Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 16, 2014
EPA grant will help localities conserve headwater wetlands
Researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science have received a three-year, $392,773 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to identify the streams and wetlands most vulnerable to sea-level rise, and to develop tools to help local governments and citizens conserve these important ecosystems.

I have to walk how many miles to burn off this soda?
Adolescents who saw printed signs explaining the number of miles they would need to walk to burn off the calories in a sugary drink were more likely to leave the store with a lower calorie beverage, a healthier beverage or a smaller size beverage, according to new Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health research.

Scientists find ancient mountains that fed early life
Scientists have found a huge mountain range in Gondwana, 600 million years ago.

Brain's compass relies on geometric relationships, say Penn Researchers
The brain has a complex system for keeping track of which direction you are facing as you move about; remembering how to get from one place to another would otherwise be impossible.

Male and female brains aren't equal when it comes to fat
Researchers have found that male and female brains respond in remarkably different ways to high-fat meals.

Identifying hidden minds in impaired consciousness
This study uncovers hidden signatures of brain networks that could support consciousness in patients who are unresponsive and seemingly vegetative, but who demonstrate signs of covert awareness.

S-equol supplements associated with improved measures of reproductive health in postmenopausal women
Post-menopausal women experienced improvements in vaginal atrophy, with no significant effect on hormone levels or genital bleeding, after 12 weeks of daily 10 milligram doses of an investigational fermented soy germ-based nutritional supplement previously shown to help relieve certain menopause symptoms, according to a new peer-reviewed pilot study reported in a poster at the North American Menopause Society annual scientific meeting.

Diabetic men with low testosterone run higher risk of developing atherosclerosis
Men who have low testosterone and Type 2 diabetes face a greater risk of developing atherosclerosis -- a condition where plaque builds up in the arteries -- than men who have diabetes and normal testosterone levels, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

ORNL's Urban Dynamics Institute joins global fight against polio
The new Urban Dynamics Institute at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to aid polio vaccination efforts in developing countries.

Magnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny ways
Scientists have demonstrated, for the first time, a new type of mirror that forgoes a familiar shiny metallic surface and instead reflects infrared light by using an unusual magnetic property of a non-metallic metamaterial.

NASA spacecraft provides new information about sun's atmosphere
NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph has provided scientists with five new findings into how the sun's atmosphere, or corona, is heated far hotter than its surface, what causes the sun's constant outflow of particles called the solar wind, and what mechanisms accelerate particles that power solar flares.

Researchers reach 'paradigm shift' in understanding potassium channels
A new discovery relating to one of the most common processes in human cells is being described as a 'paradigm shift' in understanding.

Plant communities produce greater yield than monocultures
Diverse plant communities are more successful and enable higher crop yields than pure monocultures, a European research team headed by ecologists from the University of Zurich has discovered.

Top paleontological society presentations: Fossils, evolution, and extinctions
What is the 'Sixth Extinction'? How do paleontologists determine North America's future fire threats?

Human genetic research uncovers how omega-6 fatty acids lower bad cholesterol
Research based on the genetic information from over 100,000 individuals of European ancestry has uncovered a gene that affects blood cholesterol levels through the generation of a compound from omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, called lipoxins.

A good diet before diagnosis is linked with lower mortality among OVCA survivors
Prediagnosis diet quality was associated with mortality and may have a protective effect after ovarian cancer, according to a new study published Oct.

Engineers find a way to win in laser performance by losing
To help laser systems overcome loss, operators often pump the system with an overabundance of photons to achieve optical gain.

Should first responders use acupuncture & integrative medicine in natural disasters & battle zones?
Delivering traditional emergency medical care at ground zero of natural disasters and military conflicts is challenging.

Some rice-based foods for people with celiac disease contain relevant amounts of arsenic
Rice is one of the few cereal grains consumed by people with celiac disease, as it does not contain gluten.

Myelin vital for learning new practical skills
New evidence of myelin's essential role in learning and retaining new practical skills, such as playing a musical instrument, has been uncovered by UCL research.

Cosmic jets of young stars formed by magnetic fields
Astrophysical jets are counted among our universe's most spectacular phenomena: From the centers of black holes, quasars, or protostars, these rays of matter sometimes protrude several light years into space.

Explosion first evidence of a hydrogen-deficient supernova progenitor
A model presented by Kavli IPMU provides the first characterization of the progenitor for a hydrogen-deficient supernova.

Blood test helps predict relapse in patients with autoimmune disease affecting the kidneys
Among patients with an autoimmune disease called ANCA-associated vasculitis, autoantibody increases were linked with an 11-fold increased risk of relapse in patients whose kidneys were affected.

Dispelling a misconception about Mg-ion batteries
Berkeley Lab researchers, working under the JCESR Energy Hub, used supercomputer simulations to dispel a popular misconception about magnesium-ion batteries that should help advance the development of multivalent ion battery technology.

Physicists sound warning to 'nail beauty fanatics'
The daily trimming of fingernails and toenails to make them more aesthetically pleasing could be detrimental and potentially lead to serious nail conditions.

The social web of things
Research to be published in the International Journal of Web-Based Communities suggests that the familiar interfaces of online social networking sites might be adapted to allow us to interact more efficiently with our networked devices such as cars, domestic appliances and gadgets.

Sugared soda consumption, cell aging associated in new study
Sugar-sweetened soda consumption might promote disease independently from its role in obesity, according to UC San Francisco researchers who found in a new study that drinking sugary drinks was associated with cell aging.

Energy prices and business decision-making in Canada: Preparing for the energy future
A new expert panel report, 'Energy Prices and Business Decision-Making in Canada: Preparing for the Energy Future,' released today by the Council of Canadian Academies, details how Canadian businesses have historically been successful in responding to fluctuating energy prices, but this should not be considered a predictor for future resiliency or competitiveness.

First-ever patient care guidelines in prevention of acute exacerbations of COPD
Leading lung health organizations release the first-ever evidence-based patient care guidelines in prevention of acute exacerbations of COPD.

AAPG recognized for support of AGI with the William B. Heroy Jr. Award
The American Geosciences Institute has awarded this year's William B.

Light bending material facilitates the search for new particles
Particle physicists have a hard time identifying all the elementary particles created in their particle accelerators.

New Univeristy of Virginia study upends current theories of how mitochondria began
Parasitic bacteria were the first cousins of the mitochondria that power cells in animals and plants -- and first acted as energy parasites in cells before becoming beneficial, according to a new University of Virginia study.

New front in war on Alzheimer's and other protein-linked brain diseases
Proteins must fold into the right 3-D structure to work, and the body produces many chaperone molecules to refold misfolded proteins.

PETA science consortium to present hazard testing strategy at ECHA workshop
The PETA International Science Consortium's nanotechnology expert will present a poster titled 'A Tiered-Testing Strategy for Nanomaterial Hazard Assessment' at the Topical Scientific Workshop -- Regulatory Challenges in Risk Assessment of Nanomaterials being organized by the European Chemicals Agency on Oct.

Why are some people with autism hypersensitive to sound?
The University of California, Riverside has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the mechanisms of auditory hypersensitivity -- an increased sensitivity to sound through a negative emotional response -- in Fragile X syndrome (FXS).

That pregnant feeling makes a fly start nesting
Across the animal kingdom, it's not uncommon for pregnancy to change an expectant mom's behavior.

Probing the past
Using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope astronomers have made what may be the most reliable distance measurement yet of an object that existed in the Universe's formative years.

Tecnalia wins 'Oscar' for innovation in 'Medical Google'
This year the prestigious European EARTO organization has awarded its 2014 Innovation Prize to Tecnalia's Biosimil project, a computer search tool for biological and medical samples that contributes to enhance the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

Informative visit to the toilet
The exchange of information in public toilets is widespread. It also occurs in the world of white-footed sportive lemurs.

How a molecular Superman protects the genome from damage
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory scientists have found a new role for the RNAi protein Dicer in preserving genomic stability.

Youth suicide: More early detection and better coordination are needed
Although progress has been made in recent years, the matter of youth suicide in Quebec still needs to be more effectively addressed.

Mysterious Midcontinent Rift is a geological hybrid
A team of geologists has a new explanation for the formation of the Midcontinent Rift, an ancient 2,000-mile-long underground crack that starts in Lake Superior and runs south.

Formation and large scale confinement of jets emitted by young stars finally elucidated
An international team of scientists has succeeded in explaining the formation and propagation over astronomical distances of jets of matter emitted by young stars -- one of the most fascinating mysteries of modern astronomy.

Amphibian communities collapse in wake of viral outbreak
Two closely related viruses that have been introduced to northern Spain in recent years have already led to the collapse of three different species of amphibian -- the common midwife toad, the common toad, and the alpine newt -- in the protected area of Picos de Europa National Park.

How, when, and why industrial ecology is good for business
A new special feature of the Journal of Industrial Ecology presents new research on how, when, and why the use of industrial ecology by business can lead to cost savings, higher profits, and other, more intangible, business benefits.

A simple and versatile way to build 3-dimensional materials of the future
Researchers in Japan have developed a novel yet simple technique, called 'diffusion driven layer-by-layer assembly,' to construct graphene into porous three-dimensional structures for applications in devices such as batteries and supercapacitors.

Scripps Research Institute scientists identify trigger for crucial immune system cell
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have identified the long-sought activating molecules for a rare but crucial subset of immune system cells that help rally other white blood cells to fight infection.

Cellular self-destruct program has deep roots throughout evolution
In what seems like a counter-intuitive move against survival, within animals, some cells are fated to die from the triggering of an elaborate cell death program, known as apoptosis.

New perspectives for development of an RSV vaccine
Respiratory Syncytial Virus causes severe respiratory tract infections and worldwide claims the lives of 160,000 children each year.

Major Hurricane Gonzalo gives an 'eye-opening' performance
NASA and NOAA satellites have been providing continuous coverage of Hurricane Gonzalo as it moves toward Bermuda.

The Lancet: Surgical Trauma Series media alert
The Lancet is pleased to announce that two papers will be published as part of a Series on trauma in surgery: The systemic immune response to trauma: an overview of pathophysiology and treatment; Postinjury abdominal compartment syndrome: from recognition to prevention.

Are male brains wired to ignore food for sex?
Choosing between two good things can be tough. When animals must decide between feeding and mating, it can get even trickier.

NASA's Hubble finds extremely distant galaxy through cosmic magnifying glass
Peering through a giant cosmic magnifying glass, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a tiny, faint galaxy -- one of the farthest galaxies ever seen.

Presence of enzyme may worsen effects of spinal cord injury and impair long-term recovery
Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating condition with few treatment options.

Assurex Health and CAMH awarded $6 million grant from Genome Canada
Clinical studies in peer-reviewed journals in the United States have demonstrated the clinical validity, utility and economic benefit of genetic testing in making decisions about treatment for patients with major depression, compared with treatment as usual.

First step: From human cells to tissue-engineered esophagus
In a first step toward future human therapies, researchers at The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles have shown that esophageal tissue can be grown in vivo from both human and mouse cells.

UH Cancer Center receives $3.5 million NCORP grant for cancer care, research in Hawaii
The National Cancer Institute awarded the University of Hawai`i Cancer Center and The Queen's Medical Center a grant of more than $3.8 million over five years to conduct cancer clinical trials in the state for minority and underserved populations.

Survey: Texans share lessons learned as second enrollment period of ACA health insurance nears
While most Texans used earlier this year to get information or to enroll in a health insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), larger percentages of Texans found talking to the call center or a navigator was the most helpful.

First detailed map of aboveground forest carbon stocks in Mexico unveiled
Available for download today, the Woods Hole Research Center and Allianza MREDD+ released the first detailed map of aboveground forest carbon stocks of Mexico.

IU-led team of biologists earns 1 of 12 biodiversity grants awarded by NSF
Indiana University biologists who specialize in the ecology and evolution of microbes have been named one of 12 teams in the nation to receive funding from the National Science Foundation's Dimensions of Biodiversity Program.

Researchers develop personalized ovarian cancer vaccines
Researchers used new genomic analysis techniques to identify specific protein sequences, called epitopes, that the immune system can use to identify cancer cells.

NASA study finds 1934 had worst drought of last thousand years
A new study using a reconstruction of North American drought history over the last 1,000 years found that the drought of 1934 was the driest and most widespread of the last millennium.

Myth-conceptions: How myths about the brain are hampering teaching
Myths about the brain are common among teachers worldwide and are hampering teaching, according to new research.

Resveratrol boosts spinal bone density in men with metabolic syndrome
Resveratrol, a natural compound found in red wine and grapes, increased spinal bone density in men with metabolic syndrome and could hold promise as a treatment for osteoporosis, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Adenosine can melt 'love handles'
An international team of researchers led by Professor Alexander Pfeifer from the University Hospital Bonn, have now come one step closer to an efficient method for losing weight.

News from Annals of Internal Medicine: Conventional medical centers may be unable to prevent spread of Ebola
Below is information about an article being published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

APP-China has historic land rights issues, APP welcomes report, resolves to address
A new report reveals that Asia Pulp and Paper, one of the world's 10 largest pulp and paper companies with over $20 billion in assets, is facing significant challenges due to its land acquisitions in China and the social issues that have arisen as a result of historic acquisition processes.

Study recommends ongoing assessment of impact of offshore wind farms on marine species
Offshore wind power is a valuable source of renewable energy that can help reduce carbon emissions.

Public health in the 21st century
Although disease outbreaks and epidemics drawing worldwide attention emphasize the importance and acute need for public health professionals, the world faces a longer-term challenge -- a public health workforce that is truly effective in the 21st century.

DFG establishes 9 new research units
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft is establishing nine new Research Units. The research collaborations will offer researchers the opportunity to pursue current and pressing issues in their research areas and to establish innovative work directions.

To wilt or not to wilt: MicroRNAs determine tomato susceptibility to Fusarium fungus
Plant breeders have long identified and cultivated disease-resistant varieties. A study published on Oct.

Pre-eclampsia may be caused by the fetus, not the placenta, says Anaesthesia editorial
Pre-eclampsia, the potentially deadly condition that affects pregnant women, may be caused by problems meeting the oxygen demands of the growing fetus, according to an editorial in the November issue of Anaesthesia, the journal of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.

Cell architecture: Finding common ground
When it comes to cellular architecture, function follows form. Plant cells contain a dynamic cytoskeleton, which is responsible for directing cell growth, development, movement, and division.

Shrinking resource margins in Sahel region of Africa
The need for food, animal feed and fuel in the Sahel belt is growing year on year, but supply is not increasing at the same rate.

Tiny 'nanoflares' might heat the Sun's corona
Why is the Sun's million-degree corona, or outermost atmosphere, so much hotter than the Sun's surface?

Cadavers beat computers for learning anatomy
Despite the growing popularity of using computer simulation to help teach college anatomy, students learn much better through the traditional use of human cadavers, according to new research that has implications for health care.

New catalyst could improve biofuels production
Washington State University researchers have developed a new catalyst that could lead to making biofuels cheaply and more efficiently.

Mild traumatic brain injury can have lasting effects for families, reports the American Journal of Nursing
Families of patients with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) may expect them to return to normal quickly -- after all, it's 'just a concussion.' But mild TBI can have a lasting impact on families as well as patients, according to a review in the November issue of American Journal of Nursing.

Simple test may predict surgical wound healing complications
A simple test called transcutaneous oximetry may be able to predict which patients with soft tissue sarcomas will experience complications while healing from surgery, potentially enabling surgeons to take extra precautions, a study has found.

Novel RNAi-based therapy for anemia stimulates liver to produce EPO
To treat the debilitating anemia associated with reduced erythropoietin (EPO) production by the kidneys in chronic renal disease, patients are often given recombinant human EPO to increase hemoglobin levels.

High-fat meals could be more harmful to males than females, according to new obesity research
Male and female brains are not equal when it comes to the biological response to a high-fat diet.

Jet lag can cause obesity by disrupting the daily rhythms of gut microbes
Organisms ranging from bacteria to humans have circadian clocks to help them synchronize their biological activities to the time of day.

New study finds that the probability of unprotected intercourse in hookups doubles between freshman
An article released by Social Forces titled, 'Casual Contraception in Casual Sex: Life-Cycle Change in Undergraduates' Sexual Behavior in Hookups' by Jonathan Marc Bearak (New York University) explores the changes in undergraduate uncommitted sexual behavior during years 1-4 of college.

Wobbling of a Saturn moon hints at what lies beneath
Using instruments aboard the Cassini spacecraft to measure the wobbles of Mimas, the closest of Saturn's regular moons, a Cornell University astronomer publishing in Science, Oct.

Curious signal hints at dark matter
A cutting-edge paper by Professor George Fraser -- who tragically died in March this year -- and colleagues at the University of Leicester provides first potential indication of direct detection of Dark Matter -- something that has been a mystery in physics for over 30 years.

Modeling tumor dormancy
A new computational model developed in the laboratory of Salvatore Torquato, a Professor of Chemistry at Princeton University, may help illuminate the conditions surrounding tumor dormancy and the switch to a malignant state.

Staph 'gangs' share nutrients during infection: Vanderbilt study
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can share resources to cause chronic infections, Vanderbilt University investigators have discovered.

Older adults satisfied with aging more likely to seek health screenings
Adults over 50 who feel comfortable about aging are more proactive in getting preventive health care services, a new University of Michigan study found.

Study shows inpatient palliative care reduces hospital costs and readmissions
Palliative care provided in the hospital offers known clinical benefits, and a new study shows that inpatient palliative care can also significantly lower the cost of hospitalization and the rate of readmissions.

Executive scandal hurts job prospects even for entry-level employees
There's more bad news for job seekers with a scandal-hit company like Lehman Brothers or Countrywide Mortgage on their résumés.

Human cancer prognosis is related to newly identified immune cell
A newly discovered population of immune cells in tumors is associated with less severe cancer outcomes in humans, and may have therapeutic potential, according to a new UC San Francisco study of 3,600 human tumors of 12 types, as well as mouse experiments.

Have you heard of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy?
Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is concerning and many -- even those with seizure disorders -- may not be aware of this condition.

Chapman University launches new academic journal aimed at quantum physics
Chapman University has introduced a new academic journal focused on quantum theory.

Pitt/McGowan Institute team discovers stem cells in the esophagus
Despite previous indications to the contrary, the esophagus does have its own pool of stem cells, said researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in an animal study published online today in Cell Reports.

Journey to the center of the earth
A UCSB geochemist studying Samoan volcanoes has found evidence of the planet's early formation still trapped inside the Earth.

Nortal and VTT start cooperation in the fast-growing big data market
Software development solutions provider Nortal and VTT will begin developing advanced practical solutions for analysis of large amounts of data, known as big data, targeted at industrial companies.

Misfolded proteins clump together in a surprising place
Scientists at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have made a surprising finding about the aggregates of misfolded cellular proteins that have been linked to aging-related disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

NASA begins sixth year of airborne Antarctic ice change study
NASA is carrying out its sixth consecutive year of Operation IceBridge research flights over Antarctica to study changes in the continent's ice sheet, glaciers and sea ice.

Amphibians being wiped out by emerging viruses
Scientists tracing the real-time impact of viruses in the wild have found that entire amphibian communities are being killed off by closely related viruses introduced to mountainous areas of northern Spain.

Scientists find 'hidden brain signatures' of consciousness in vegetative state patients
Scientists in Cambridge have found hidden signatures in the brains of people in a vegetative state, which point to networks that could support consciousness even when a patient appears to be unconscious and unresponsive.

Protons hog the momentum in neutron-rich nuclei
Protons and neutrons that have briefly paired up in the nucleus have higher-average momentum, leaving less for non-paired nucleons.

UCLA research could help improve bladder function among people with spinal cord injuries
New UCLA research may lead to dramatically fewer bladder infections following spinal cord injuries and other traumatic injuries -- infections that can cause kidney damage, and even death.

Loss of big predators could leave herbivores in a thorny situation
Global declines in carnivore populations could embolden plant eaters to increasingly dine on succulent vegetation, driving losses in plant and tree biodiversity, according to UBC research published today in Science.

MicroRNA molecules serve as on/off switches for inflammation
University of Utah scientists have identified two microRNA molecules that control chronic inflammation, a discovery that one day may help researchers prevent certain fatal or debilitating conditions before they start.

Satellites tracking Central Pacific's Tropical Storm Ana
Tropical Storm Ana continued on a path to the Hawaiian Islands as NASA's Terra satellite passed overhead and gathered data on the storm. 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