Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 04, 2014
Patients with emergency-diagnosed lung cancer report barriers to seeing their GP
Many patients whose lung cancer is diagnosed as an emergency in hospital reported difficulties in previously seeing their general practitioner.

EPA recognizes Virginia Tech postdoc's research on birds
Laura Schoenle is interested in how mercury contamination affects the levels of a stress hormone called glucocorticoid in birds.

UC Riverside receives Grand Challenges Explorations grant
The University of California, Riverside announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Research in the identity of agricultural pests has broad implications
A global research effort has resolved a major biosecurity issue by determining that four of the world's most destructive agricultural pests are one and the same.

Breastfeeding: Shame if you do, shame if you don't
A new study of 63 women with varied infant feeding experiences reveals that breastfeeding mothers may feel shame if they breastfeed in public due to exposure, while those who do not breastfeed may experience shame through 'failing' to give their infant the 'best start.'

Long-acting anti-meth treatment demonstrates protective benefits for meth addiction
A recently developed adeno-associated virus-based medication has the potential to offer substantial protective effects for patients attempting to cease methamphetamine use.

Altered diagnosis has led to growth in autism
More than half of the increase in the Danish autism statistics can be explained by changes in the way diagnosis are made and cases registered.

Hot flushes are going unrecognized, leaving women vulnerable
Hot flushes are one of the most distressing conditions faced by women who have been treated for breast cancer, but they are not being adequately addressed by health-care professionals and some women consider giving up their post cancer medication to try and stop them, a new study has shown.

Future family and career goals evident in teenage years
Career and family, often seen as competing parts of life, can actually complement each other, and when young people's goals for the future encompass family and career, the outcome is more likely to be success in both arenas, according to Penn State researchers.

Study finds intractable conflicts stem from misunderstanding of motivation
We sometimes wonder why Israelis and Palestinians are so entrenched in their inability to reach a solution to the crisis in the Mideast, or why Republican and Democrats engaging in verbal vitriol never seem to agree on anything.

Scientists uncover potential drug to tackle 'undruggable' fault in third of cancers
Scientists have found a possible way to halt one of the most common faults in many types of cancer.

ASMQ FDC proves safe and efficacious to treat children in Africa with malaria
Presented today at the 63rd annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, results of a multi-centre clinical trial in Africa, launched in 2008, to test the efficacy and tolerability of Artesunate-Mefloquine fixed-dose combination in children under 5 years of age with uncomplicated falciparum malaria showed that ASMQ FDC is as safe and efficacious as Artemether-Lumefantrine FDC -- Africa's most widely adopted treatment.

Temple University School of Medicine receives Grand Challenges Explorations grant
Temple University School of Medicine announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Up in smoke: Secondhand smoke can cause weight gain
New research is challenging the decades-old belief that smoking cigarettes helps keep you slim.

Gene 'switches' could predict when breast cancers will spread to the brain
Scientists have found a pattern of genetic 'switches' -- chemical marks that turn genes on or off -- that are linked to breast cancer's spread to the brain.

UT Arlington research uses artificial lymph nodes to attract prostate cancer cells
A UT Arlington bioengineering professor is using tissue-engineered artificial lymph nodes to attract prostate cancer cells to better target and eradicate the disease.

Immune booster combined with checkpoint blocker improves survival in metastatic melanoma
Patients with metastatic melanoma who were treated with ipilimumab, an immune checkpoint blocker, survived 50 percent longer if they simultaneously received an immune stimulant.

Shaping up: Researchers reconstruct early stages of embryo development
Researchers at the University of Cambridge have managed to reconstruct the early stage of mammalian development using embryonic stem cells, showing that a critical mass of cells -- not too few, but not too many -- is needed for the cells to being self-organizing into the correct structure for an embryo to form.

New research explores scent communication in polar bears
New research conducted by a team of conservation scientists provides the first systematic examination of the social information polar bears may glean from scent left in the paw prints of other polar bears.

NREL's industry growth forum brings together energy innovators
The Industry Growth Forum hosted by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory this week attracted nearly 400 investors, entrepreneurs, scientists and thought leaders to Denver.

Obesity in pregnant women may increase children's risk of kidney, urinary tract problems
Obesity in a pregnant woman may increase the risk that her children will be born with congenital abnormalities of the kidney and urinary tract.

Katherine Radek, Michael Nishimura named Junior and Senior Scientists of the Year
Michael I. Nishimura, Ph.D., who is developing therapies designed to turn patients' own immune systems into potent weapons against cancer, has been named 2014 Senior Scientist of the Year at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Can (and should) happiness be a policy goal?
How does an individual's happiness level reflect societal conditions? A new article out today in the first issue of Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences finds that similar to how GDP measures the effectiveness of economic policies, happiness can and should be used to evaluate the effectiveness of social policies.

NASA's Aqua satellite sees Hurricane Vance headed for landfall in western Mexico
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Vance on Nov. 3 as it started moving in a northeasterly direction toward the northwestern coast of Mexico.

Drinking and poor academics affect the future of children with behavioral disorders
Childhood behavioral conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and conduct disorder are linked with an increased risk of being convicted of a felony later in life, with heavy drinking and educational failure contributing to this link.

Half of elderly people are more than happy to consume new foods
Elderly people are regarded as traditional consumers, but the AZTI-Tecnalia study reveals that there are more and more elderly people who are happy to accept new foods.

High-speed 'label-free' imaging could reveal dangerous plaques
Researchers are close to commercializing a new type of medical imaging technology that could diagnose cardiovascular disease by measuring ultrasound signals from molecules exposed to a fast-pulsing laser.

NASA's SDO sees a mid-level solar flare: Nov. 3
The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 5:40 p.m.

Study finds association between coronary artery plaque and liver disease
Researchers using coronary computed tomography angiography have found a close association between high-risk coronary artery plaque and a common liver disease.

Turning pretty penstemon flowers from blue to red
While roses are red, and violets are blue, how exactly do flower colors change?

Synthetic fish measures wild ride through dams
A synthetic fish is helping existing hydroelectric dams and new, smaller hydro facilities become more fish-friendly.

NASA's Terra satellite sees Typhoon Nuri in eyewall replacement
High clouds had moved over Super Typhoon Nuri's eye early on Nov.

Nature adores a hybrid
New research from Concordia, published in the journal Evolutionary Applications, shows that after a few generations of breeding and natural selection, hybrid fish are genetically as robust as their purely wild forefathers.

Framework may help improve use of social media during disasters
A new analysis illustrates the robust ways that social media can be employed to inform and improve disaster operations, and it provides a framework that could help standardize and organize disaster social media uses.

Digital dinosaurs: New research employs high-end technology to restore dinosaur fossil
An international team of scientists employed high-resolution X-ray computed tomography and digital visualization techniques to restore a rare dinosaur fossil.

Report card on complementary therapies for breast cancer
Over 80 percent of breast cancer patients in the United States use complementary therapies following a breast cancer diagnosis, but there has been little science-based guidance to inform clinicians and patients about their safety and effectiveness.

Few hospital websites educate pregnant women on Tdap vaccination and whooping cough prevention
Pregnant women unlikely to find information for protecting newborns from whooping cough on hospital websites.

Granger causality test can make epilepsy surgery more effective
A new statistical test that looks at the patterns of high-frequency network activity flow from brain signals can help doctors pinpoint the exact location of seizures occurring in the brain and make surgery more effective, according to researchers at Georgia State University and Emory University School of Medicine.

New insight into the neuroscience of choking under pressure
Recent research from the Johns Hopkins University suggests that in situations like this, performance depends on two factors: the framing of the incentive in terms of a loss or a gain, and a person's aversion to loss.

LA BioMed receives Phase II Grand Challenges Explorations funding
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded a grant to LA BioMed for an innovative global health research project to improve the outcomes for premature babies.

Preventing postpartum hemorrhage
Sublingual misoprostol is inferior to intramuscular oxytocin for the prevention of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) in women undergoing uncomplicated birth at a regional hospital in Uganda, according to trial results published in PLOS Medicine.

Nonobstructive CAD associated with increased risk of heart attack, death
In a study that included nearly 38,000 patients, those diagnosed with nonobstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) had a significantly increased risk of heart attack or death one year after diagnosis, according to a study in the Nov.

Study finds Google glasses may partially obstruct peripheral vision
Testing of study participants who wore head-mounted display systems -- Google glasses -- found that the glasses created a partial peripheral vision obstruction, according to a study in the Nov.

Youth pastors feel ill-equipped to help youths with mental health issues, Baylor study finds
Many mental health disorders first surface during adolescence, and college and youth pastors are in a good position to offer help or steer youths elsewhere to find it.

'Grimsel' breaks world record
The 'grimsel' electric racing car today broke the previous world record for acceleration in electric cars.

University of Houston wins 'Connections' award for economic engagement
The University of Houston has been named winner of the 'Connections' award, announced Tuesday by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) as part of the second annual Innovation & Economic Prosperity University Awards.

TGen's Dr. John Carpten honored with AACR Distinguished Lectureship on Cancer Health
The American Association for Cancer Research, the world's largest cancer research organization representing more than 35,000 investigators, congratulates Dr.

Gardeners of Madagascar rainforest at risk
Rice University researchers explored the role of threatened primates as seed dispersers in Madagascar's biodiverse rainforest to better understand possible consequences of their loss.

Fast food marketing for children disproportionately affects certain communities
A research study examining marketing directed at children on the interior and exterior of fast-food restaurants has found that black, as well as middle-income communities and rural areas, are disproportionately exposed to such tactics.

New research: Undiagnosed, undertreated Chagas disease emerging as US public health threat
Across a broad swath of the southern United States, residents face a tangible but mostly unrecognized risk of contracting Chagas disease -- a stealthy parasitic infection that can lead to severe heart disease and death -- according to new research presented today at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting.

Mayo Clinic researchers discover genetic markers for alcoholism recovery
In an international study, Mayo Clinic researchers and collaborators have identified genetic markers that may help in identifying individuals who could benefit from the alcoholism treatment drug acamprosate.

Study shows benefits of being fat (but not too fat) for deep-diving elephant seals
Researchers using a new type of tracking device on female elephant seals have discovered that adding body fat helps the seals dive more efficiently by changing their buoyancy.

Novel nanofiber-based technology could help prevent HIV/AIDS transmission
Scientists have developed a novel topical microbicide loaded with hyaluronic acid nanofibers that could potentially prevent transmission of HIV through the vaginal mucosa.

Adenotonsillectomy and childhood asthma
In an analysis of the 2003-2010 MarketScan US database, Rakesh Bhattacharjee and coauthors compared hospital admissions and prescriptions for children with asthma who underwent adenotonsillectomy before and after surgery to determine whether their asthma control improved -- based on ICD-9-CM and CPT codes, as well as drug prescriptions -- in the year after compared with the year before surgery.

NEIKER fells pine trees to study their wind resistance
Technicians of the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development NEIKER-Tecnalia have in recent days been felling trees to simulate the effect of the wind in mountains in the Bizkaia locality of Artzentales.

Medicare may need to expand options for behavioral weight loss counseling in primary care
An important addition to the 'eat less, move more' strategy for weight loss lies in behavioral counseling to achieve these goals.

To succeed in academia, grad students need 'street smarts'
A 'Street Smarts for Science' workshop offered at the annual Society for Leukocyte Biology meeting is described in the November issue of the journal Nature Immunology.

Don't be an outsider!
Very young children imitate their peers to fit in, while great apes tend to stick to their own preferences.

Patent issued for substance with medical benefits
A US patent has been awarded to a novel jelly-like substance developed by Kansas State University researchers.

Parents' work schedules may impact family members' sleep
In a recent US study of 1,815 disadvantaged mothers and their children, mothers who worked more than 35 hours per week were more likely to experience insufficient sleep compared with mothers who worked fewer hours, while children were more likely to experience insufficient sleep when their mothers worked between 20 and 40 hours.

New study: Forensic DNA test conclusively links snake bite marks on people to species
Starting with a simple DNA swab taken from fang marks on people bitten by snakes, an international research team correctly identified the species of the biting snake 100 percent of the time in a first-of-its-kind clinical study, according to data presented today at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene's (ASTMH) Annual Meeting.

Brain changes linked to prematurity may explain risk of neurodevelopmental disorders
In a study published online this week by the journal Brain Structure and Function, the identification of neuroanatomical changes related to prematurity helps explain what brain structure and circuitry are affected, and may lead to designing effective prevention strategies and early interventional treatments for cognitive disabilities.

When less is more: Death in moderation boosts population density in nature
In nature, the right amount of death at the right time might actually help boost a species' population density, according to new research that could help in understanding animal populations, pest control and managing fish and wildlife stocks.

Better bomb-sniffing technology
University of Utah engineers have developed a new type of carbon nanotube material for handheld sensors that will be quicker and better at sniffing out explosives, deadly gases and illegal drugs.

Autism spectrum disorder: 10 tips guidance article
A Clinical Perspectives article published in the November 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry proposes a tool to empower stakeholders, guide caregivers, and provide a rationale for advocates, when considering the systems of support offered to people with an autism spectrum disorder.

Hermit thrush or humans: Who sets the tone?
The songs of the hermit thrush, a common North American songbird, follow principles found in much human music -- namely the harmonic series.

Worldwide retreat of glaciers confirmed in unprecedented detail
Taking their name from the old Scottish term glim, meaning a passing look or glance, in 1994 a team of scientists began developing a world-wide initiative to study glaciers using satellite data.

Surgery for sleep apnea improves asthma control
Surgical removal of the tonsils and adenoids in children suffering from sleep apnea is associated with decreased asthma severity, according to the first large study of the connection.

Dark matter may be massive
Instead of WIMPS or axions, dark matter may be made of macroscopic objects as small as a few ounces up to the size of a good asteroid, and probably as dense as a neutron star or the nucleus of an atom, Case Western Reserve University researchers suggest.

Where'd you get that great idea?
Is it better to 'think outside the box,' or to build on something more closely related to the problem one is trying to solve?

How important is long-distance travel in the spread of epidemics?
When modeling the spread of epidemics, such as the Ebola outbreak, scientists must take into account the long-distance hops now possible with international air travel.

Queen's launches major celebration of the life and legacy of John Stewart Bell
Commemorative events to mark the anniversary of 'Bell's Theorem' include the floodlighting of Belfast City Hall, a groundbreaking exhibition at the Naughton Gallery at Queen's and the naming of a Belfast building after Bell.

Asthma patients reduce symptoms and improve lung function with shallow breaths, more CO2
Asthmatics naturally take deep breaths to relieve symptoms. But new research from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, found that asthma patients using biofeedback to resist the urge to gulp air or take deep breaths, managed to reduce symptoms and improve lung function.

Are there as many rats as people in New York City?
Urban legend states that New York City has as many rats as people: roughly 8 million; but a new analysis suggests there are nowhere near as many.

Improving the taste of alcohol-free beer with aromas from the regular beer
Consumers often complain that alcohol-free beer is tasteless, but some of the aromas it is lacking can be carried across from regular beer.

Combination treatment for metastatic melanoma results in longer overall survival
Among patients with metastatic melanoma, treatment with a combination of the drugs sargramostim plus ipilimumab, compared with ipilimumab alone, resulted in longer overall survival and lower toxicity, but no difference in progression-free survival, according to a study in the Nov.

Disorder + disorder = more disorder?
It turns out that in certain situations, combining messes can actually reduce the disorder of the whole; an international team of researchers from Slovenia and Iran has identified a set of conditions in which adding disorder to a system makes it more orderly.

Environmental toxins may be hurting North American eagles
New research indicates that bald and golden eagles in North America may be exposed to dangerously high levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers, which are chemicals used in the production of a wide variety of textiles, plastics and electronics.

Populations of common birds across europe are declining
Across Europe, the population of common birds has declined rapidly over the last 30 years, while some of the less abundant species are stable or increasing in number.

Rice chemists gain edge in next-gen energy
Rice University scientists create a flexible film with the ability to catalyze the production of hydrogen or be used for energy storage.

Elsevier announces the launch of open-access journal: EBioMedicine
Elsevier is a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services.

Undergraduate STEM Education Coalition releases sourcebook on achieving systemic reforms
The Coalition for Reform of Undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education today announced the release of 'Achieving Systemic Change: A Sourcebook for Advancing and Funding Undergraduate STEM Education.' The publication, edited by Catherine L.

Radiation a risk factor for brain tumors in young people
In people under age 30, radiation is a risk factor for a type of brain tumor called a meningioma, a Loyola University Medical Center study has found.

Oregon research team scores with 'The Concussion Playbook'
Recognize. Report. Respond. Rest. A University of Oregon researcher stresses those 'R' words in an online educational tool designed to teach coaches, educators, teens and parents about concussions.

Trial results reveal first targeted treatment to boost survival for esophageal cancer
Patients with a specific type of esophageal cancer survived longer when they were given the latest lung cancer drug, according to trial results being presented at the National Cancer Research Institute Cancer Conference on Nov.

Genetic damage caused by asthma shows up in circulating blood stream, too
Asthma may be more harmful than was previously thought, according to UCLA researchers who found that genetic damage is present in circulating, or peripheral, blood.

Ebola may be deadlier and more widespread than we think
The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa has grown exponentially since May, indicating inadequate global response.

Researchers advocate for optimum level of 'unequality' for the US economy
The growing disparity in economic inequality has become so stark that even Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve chairwoman, recently expressed concern.

NREL And army validate energy savings for net zero energy installations
The US Army has partnered with the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory to increase energy security through improved energy efficiency and optimized renewable energy strategies at nine installations in the Army's portfolio.

Jet-fueled electricity at room temperature
University of Utah engineers developed the first room-temperature fuel cell that uses enzymes to help jet fuel produce electricity without needing to ignite the fuel.

Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease may share deep roots
A new study of genetic and health information from more than 15,000 women uncovered several potential ways that type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease may be related at the level of genes, proteins, and fundamental physiology.

Lactose intolerants at lower risk of certain cancers: Study
People with lactose intolerance are at lower risk of suffering from lung, breast and ovarian cancers, according to a new study by researchers at Lund University and Region Skåne in Sweden.

How cells defend themselves against antibiotics and cytostatic agents
ABC Transporters are proteins that are embedded in the cell membrane and facilitate the transport across cellular barriers not only of an almost unlimited variety of toxic substances, but also of substances that are essential for life.

Study shows tectonic plates not rigid, deform horizontally in cooling process
The puzzle pieces of tectonic plates are not rigid and don't fit together as nicely as we were taught in high school.

GW awarded $1.3 million to train first responders for mass casualty events
The GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, home to one of the first emergency medical services degree programs in the nation, has been awarded a $1,308,422 Continuing Training Grant from the US Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Many future health professionals drink too much alcohol
A new study found that 43 percent of nursing students indulge in hazardous alcohol consumption, with 14.9 percent of men and 18.7 percent of women meeting criteria for hazardous drinkers.

Ebola, Marburg viruses edit genetic material during infection
Filoviruses like Ebola 'edit' genetic material as they invade their hosts, according to a study published this week in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Researchers recommend features of classroom design to maximize student achievement
With so much attention to curriculum and teaching skills to improve student achievement, it may come as a surprise that something as simple as how a classroom looks could actually make a difference in how students learn.

Studies show exercise therapy, acupuncture benefit breast cancer survivors
Two new studies from the Abramson Cancer Center and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania offer hope for breast cancer survivors struggling with cancer-related pain and swelling, and point to ways to enhance muscular strength and body image.

The inside story: How the brain and skull stay together
University of Miami researchers discover a network of tissue communication that ensures that the brain and spinal cord are matched with the skull and spinal column, during embryonic development.

Why does red meat increase the risk for cardiovascular disease? Blame our gut bacteria
New research provides details on how gut bacteria turn a nutrient found in red meat into metabolites that increase the risk of developing heart disease.

Tell-tales of war: Traditional stories highlight how ancient women survived
Through the ages, women have suffered greatly because of wars.

Syracuse geologist reveals correlation between earthquakes, landslides
A geologist in Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences has demonstrated that earthquakes -- not climate change, as previously thought -- affect the rate of landslides in Peru.

Pedro Noguera awarded prize for outstanding achievement in behavioral and social sciences
SAGE and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University are delighted to announce that Dr.

Little evidence conservation organizations respond to economic signals
A University of Tennessee, Knoxville, study finds that nonprofit organizations aiming to protect biodiversity show little evidence of responding to economic signals, which could limit the effectiveness of future conservation efforts.

New research explores scent communication in polar bears
New research indicates that scent associated with polar bear paws conveys information that may affect the animals' social and reproductive behavior.

Oxytocin levels in blood, cerebrospinal fluid are linked, Stanford study finds
For years, scientists have debated how best to assess brain levels of oxytocin, a hormone implicated in social behaviors.

Less reward, more aversion when learning tricky tasks
We can easily learn by seeking reward or avoiding punishment.

Researchers engineer a 'smart bomb' to attack childhood leukemia
Fatih Uckun, Jianjun Cheng and their colleagues have taken the first steps towards developing a so-called 'smart bomb' to attack the most common and deadly form of childhood cancer -- called B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

AGU Fall Meeting: Abstracts and sessions now online; book hotels by Nov. 14
Included in this advisory: 'Abstracts and sessions now online and searchable,' 'Press registration information,' 'Reminder: Hotel reservation deadline -- Nov.

New technique may help assess how plastic pollution impacts wildlife
By swabbing oil from a gland located at the end of a seabird's tail and analyzing the sample with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, researchers have developed a way to measure wildlife's exposure to plastics. 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