore ways to produce renewable plastic precursors and other substances from biomass with a recently announced $3.3 million grant from the United States Department of Energy.

Versatile antibiotic found with self-immunity gene on plasmid in staph strain
A robust, broad spectrum antibiotic, and a gene that confers immunity to that antibiotic are both found in the bacterium Staphylococcus epidermidis Strain 115.

Disputed theory on Parkinson's origin strengthened
In 2003, the German neuropathologist Heiko Braak presented a theory suggesting that the disease begins in the gut and spreads to the brain.

Would you eat that doughnut if you knew you had to walk 2 miles to burn it off?
The National Institutes of Health recently awarded researchers from the UNC School of Medicine and the UNC Gillings School of Public Health more than $2 million to study the effects of physical activity food labeling on consumer food choices and exercise.

York leads the way in carbohydrate research
Scientists at the University of York have secured funding to purchase ground-breaking equipment that will transform glycoscience in the UK.

UH to develop new wireless communications systems to serve remote and rural areas
Advanced communications technology could bring broadband wireless service to remote and rural areas in the Hawaiian Islands, under a new research grant funded by the National Science Foundation.

Sonic Hedgehog protein causes DNA damage and the development child brain tumors
Scientists at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal and the University of Montreal discovered a mechanism that promotes the progression of medulloblastoma, the most common brain tumor found in children.

UCLA launches new research network to help children with autism transition into adulthood
With a $900,000 award from the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities has established a national Health Care Transitions Research Network for individuals with autism spectrum disorder.

Ultra-fast charging batteries that can be 70 percent recharged in just 2 minutes
Scientists from Nanyang Technological University have developed a new battery that can be recharged up to 70 percent in only two minutes.

Funding for better understanding of neural stem cells
A team of scientists led by a researcher from Plymouth University has received funding of more than £400,000 from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council to investigate how neural stem cells differ from each other.

Chemical derived from broccoli sprouts shows promise in treating autism
Results of a small clinical trial suggest that a chemical derived from broccoli sprouts -- and best known for claims that it can help prevent certain cancers -- may ease classic behavioral symptoms in those with autism spectrum disorders.

How metastases develop in the liver
Most tumors are only fatal if the cancer cells spread in the body and form secondary tumors, known as metastases, in other organs, such as the liver.

Dysregulation in orexinergic system associated with Alzheimer disease
In patients with Alzheimer disease, increased cerebrospinal fluid levels of orexin, which helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle, may be associated with sleep deterioration, which appears to be associated with cognitive decline.

NASA satellite sees wind shear affecting Tropical Storm Vongfong
Tropical Storm Vongfong continues to weaken as it tracks across the big islands of Japan, and NASA satellite data showed that westerly wind shear is taking its toll on the storm's structure.

Lose the weight, not the potatoes
Research published this week in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition demonstrates that people can eat potatoes and still lose weight.

Satellites confirm Fay weakened to a Tropical Storm
The fifth named Atlantic storm didn't maintain hurricane status long.

QUT study helps outdoor workers reduce their skin cancer risk
Skin cancer is one of the biggest fears for one in two outdoor workers and when the boss and staff work together the sun safe message gets through, a QUT study has found.

Living near major roads may increase risk of sudden cardiac death in women
Living near a major road was associated with an increased risk of sudden cardiac death in women.

Helping stroke patients transition from hospital to home
Stroke patients and their family caregivers often find the transition from hospital to home difficult.

Antibiotic resistance: Bacterial defense policies
High-resolution cryo-electron microscopy has now revealed in unprecedented detail the structural changes in the bacterial ribosome which results in resistance to the antibiotic erythromycin.

Digital divide: Pediatricians debate whether tots should have access to electronic devices
When the American Academy of Pediatrics published its policy statement in 1999 discouraging electronic media use by children under 2, the focus was on television programs, videos and DVDs.

Oral drug reduces formation of precancerous polyps in the colon, UB researchers find
Inflammatory cells in the colon, or polyps, are very common after the age of 50. 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