Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 28, 2014
NUS researchers discover for the first time that a rare bush frog breeds in bamboo
Researchers from the National University of Singapore have discovered a new reproductive mode in frogs and toads -- breeding and laying direct developing eggs in live bamboo with narrow openings -- which was observed in the white spotted bush frog (Raorchestes chalazodes).

Modeling cancer: Virginia Tech researchers prove models can predict cellular processes
Researchers developed mathematical models to predict the dynamics of cell transitions, and compared their results with actual measurements of activity in cell populations.

Blood test developed to diagnose early onset Alzheimer's disease
A non-invasive blood test that could diagnose early onset Alzheimer's disease with increased accuracy has been developed by University of Melbourne researchers.

Robotically assisted bypass surgery reduces complications after surgery and cuts recovery
Robotically assisted coronary artery bypass grafting surgery is a rapidly evolving technology that shortens hospital stays and reduces the need for blood products, while decreasing recovery times, making the procedure safer and less risky.

World losing 2,000 hectares of farm soil daily to salt damage: UN University
Every day for more than 20 years, an average of 2,000 hectares of irrigated land in arid and semi-arid areas across 75 countries have been degraded by salt, according to a study by UN University's Canadian-based Institute for Water, Environment and Health, published Oct.

Wage disclosures for public officials lead to salary cuts, high turnover rates
In the era of big data, transparency has become a popular policy tool for addressing potential problems.

New insights into the development of ciliopathies
Diseases of the sensory or motile cilia play a key role in lung diseases or diabetes.

Compensation and punishment: 'Justice' depends on whether or not we're a victim
We're more likely to punish wrongdoing as a third party to a non-violent offense than when we're victimized by it, according to a new study by New York University psychology researchers.

ACP expresses concern about mandatory quarantines of clinicians involved
The American College of Physicians is strongly concerned about the approach being taken by some state health departments to impose strict, mandatory quarantines for all physicians, nurses, and other health professionals returning from West Africa, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms of Ebola virus infection.

Insights into the physics of space weather that disrupts cell phones and creates Earthly havoc
The volatile 'solar wind' buffets the magnetosphere, the magnetic field that surrounds the Earth, and can whip up geomagnetic storms that disrupt cell phone service, damage satellites and blackout power grids.

IU researchers: Blood test may help to diagnose pancreatic cancer
Indiana University cancer researchers have found that a simple blood test might help diagnose pancreatic cancer, one of the most deadly forms of the disease.

Calming the plasma edge: The tail that wags the dog
Lithium injections show promise for optimizing the performance of fusion plasmas.

Can the wave function of an electron be divided and trapped?
Electrons are elementary particles -- indivisible, unbreakable. But new research suggests the electron's quantum state -- the electron wave function -- can be separated into many parts.

Breathe easier: Get your D
Asthma, which inflames and narrows the airways, has become more common in recent years.

European consensus on methodological recommendations for clinical studies in rare cancers
One out of every five new cancer patients is diagnosed with a rare cancer, yet the clinical evidence needed to effectively treat these rare cancer patients is scarce.

Figuring out how we get the nitrogen we need
Caltech chemists have taken a crucial step toward unlocking the mystery of how bacteria use an enzyme called nitrogenase to convert nitrogen -- an essential component of all living systems -- from the inert molecule found in the atmosphere to a form that living systems can use.

Giant tortoises gain a foothold on a Galapagos Island
A population of endangered giant tortoises, which once dwindled to just over a dozen, has recovered on the Galapagos island of Espanola, a finding described as 'a true story of success and hope in conservation' by the lead author of a study published today (Oct.

'Reverse engineering' materials for more efficient heating and cooling
If you've gone for a spin in a luxury car and felt your back being warmed or cooled by a seat-based climate control system, then you've likely experienced the benefits of a class of materials called thermoelectrics.

Politics can interact with evolution to shape human destiny
Politics can have unintentional evolutionary consequences that may cause hastily issued policies to cascade into global, multigenerational problems, according to political scientists.

UK medical schools are not attracting enough GPs
UK medical schools are not attracting enough would-be GPs, argues a senior academic in The BMJ this week.

Women play dangerous waiting game with heart symptoms
When heart symptoms strike, men and women go through similar stages of pain but women are more likely to delay seeking care and can put their health at risk

The Lancet: Neglect of culture in medicine is 'single biggest barrier' to achieving better health
The systematic neglect of culture is the single biggest barrier to advancing the highest attainable standard of health worldwide, say the authors of a major new report on culture and health, led by Professor David Napier, a leading medical anthropologist from University College London, UK, and published in The Lancet.

NASA gets a stare from Cyclone Nilofar's 14 mile-wide eye
Tropical Cyclone Nilofar developed an eye on Oct. 28 that seemed to stare at NASA's Terra satellite as it passed overhead in space.

Poland to join the European Southern Observatory
Today Professor Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, the Polish Minister of Science and Higher Education, signed an agreement that will lead to the country joining the European Southern Observatory (ESO) -- the world's most productive ground-based observatory.

Glacier song
Mountain glaciers represent one of the largest repositories of fresh water in alpine regions.

The effect of statins influenced by gene profiles
The Montreal Heart Institute Research Centre is once again pushing the limits of knowledge in personalized medicine.

Small is beautiful!
Quantitatively, mathematically, and scientifically speaking, Mother Nature is very picky, artistic, and discriminating in her daily work and constructions, and so her unique style of creation typically yields many small quantities but very few big quantities.

Royal Holloway to develop pioneering treatment for spinal cord injury
Dr. Rafael Yáñez-Muñoz, from the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway, University of London, is leading a team of researchers working to develop a novel treatment for spinal cord injury -- which leaves sufferers with devastating, life-long effects including paralysis.

BDMS and OHSU collaborate to improve human health in Southeast Asia
Bangkok Dusit Medical Services is teaming with Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, to improve health in both countries through shared knowledge and skills, and the creation of centers of excellence focused on key challenges.

Study on western diet and role in GI cancer funded
The National Cancer Institute has awarded a $2.7 million grant to UC Davis researchers to investigate how the so-called Western diet, which is high in fat and sugar, increases the risk of developing liver and gastrointestinal cancers.

Lack of A level maths leading to fewer female economists
A study by the University of Southampton has found there are far fewer women studying economics than men, with women accounting for just 27 percent of economics students, despite them making up 57 percent of the undergraduate population in UK universities.

Grant awarded for device to detect newborn heart problems
A grant was awarded for a device to detect heart abnormalities in newborns.

Molecular geneticist awarded McClintock Prize
Susan R. Wessler, a distinguished professor of genetics at the University of California, Riverside and a world-renowned expert in transposable elements, has been awarded the McClintock Prize for Plant Genetics and Genome Studies for her exceptional contributions to and leadership in the study of plant transposable elements for the last three decades.

What's in a name? Everything -- if you're a fruit fly
This study confirms that four of the world's most destructive agricultural pests, the Oriental, Philippine, Invasive and Asian Papaya fruit flies, are actually one and the same.

UC Davis scientists discover exact receptor for DEET that repels mosquitoes
The odorant receptor that makes DEET repellant to mosquitoes has been identified by a research team led by the University of California, Davis.

Boulder team wins International Water Prize
A groundbreaking technological development has been recognized this month with one of the world's most prestigious awards for innovations related to water resources.

Genome sequenced of enterovirus D68 circulating in St. Louis
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have sequenced the genome of enterovirus D68 sampled from patients treated at St.

Worm spit -- it's worth bottling
Australian scientists who have successfully regulated the inflammatory response in celiac patients by infecting them with hookworms are now collaborating with a major pharmaceutical company to develop a treatment for inflammatory bowel disease, based on proteins secreted by the worms.

Partnership produces recommendations for managers to respond to climate change
A new report released today identifies natural resources that will be sensitive to a warmer climate in the North Cascades and offers management responses that will minimize adverse impacts on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

Taming internet complexity for a more responsive user experience
The key to the future success of the Internet rests squarely on understanding the complex interactions between content providers, content distribution networks and ISPs. and in inventing new architectural and algorithmic mechanisms to coordinate them better.

Where you live doesn't matter if you have heart disease, study finds
People living in rural areas are at no greater risk of dying from heart disease than their urban counterparts, according to a new study by researchers at Women's College Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.

Egyptian biochemist Mohamed Fawzy Ramadan Hassanien wins Atta-ur-Rahman Prize
Egyptian biochemist Mohamed Fawzy Ramadan Hassanien is the 2014 winner of the Atta-ur-Rahman Prize in chemistry for discovering new chemical compounds that may find useful application in developing more nutritious and healthy foods.

Using radio waves to control the density in a fusion plasma
Experiments show how heating the electrons in the center of a hot fusion plasma with high power microwaves can increase turbulence, reducing the density in the inner core.

Radiation exposure linked to aggressive thyroid cancers
For the first time, researchers have found that exposure to radioactive iodine is associated with more aggressive forms of thyroid cancer, according to a careful study of nearly 12,000 people in Belarus who were exposed when they were children or adolescents to fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident.

Washington Research Foundation, University of Washington team up for newborns
Washington Research Foundation is helping University of Washington clinicians and researchers develop BiliCam, an iPhone app that can help determine the severity of jaundice in newborns without having to draw blood.

Screening with tomosynthesis and mammography is cost-effective
Adding tomosynthesis to biennial digital mammography screening for women with dense breasts is likely to improve breast cancer detection at a reasonable cost relative to biennial mammography screening alone, according to a new study.

New results from VOICE associates tenofovir gel use with lower HSV-2 risk in women
The risk of acquiring herpes simplex virus type 2 was reduced by half among women in the VOICE trial who used a vaginal gel containing the antiretroviral drug tenofovir regularly, according to researchers from the Microbicide Trials Network who conducted the study.

Remnants of tropical depression soaking Central America
NASA's Terra satellite passed over Tropical Storm Hanna on Oct.

CHORI scientists identify key factor in relationship between diet, inflammation and cancer
A team of Children's Hospital and Research Center Oakland researchers has found that a category of lipids known as sphingolipids may be an important link in the relationship between diet, inflammation and cancer.

REACH ETHIOPIA wins 2014 Kochon Prize with use of community based treatment
This year's prestigious Kochon Prize has been awarded to REACH ETHIOPIA, a collaboration including LSTM, at the 45th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Barcelona.

Identifying 'stance taking' cues to enable sophisticated voice recognition
In the future, computers may be capable of talking to us during meetings just like a remote teleconference participant.

Fewer women than men receive hemodialysis treatment
Fewer women than men are treated with dialysis for end-stage kidney disease, according to a new comprehensive analysis of sex-specific differences in treatment published this week in PLOS Medicine.

New study will track factors in early menopause
The estimated 10 percent of women in Western nations who enter menopause before age 45 have an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as lower fertility.

UTHealth research shows mushroom extract, AHCC, helpful in treating HPV
A Japanese mushroom extract appears to be effective for the eradication of human papillomavirus, according to a pilot clinical trial at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School.

Technique uses bacteria's own CRISPR-Cas system to turn off gene
Researchers have developed a technique that co-opts an immune system already present in bacteria and archaea to turn off specific genes or sets of genes -- creating a powerful tool for future research on genetics and related fields.

NTU to build region's first renewable energy integration demonstration micro-grid
Nanyang Technological University Singapore will be building a hybrid micro-grid which will integrate multiple large-scale renewable energy sources.

Researchers prove accuracy of mobile phone population mapping
A study by an international team, including the University of Southampton, has shown population maps based on anonymous mobile phone call record data can be as accurate as those based on censuses.

New solar power material converts 90 percent of captured light into heat
A multidisciplinary engineering team at the University of California, San Diego developed a new nanoparticle-based material for concentrating solar power plants designed to absorb and convert to heat more than 90 percent of the sunlight it captures.

Special delivery: Marines dial up faster logistics at tech demo
Marines in Hawaii recently demonstrated that handheld devices and automation software could speed delivery of critical supplies to the front lines and even help planners determine when and where items will be needed ahead of time.

Processing milk -- how concentrates help to save energy
Powdered milk is a vital ingredient in infant formula and also used in baked goods and confectionary products.

The bee's knees for identifying genetic triggers of novel adult traits
Scientists have long sought to identify the specific DNA changes that can trigger new traits, allowing species to adapt.

Adolescent binge drinking reduces brain myelin, impairs cognitive and behavioral control
Binge drinking can have lasting effects on brain pathways that are still developing during adolescence, say neuroscience researcher Heather N.

Do financial experts make better investments?
Financial experts do not make higher returns on their own investments than untrained investors, according to research by a Michigan State University business scholar.

New findings show that different brain tumors have the same origin
Glioma is a common name for serious brain tumors. Different types of glioma are usually diagnosed as separate diseases and have been considered to arise from different cell types in the brain.

Injury prevention intervention cuts distracted driving in half, say trauma surgeons
A simple intervention designed to raise awareness about the use of communication devices while driving reduced the incidence of distracted driving by 50 percent in hospital personnel, according to findings from a single site study presented today at the 2014 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons.

NASA's LRO spacecraft captures images of LADEE's impact crater
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft has spied a new crater on the lunar surface; one made from the impact of NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer mission.

Pair bonding reinforced in the brain
Zebra finches use their specialized song system for simple communication.

Scientists find genetic variants influence a person's response to statins
A large analysis of over 40,000 individuals on statin treatment has identified two new genetic variants which influence how 'bad' cholesterol levels respond to statin therapy.

Social host laws tied to less underage drinking
Teenagers who live in communities with strict 'social host' laws are less likely to spend their weekends drinking at parties, according to a study in the November issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Self-reported sleep disturbances are linked to higher risk for Alzheimer's disease in men
In a new study, researchers from Uppsala University demonstrate that elderly men with self-reported sleep disturbances run a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease than men without self-reported sleep disturbances.

Identifying the biological clock that governs female fertility
Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have identified the biological clock that governs female fertility.

A battle for ant sperm
In a discovery new to science, research from the University of Vermont shows that sexual conflict between two ant species can drive an evolutionary battle, leading to competing adaptations in which female ants of one species manhandle sperm away from the unwitting males of a different species.

Physicists' simple solution for quantum technology challenge
A solution to one of the key challenges in the development of quantum technologies has been proposed by University of Sussex physicists.

Salt-loving plants may be key to global efforts for sustainable food production
Farmland is vanishing in part because the salinity in the soil is rising as a result of climate change and other man-made phenomena.

PIDS supports IDSA statement on involuntary quarantine of healthcare workers returning from Ebola-affected countries
The Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society endorses a statement from the Infectious Diseases Society of America regarding involuntary quarantine of healthcare workers returning from Ebola-affected countries.

CU Denver study says upgrading infrastructure could reduce flood damage
The severe flooding that devastated a wide swath of Colorado last year might have been less destructive if the bridges, roads and other infrastructure had been upgraded or modernized, according to a new study from the University of Colorado Denver.

JSA awards over $400K for FY15 Initiatives Fund program
Jefferson Sciences Associates announced the award of $401,020 to support projects related to education, outreach and career development to staff and users at the US Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility.

Many home blood pressure monitors may be inaccurate
Home blood pressure monitors may be inaccurate in up to 15 percent of patients.

Ana's remnants raining and gusting in British Columbia, Canada
NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured an image of post-tropical cyclone Ana's remnant clouds raining on British Columbia, Canada today, Oct.

Fish 'personality' linked to vulnerability to angling
Individual differences in moving activity in a novel environment are linked to individual differences in vulnerability to angling, according to an experimental study completed at the University of Eastern Finland and the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute.

NJIT launches MarketShift to bolster NJ's defense and aerospace industry
Launch of MarketShift, a nearly $6 million program funded by the Department of Defense to boost the capacity of the aerospace and defense industry in New Jersey by helping companies better understand and address risks associated with the defense supply chain, develop new products for existing markets, and identify new market opportunities for the products they already manufacture.

New and updated resource on STEM education, workforce
It just became a lot easier for educators, students, parents, policymakers and business leaders to learn more about national trends in education and jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

NIH's ORDR-NCATS RDCRN & NICHD awards U54 cooperative agreement for natural history study
National Institute of Health announced awards to expand the Office of Rare Diseases Research part of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences collaborative Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network.

Spices and herbs: Improving public health through flavorful eating -- a call to action
Spices and herbs can play a significant role in improving America's health by helping to reduce sodium, calorie and fat intake while making healthy eating more appealing, conclude the authors of a scientific supplement published this month in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrition Today.

High milk intake linked with higher fractures and mortality
A high milk intake in women and men is not accompanied by a lower risk of fracture and instead may be associated with a higher rate of death, suggests observational research published in The BMJ this week.

Ancient auditory illusions reflected in prehistoric art?
Some of mankind's earliest and most mysterious artistic achievements -- including prehistoric cave paintings, canyon petroglyphs and megalithic structures such as Stonehenge -- may have been inspired by the behaviors of sound waves being misinterpreted as 'supernatural.'

Improving breast cancer chemo by testing patient's tumors in a dish
A team of biomedical engineers have developed a technique that monitors the response of 3-D chunks of a patient's tumor to determine how effective different anti-cancer drugs will be before starting chemotherapy.

Genomics helps pharmacists target the right drugs for the right patient
An exciting new research project that aims to make personalized medicine a reality for patients is launching in a number of community pharmacies across British Columbia.

Poor access to general surgeons increases the risk of ruptured appendix for young children
Delayed treatment for appendicitis can often lead to a ruptured appendix.

When faced with higher prices, swimming is the activity most likely to take a dive
According to a study by Brunel University London's Health Economics Research Group, swimming is the individual activity that most people would drop if they faced higher prices.

Three-company collaboration announced for advancement of aging research
Insilico Medicine, Inc., Canada Cancer and Aging Research Laboratories, Ltd.

Postcards from the plasma edge
Scientists shed new light on how lithium conditions the volatile edge of fusion plasmas.

Forum highlights technology tested on Space Station for deep space exploration
To highlight microgravity technologies, a panel of experts gathered recently for the Destination Station: International Space Station Technology Forum at the US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Tea and citrus products could lower ovarian cancer risk, new UEA research finds
Tea and citrus fruits and juices are associated with a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer, according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

The early chimp gets the fig
Wild chimpanzees plan their breakfast time, type and location.

University of Houston chemist recognized for solvothermal research
Shiv Halasyamani, professor of chemistry at the University of Houston, is the 2014 recipient of the Roy-Somiya Award from the International Solvothermal and Hydrothermal Association.

Governments should take active lead to create healthy food environments to prevent CVD
Canadian health organizations are calling upon governments to take a leadership role in creating healthy food environments.

NIH-led study explores prevention of heart disease in HIV-infected people
The National Institutes of Health has launched a clinical trial to assess the effects of aspirin and cholesterol-lowering drugs, or statins, on preventing cardiovascular disease in people with long-term HIV infections.

Creating the coldest cubic meter in the universe
As part of an international collaboration, Berkeley Lab scientists have helped create the coldest cubic meter in the universe.

Autism after high school: Making the transition
The National Institute of Mental Health has awarded a grant to University of Kentucky College of Education Professor Lisa Ruble and a team of co-investigators to find ways to help reduce or eliminate the disconnect from needed services that often occurs when students with autism complete school.

2014 AAAS Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award goes to Omid Kokabee
Omid Kokabee, an Iranian graduate student in physics at the University of Texas at Austin who was imprisoned for refusing to contribute to weapons research in his home country, has been awarded the 2014 Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Global infection outbreaks, unique diseases rising since 1980
Ebola has a lot of company. In a novel database now made publicly available, Brown University researchers found that since 1980 the world has seen an increasing number of infectious disease outbreaks from an increasing number of sources.

New study uses DNA sequences to look back in time at key events in plant evolution
Scientists from North America, Europe and China have published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that reveals important details about key transitions in the evolution of plant life on our planet.

Are 'flops' a success in basketball?
'The defender improves his chances of drawing an offensive foul to some extent by falling intentionally vs. standing,' Morgulev explains.

American College of Cardiology patient navigator program completes hospital selection
The American College of Cardiology today announced 35 selected hospitals that are pioneering a team approach to keep patients healthy and at home following admission for heart attack or heart failure.

Laser experiments mimic cosmic explosions and planetary cores
Scientists bring plasma tsunamis and crushing pressures into the lab.

Lessons learned from SARS pandemic should inform current contagion protocols
Radiologists in Singapore outline the ways in which both medical facilities and practitioners there have incorporated lessons learned from the SARS pandemic.

Helping general electric upgrade the US power grid
PPPL lends GE a hand in developing an advanced power-conversion switch.

Scripps Florida scientists uncover major factor in development of Huntington's disease
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have uncovered a major contributor to Huntington's disease, a devastating progressive neurological condition that produces involuntary movements, emotional disturbance and cognitive impairment.

New frailty test predicts risk of poor outcomes in elderly patients
A simplified frailty index created by surgeons at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Mich., is a reliable tool for assessing risk of mortality and serious complications in older patients considering total hip and knee replacement procedures, according to new study findings presented today at the 2014 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons.

Animal study suggests heavy drinking in adolescence associated with lasting brain changes
Heavy drinking during adolescence may lead to structural changes in the brain and memory deficits that persist into adulthood, according to an animal study published October 29 in The Journal of Neuroscience.

Variation in antibiotic bacteria in tropical forest soils may play a role in diversity
A new study in the journal Biotropica finds variation in antibiotic-producing microbes in tropical forest soils and represents a step toward better understanding of the role they play in diversity.

Text messages could be useful tool in fight against malaria
Malaria kills 600,000 people a year, half of them children, and in sub-Saharan Africa, the parasite has developed drug resistance to all but one class of drugs. 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