Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 29, 2014
EEG test to help understand and treat schizophrenia
Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have validated an EEG test to study and treat schizophrenia.

UBC researchers aim to simplify life saving drug
Heparin, the life saving blood thinner used in major surgeries and treatment of heart diseases, is a complicated drug but a research team from the University of British Columbia has set out to make its use a lot safer by developing a universal antidote.

Gentle caffeine boost for premature babies
Empa researchers have developed a UV-activated membrane which releases a gentle dose of medication to the skin of a patient.

Prostate cancer medications linked with increased risk of heart-related deaths in men with cardiovascular problems
A new study has found that certain prostate cancer medications are linked with an increased risk of dying from heart-related causes in men with congestive heart failure or prior heart attacks.

Planck 2013 results
Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing a special feature of 31 articles describing the data gathered by Planck over 15 months of observations and released by ESA and the Planck Collaboration in March 2013.

Same votes, different voting districts would alter election results in NC
Researchers have developed a mathematical model that shows how changes in congressional voting districts affect election outcomes.

New scientific review reveals emerging and established health benefits of whole grain oats
According to a new, wide-reaching collection of scientific reviews published in the October 2014 supplement issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, oats may play an important role in improving satiety, diet quality and digestive, cardiovascular and general metabolic health.

Researchers track ammonium source in open ocean
To understand the extent to which human activities are polluting Earth's atmosphere and oceans, it's important to distinguish human-made pollutants from compounds that occur naturally.

Go straight and publish: From Barcode of Life Data Systems to scholarly publishing systems
An innovative workflow reveals new research potential of the Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD).

Cochrane news: Expectant mothers with epilepsy face tough choices over their medication
A new study published today in The Cochrane Library, highlights the difficult decisions women with epilepsy have to face when they become pregnant.

New study casts sharpest light yet on genetic mysteries of autism
Our picture of how genetic errors contribute to autism has just gotten sharper.

Planet-forming lifeline discovered in a binary star system
Scientists using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array have detected a streamer of dust and gas flowing from a massive outer disk toward the inner reaches of a binary star system.

Study identifies potential treatment target for cocaine addiction
A study led by investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has identified a potential target for therapies to treat cocaine addiction.

MSU partners with Detroit to investigate death scenes
As bodies decompose, their types and numbers of bugs and bacteria change.

New way of genome editing cures hemophilia in mice; may be safer than older method
The ability to pop a working copy of a faulty gene into a patient's genome is a tantalizing goal for many clinicians treating genetic diseases.

Breast and colorectal cancers remain more aggressive in children
Breast and colorectal cancers rarely occur in children, but when they do, these conditions are more precarious, according to a pair of National Cancer Data Base studies presented this week at the 2014 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons.

BGI Tech and Hebei Agricultural University complete the genome sequencing of the jujube tree
BGI Tech and Hebei Agricultural University jointly announced the complete, high quality sequencing of the jujube genome.

Can social media help stop the spread of HIV?
In addition to providing other potential benefits to public health, all of those tweets and Facebook posts could help curb the spread of HIV.

Adult eczema may be unrecognized risk factor for fracture, other injuries
Adults with eczema had a higher prevalence of fracture and bone or joint injury, as well as other types of injury-causing limitations, in a nationally representative sample of patients with a history of the chronic inflammatory disorder that can cause skin itching and result in sleep disturbance, according to a study published online by JAMA Dermatology.

Affordable Care Act Medicare payment reforms improve patient experiences
Patients enrolled in Accountable Care Organizations reported improved experiences with care compared to the overall Medicare population.

Through 3-D-printed prosthetic, Illinois students lending a hand in Ecuador
The group of students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created one of the first 3D-printed prosthetic hands with pattern recognition capability.

To reap the brain benefits of physical activity, just get moving!
Everyone knows that exercise makes you feel more mentally alert at any age.

A mechanism that allows a differentiated cell to reactivate as a stem cell revealed
The study, performed with fruit flies, describes a gene that determines whether a specialized cell conserves the capacity to become a stem cell again.

Autism's genetic architecture comes into focus
A genetic autism study of unprecedented scope and power has uncovered more than two-dozen high-confidence risk genes for the disorder.

Microrockets fueled by water neutralize chemical and biological warfare agents
With fears growing over chemical and biological weapons falling into the wrong hands, scientists are developing microrockets to fight back against these dangerous agents, should the need arise.

Saving lots of computing capacity with a new algorithm
The control of modern infrastructure such as intelligent power grids needs lots of computing capacity.

Teeth, sex and testosterone reveal secrets of aging in wild mouse lemurs
Mouse lemurs can live at least eight years in the wild -- twice as long as some previous estimates, a long-term longitudinal study finds.

Aortic valve replacement appears safe, effective in very elderly patients
Aortic valve replacement can safely be used to treat severe aortic stenosis in patients age 90 years and older and is associated with a low risk of operative stroke and mortality, according to a study in the November 2014 issue of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

In autoimmune diseases, researchers pinpoint genetic risks, cellular culprits
Scores of autoimmune diseases afflicting one in 12 Americans -- ranging from type 1 diabetes, to multiple sclerosis, to rheumatoid arthritis, to asthma -- mysteriously cause the immune system to harm tissues within our own bodies.

Maasai of Tanzania facing severe food insecurity and chronic child malnourishment
In the first in-depth study of its kind of the Maasai people of Tanzania, research led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has revealed that the health of Maasai children is very poor compared to other ethnic groups.

Decades of research: Effectiveness of phone counseling for cancer patients still unknown
A University of Colorado Cancer Center study recently published in the journal Psycho-Oncology asks an important question: after decades of use and study, can we definitely show that remote interventions improve psychosocial outcomes in cancer survivors, or might there be a required, in-person component of these interventions?

Wyss Institute launches 'SLIPS' company
Developed at the Wyss Institute, an ultra-slippery coating that repels virtually all liquids and solids will be made available for a wide range of custom commercial applications through a newly formed private company.

Brain responses to disgusting images help reveal political leanings
An team of scientists led by Virginia Tech reports that the strength of a person's reaction to repulsive images can forecast their political ideology.

Report: 93 percent of mining, oil & gas, logging, agriculture developments involve inhabited land
In an analysis of almost 73,000 concessions in eight tropical forested countries, more than 93 percent of these developments were found to involve land inhabited by Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

Kidney cancer in Central Europe
Large-scale DNA and RNA sequencing of renal cell carcinoma patients in Europe reveals primary causes of kidney cancer vary between populations.

Hearing loss in one infant twin affects mother's speech to both babies
Is it possible that hearing loss in one infant from a pair of twins can affect the mother's speech to both infants?

First detailed picture of a cancer-related cell enzyme in action on a chromosome unit
New insight into the function of an enzyme related to the BRCA1 breast-cancer protein is published in this week's issue of Nature.

Smoke and haze over China
Smoke and haze hang over a large portion of eastern China in this image captured by the Aqua satellite on Oct.

NIST 'combs' the atmosphere to measure greenhouse gases
By remotely 'combing' the atmosphere with a custom laser-based instrument, NIST researchers have developed a new technique that can accurately measure -- over a sizeable distance -- amounts of several of the major 'greenhouse' gases implicated in climate change.

Geneticist and humanitarian: Prof. Mary-Claire King receives Lasker Award
At a ceremony held in New York City on Sept.

Nestling birds struggle in noisy environments
Unable to fly, nestling birds depend on their parents for both food and protection: vocal communication between parents and offspring helps young birds to determine when they should beg for food and when they should crouch in the nest to avoid a predator seeking an easy meal.

Plump turtles swim better: First models of swimming animals
For the first time, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Florida Atlantic University, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have measured the forces that act on a swimming animal and the energy the animal must expend to move through the water.

Rolling back school nutrition standards would threaten progress against childhood obesity
Efforts to roll back current nutritional standards for the National School Lunch Program could jeopardize gains made in the fight against childhood obesity, write the authors of an article that will appear in the Nov.

Dozens of genes associated with Autism in new research
Two major genetic studies of autism, led in part by UC San Francisco scientists and involving more than 50 laboratories worldwide, have newly implicated dozens of genes in the disorder.

New molecular imaging technology could improve bladder-cancer detection
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a new strategy that they say could detect bladder cancer with more accuracy and sensitivity than standard endoscopy methods.

Nanosafety research: The quest for the gold standard
Empa toxicologist Harald Krug has lambasted his colleagues in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

Research team identifies 33 genes that contribute to autism risk
The list of genes identified with autism spectrum disorder by deep DNA sequencing has expanded from nine to 33, according to a new study by an international research team led by the Autism Sequencing Consortium, including Carnegie Mellon University's Kathryn Roeder and the University of Pittsburgh's Bernie Devlin.

Engineers develop novel ultrasound technology to screen for heart conditions
Engineers at the University of California, San Diego have determined for the first time the impact of a ring-shaped vortex on transporting blood flow in normal and abnormal ventricles within the human heart.

Study compares gastric bypass procedures in weight loss, complications
In a study of two of the most commonly performed bariatric surgery procedures, laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass resulted in much greater weight loss than adjustable gastric banding but had a higher risk of short-term complications and long-term subsequent hospitalizations, according to a report published online by JAMA Surgery.

Projecting a robot's intentions
A new spin on virtual reality helps engineers read robots' minds.

New frog discovered inhabiting I-95 corridor from Connecticut to North Carolina
More than a half century after claims that a new frog species existed in New York and New Jersey were dismissed, a Rutgers researcher and team of scientists have proven that the frog is living in wetlands from Connecticut to North Carolina and are naming it after the ecologist who first noticed it.

Largest ever dataset of individual deaths in Africa & SE Asia reveals changing health
An unprecedented insight into the changing health of people across Africa and Asia -- including the fluctuating burdens of HIV, malaria and childhood mortality -- is revealed today by the publication of the largest ever dataset of individual deaths recorded on-the-ground.

Four years in, payment model lowers medical spending, improves care
Enrollees in a Massachusetts global budget health care plan had smaller increases in medical spending and larger increases in quality of care over the first four years of the contract when compared to similar individuals in other states.

Tradeoffs found for bypass vs. banding bariatric surgery
Bypass resulted in much greater weight loss and fewer reoperations than did banding, according to a large national study in JAMA Surgery comparing two of the gastric surgery procedures that are done most commonly for obesity.

SIR 2015: Interventional radiology shapes tomorrow's medicine
Online registration is open for the Society of Interventional Radiology's (SIR) 40th Annual Scientific Meeting.

Walking workstations improve physical and mental health, builds healthier workplace
Walking workstations can improve not only physical, but also mental health during the workday, a new study released this week found.

Innovative study using video games shows sleep apnea may affect memory of everyday events
Sleep apnea may affect your ability to form new spatial memories, such as remembering where you parked your car, new research led by NYU Langone Medical Center sleep specialists suggests.

Scientists generate first human stomach tissue in lab with stem cells
Scientists used pluripotent stem cells to generate functional, three-dimensional human stomach tissue in a laboratory -- creating an unprecedented tool for researching the development and diseases of an organ central to several public health crises, ranging from cancer to diabetes.

Low-carb, high-fat diets may reduce seizures in tough-to-treat epilepsy
Diets high in fat and low in carbohydrates, such as the ketogenic or modified Atkins diet, may reduce seizures in adults with tough-to-treat epilepsy, according to a review of the research published in the Oct.

GW School of Engineering and Applied Science inducts 6 members into hall of fame
The ceremony took place Oct. 23 and highlighted six alumni who have excelled in their field.

Polls show deep partisan divide over Affordable Care Act
An analysis of 27 public opinion polls conducted by 14 organizations shows an electorate polarized by political party when it comes to the Affordable Care Act.

More attention to measles, vaccine experts urge
Doctors and public health authorities need to renew their attention to measles, researchers from Emory Vaccine Center urge in an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Support for fecal testing in familial colorectal cancer screening
Fecal immunochemical tests may be as effective as colonoscopies when it comes to detecting colorectal cancer among first-degree relatives of patients with colorectal cancer, according to a new study in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.

Clean smell doesn't always mean clean air
A researcher in Drexel University's College of Engineering is taking a closer look at aerosol formation involving an organic compound -called limonene- that provides the pleasant smell of cleaning products and air fresheners.

Running robots of future may learn from world's best 2-legged runners: Birds
With an eye toward making better running robots, researchers have made surprising new findings about some of nature's most energy efficient bipeds -- running birds.

Integrins losing their grip lead to activation of T cell immune response
When integrins let go of their ligands and the actin cytoskeleton inside the dendritic cell, the activity of another cell surface receptor, the GM-CSF receptor, rises.

Cinema-like environment helps audiences immerse in movies even on small screens & displays
If the surroundings are designed to be sufficiently stimulating, even a simple computer screen is enough to generate an intense cinematic experience.

Elsevier announces the winners of the 2014 Tetrahedron Prize
Elsevier and the Executive Board of Editors of the Tetrahedron journal series are pleased to announce that the 2014 Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic & Biomedicinal Chemistry has been awarded to Professor Barry Trost, Stanford University, USA and Jiro Tsuji, Honorary professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan.

Scripps Research Institute scientists make enzyme that could help explain origins of life
Mimicking natural evolution in a test tube, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have devised an enzyme with a unique property that might have been crucial to the origin of life on Earth.

New leopard frog species discovered in New York
Scientists discover a new species of leopard frog from New York City and surrounding region.

Comprehensive solutions for genome analysis and synthetic biology projects
Eurofins Genomics and Igenbio provide tailored services for sequencing and analysis of various organisms.

Planet-forming lifeline discovered in a binary star system
For the first time, researchers using ALMA have detected a streamer of gas flowing from a massive outer disc toward the inner reaches of a binary star system.

Technology pioneered by UF researcher provides improved access for disabled voters
A University of Florida researcher's desire to provide citizens with disabilities the same opportunity to vote as everyone else could serve as the catalyst for revolutionizing voter access nationwide.

13th International Congress on Targeted Anticancer Therapies
Registration is now open for the 13th annual meeting of the Congress on Targeted Anticancer Therapies, which will take place in France.

Supersonic laser-propelled rockets
Today in Applied Optics, researchers describe a new system that integrates a laser-ablation propulsion system with the gas blasting nozzles of a spacecraft which can increase the speed of the gas flow out of the system to supersonic speeds while reducing the amount of burned fuel.

HPV infections in women eradicated by AHCC, Japanese mushroom extract
New research presented at the Society for Integrative Oncology Conference in Houston, showed for the first time that it's possible to eliminate HPV infection in women using AHCC, a readily available nutritional supplement.

ORNL technology transfer continues strong upward trend
New methods are improving connections between private businesses and technology from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, with 101 licenses and options executed during the last three years.

Why plants don't get sunburn
Plants rely on sunlight to make their food, but they also need protection from its harmful rays, just like humans do.

Scientists rank thousands of substances according to potential exposure level
An overwhelming number of chemicals from household and industrial products are in the environment -- and hundreds are in our bodies.

New technology on the way to aid cancer suffers who lose their hair after chemotherapy
Cancer suffers who lose their hair as a consequence of chemotherapy will benefit from a major research project that will improve the scalp cooling technology that prevents hair loss.

Stanford study finds brain abnormalities in chronic fatigue patients
An imaging study by Stanford University School of Medicine investigators has found distinct differences between the brains of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and those of healthy people.

'Treasure in saliva' may reveal deadly diseases early enough to treat them
UCLA research could lead to a simple saliva test capable of diagnosing -- at an early stage -- diabetes and cancer, and perhaps neurological disorders and autoimmune diseases.

Meiotic cell division 'the other way round'
Meiosis is not like another: Gabriela Cabral and Peter Schlögelhofer at the Max F.

Changes in scores of genes contribute to autism risk
Small differences in as many as a thousand genes contribute to risk for autism, according to a study led by Mount Sinai researchers and the Autism Sequencing Consortium, and published today in the journal Nature.

Scientist of the year award for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research
The School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway, University of London has been recognized with a national award for its world-class research in the development of novel therapies for rare diseases, such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Can plants edge out petroleum as raw material for textiles and plastics?
Your next pair of spandex pants could be made out of corn -- or, more precisely, from dextrose derived from corn.

Tiny carbon nanotube pores make big impact
A team led by the Lawrence Livermore scientists has created a new kind of ion channel based on short carbon nanotubes, which can be inserted into synthetic bilayers and live cell membranes to form tiny pores that transport water, protons, small ions and DNA.

Why some butterflies sound like ants
Ant nests can offer a lot to organisms other than just ants.

Prenatal phthalate exposures and anogenital distance in Swedish boys
The first study to examine prenatal exposure to the phthalate DiNP finds it is associated with a shorter anogenital distance (AGD) in Swedish boys at the age of 21 months.

Urban seismic network detects human sounds
When listening to the Earth, what clues can seismic data reveal about the impact of urban life?

Study sheds light on genetic architecture of kidney cancer
A new study on a large cohort of kidney cancer patients in Europe sheds light on the genetic architecture of the disease -- and reveals an apparent link between exposure to aristolochic acid and incidence of kidney cancer, particularly in Romania.

NYU research: Tourism as a driver of illicit drug use, HIV risk in the DR
The study's results suggest three themes: 1, local demand shifts drug routes to tourism areas, 2, drugs shape local economies and 3, drug use facilitates HIV risk behaviors in tourism areas.

Free urban data -- what's it good for?
Cities around the world are increasingly making urban data freely available to the public.

New study shows 3 abrupt pulse of CO2 during last deglaciation
A new study shows that the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide that contributed to the end of the last ice age more than 10,000 years ago did not occur gradually, but was characterized by three 'pulses' in which C02 rose abruptly.

Liberal or conservative? Reactions to disgust are a dead giveaway
The way a person's brain responds to a single disgusting image is enough to reliably predict whether he or she identifies politically as liberal or conservative.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Nilofar being affected by wind shear
Wind shear has kicked in and has been pushing clouds and showers away from Tropical Cyclone Nilofar's center.

Georgia Tech releases 2015 Emerging Cyber Threats Report
In its latest Emerging Cyber Threats Report, Georgia Tech warns about loss of privacy; abuse of trust between users and machines; attacks against the mobile ecosystem; rogue insiders; and the increasing involvement of cyberspace in nation-state conflicts.

Evolution of competitiveness
Virtually all organisms in the living world compete with members of their own species.

3D model skin burnt to find better bandages for child burns victims
Skin reconstructed in a laboratory will be burnt and then blasted by a new state-of-the-art laser in the search to improve bandaging for children's burns, says leading burns and trauma researcher Dr.

ECG on the run: Continuous ECG surveillance of marathon athletes is feasible
The condition of an athlete's heart has for the first time been accurately monitored throughout the duration of a marathon race.

Black Republicans put most faith in US government
Black Republicans trust the United States government more than other political groups, finds a new study from the University of British Columbia, ahead of the mid-term US elections to be held on Nov.

Greater inequality within UK, USA than some developing countries, trade 'footprint' shows
Researchers at the University of Sydney's School of Physics have created an inequality footprint demonstrating the link that each country's domestic economic activity has to income distribution elsewhere in the world.

Richard III Society grant for medieval masculinity Ph.D. research
The £1,000 award comes from the Richard III Society, on the grounds that her work casts new light on aspects of 15th century culture.

Molecular map reveals genetic origins of 21 autoimmune diseases
Scientists have created a molecular map that pinpoints genetic variants that play a role in 21 different autoimmune diseases, they report Oct.

Survival rates in pediatric umbilical cord transplants may indicate a new standard of care
A new standard of care for children facing acute myeloid leukemia may be clear, following a multi-year study published in the latest edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Bacteria are hard-wired for survival, E. coli study suggests
Some bacteria are able to thrive even when under continued attack, scientists have found, in a development that may help explain how our immune systems can't always prevent infections.

Minister for Health launches state-wide registry for Victoria's cardiac patients
Victorian Hospitals will be better equipped to measure the quality of care for their cardiac patients, under a new project that collects and compares data on coronary angioplasty practice.

MRI identifies brain abnormalities in chronic fatigue syndrome patients
Researchers using a combination of different imaging techniques have found structural abnormalities in the brains of people with chronic fatigue syndrome, according to a new study.

The science of charismatic voices
When a right-wing Italian politician named Umberto Bossi suffered a severe stroke in 2004, his speech became permanently impaired.

Penn vet professor investigates parasite-schizophrenia connection
A new study by Gary Smith, professor of population biology and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine, used epidemiological modeling methods to determine the proportion of schizophrenia cases that may be attributable to T. gondii infection.

Study examines availability of tanning beds on and near college campuses
Among the top 125 colleges on a list compiled by US News & World Report, 48 percent have indoor tanning facilities either on campus or in off-campus housing despite evidence that tanning is a risk factor for skin cancer, according to a study published online by JAMA Dermatology.

Women who took part in VOICE speak up about why they didn't use HIV prevention products
Many of the women at first acted surprised. Some insisted the blood tests were wrong.

Ghrelin stimulates an appetite for drinking alcohol
Ghrelin is a hormone released by the stomach and it stimulates appetite and food intake.

Strong bonds with pets may help foster resiliency in military-connected children
Developing resiliency has important benefits for children, especially those from military families faced with significant challenges such as parental deployment and frequent moves.

Lou Gehrig's disease study: Renewing brain's aging support cells may help neurons survive
Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, attacks muscle-controlling nerve cells -- motor neurons -- in the brain, brainstem and spinal cord.

Researchers uncover new evidence revealing molecular paths to autism
In the largest study of its kind, researchers used DNA sequencing to uncover dozens of genes that heighten autism risk.

'Nanomotor lithography' answers call for affordable, simpler device manufacturing
What does it take to fabricate electronic and medical devices tinier than a fraction of a human hair?

Accident prone eczema patients
First study to find adult eczema is a risk factor for fractures and other injuries.

Griffith scientists propose existence and interaction of parallel worlds
Griffith University academics are challenging the foundations of quantum science with a radical new theory on parallel universes.

Diets high in fruit, vegetables, whole grains and nuts among factors to lower first-time stroke risk
Eating Mediterranean or DASH-style diets, regularly engaging in physical activity and keeping your blood pressure under control can lower your risk of a first-time stroke.

Contamination likely explains 'food genes in blood' claim
Laboratory contaminants likely explain the results of a recent study claiming that complete genes can pass from foods we eat into our blood, according to a University of Michigan molecular biologist who re-examined data from the controversial research paper.

New technology shows promise for delivery of therapeutics to the brain
The researchers from the Virginia Tech -- Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences described in their article in Technology published by the World Scientific Publishing Company that they have created 'a tool for blood-barrier-brain disruption that uses bursts of sub-microsecond bipolar pulses to enhance the transfer of large molecules to the brain.' 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