Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 14, 2014
How to get teens and young adults with chronic conditions to take their medications
Many young patients with chronic conditions don't take their medications correctly.

Chemical in coffee may help prevent obesity-related disease
Researchers at the University of Georgia have discovered that a chemical compound commonly found in coffee may help prevent some of the damaging effects of obesity.

Do spinal cord injuries cause subsequent brain damage?
University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers have found for the first time that spinal cord injuries can cause widespread and sustained brain inflammation that leads to progressive loss of nerve cells, with associated cognitive problems and depression.

Rocky Mountain storms lead to new findings about hailstones
A Montana State University team has published its findings that hailstones form around biological materials, extending previous findings about the formation of snow and rain.

Weight-loss surgery may improve kidney function
In addition to helping patients shed pounds, weight-loss surgery may also improve kidney function.

Genetic testing for personalized nutrition leads to better outcomes
Researchers from the University of Toronto report that personalized dietary advice based on a person's genetic makeup improves eating habits compared to current 'one-size-fits-all' dietary recommendations.

New special report highlights NSF-funded broader impacts
Each year, the National Science Foundation receives about 50,000 proposals for research funding in all fields of science and engineering from all corners of the country.

Mission to discover hundreds of black holes could unlock secrets of the universe
A team of Cardiff University researchers have made a breakthrough in helping scientists discover hundreds of black holes throughout the universe.

Social robots enable young people with diabetes to be more confident about their futures
Social robots are helping diabetic children accept the nature of their condition and become more confident about their futures, scientists have announced following a four-and-a-half year research study.

Cutting-edge computer software helps pinpoint aggressiveness of breast cancer tumors
Researchers at Western University are using cutting-edge genetic mutation-analysis software developed in their lab to interpret mutations in tumor genome that may provide insight into determining which breast cancer tumors are more likely spread to other parts of the body and which ones won't.

Conventional therapies are less efficient in prostate cancer patients carrying 'BRCA' mutations
Monitoring of over 1,300 patients reveals that the 10-year survival rates for BRCA mutation carriers who undergo radiation therapy are half those for non-carriers.

Kidney function monitoring vital for people on lithium
People with bipolar disorder who are being treated with the drug lithium are at risk of acute kidney damage and need careful monitoring.

Clinicians provide first successful delivery of dialysis in Ebola virus disease
Acute kidney injury occurs frequently in Ebola virus disease; however, providing hemodialysis to these patients was previously thought to be too risky because it involves large needles or catheters and potential contact with highly infectious blood.

Periodontal disease linked to increased risk of kidney disease
In a study of blacks with normal kidney function, those with severe periodontal disease developed chronic kidney disease at four times the rate of those without severe periodontal disease.

New online calculator estimates cardiovascular disease risk
The new Healthy Heart Score developed by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health gives individuals an easy method to estimate their 20-year risk of developing cardiovascular disease based on simple lifestyle habits.

Three CfA researchers share in $3 million Breakthrough Prize
Harvard researchers Robert Kirshner, Christopher Stubbs, and Peter Challis have been named co-recipients of the $3 million Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for their role in the 1998 discovery of dark energy and the accelerated expansion of the universe.

Rutgers engineers create smartphone app to cut risk of power outages
An easy-to-use smartphone app developed by Rutgers engineers will help keep the lights on in a heavily wooded New Jersey suburb that suffered widespread power outages during Superstorm Sandy.

Sleep apnea may contribute to kidney disease progression
Sleep apnea may accelerate kidney function decline in diabetic patients with kidney disease.

Carnegie's Mark Phillips to share Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics
Carnegie astronomer Mark Phillips, interim director of the Las Campanas Observatory, is one of a group of scientists being honored with the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.

Geographer highlights postcode lottery over diabetes and obesity risk
The work of geographers at the University of Leicester has helped to identify a postcode lottery that increases your risk of developing diabetes or obesity.

Scientists uncover vast numbers of DNA 'blind spots' that may hide cancer-causing mistakes
Cancer Research UK scientists have found more than 400 'blind spots' in DNA which could hide cancer-causing gene faults, according to research published Friday, Nov.

Oak Ridge to acquire next generation supercomputer
The US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility has signed a contract with IBM to bring a next-generation supercomputer to Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Ears and hearing effects continue to reverberate after Boston Marathon bombing
After two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, acute trauma to the ears -- such as ruptured eardrums -- was immediately apparent to those caring for the victims.

Computer model of nerve cells provides insights into communication problems
In diseases of the brain, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, the neurons fail to communicate correctly with each other.

What's the current role of liver biopsy in children? Position paper in Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
While noninvasive alternatives are increasingly available, liver biopsy still provides essential information in some children with liver disease, according to a new position paper in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, official journal of the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

High rate of ear and hearing injuries after Boston Marathon bombings
After the Boston Marathon bombings, more than 100 people were treated for trauma affecting the ears and hearing -- with many having persistent or worsening hearing loss or other symptoms, reports a study in the December issue of Otology & Neurotology.

DNA sequencing helps identify genetic defects in glaucoma
Scientists from the University of Liverpool have sequenced the mitochondrial genome in glaucoma patients to help further understanding into the genetic basis for the disease.

Most adults can't donate kidneys due to preventable health issues, possible loss of income
The majority of individuals in the United States are not eligible to donate a kidney.

Scientists uncover mechanism that controls the fitness of cells, impacting aging and disease
A novel looping mechanism that involves the end caps of DNA may help explain the aging of cells and how they initiate and transmit disease, according to new research from UT Southwestern Medical Center cell biologists.

A kingdom of cave beetles found in Southern China
A team of scientists specializing in cave biodiversity from the South China Agricultural University unearthed a treasure trove of rare blind cave beetles.

Exercise provides clear benefits for patients with chronic kidney disease
Simple exercises can help improve the health of patients with kidney disease.

Teens with earlier school start times have higher crash rates
A new study suggests that teen drivers who start class earlier in the morning are involved in significantly more motor vehicle accidents than peers with a later high school start time.

Recommendation theory
A model for evaluating product-recommendation algorithms suggests that trial and error get it right.

5th IOF Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting opens in Taipei
Today, researchers and clinicians from throughout the region have gathered in Taipei for the opening of the 5th Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting.

Boston physician receives AMA Award for Health Education
Daniel Alford, M.D., M.P.H., dean of the office of Continuing Medical Education and associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and director of the Clinical Addiction Research and Education Unit at Boston Medical Center, received the American Medical Association Foundation Award for Health Education.

Study predicts likely Ebola cases entering UK and US through airport screening
Researchers at the University of Liverpool have found that screening for Ebola at airports could be an effective method for preventing the spread of the disease into the UK and US, but due to the long incubation period of the virus, screening won't detect all cases.

New mechanism for growth control discovered
Research on Drosophila reveals that once activated during starvation, this regulatory system prevents the secretion of insulin like peptides, the counterparts of IGF and insulin in mammals.

New insight into common cause of blindness
Scientists at The University of Manchester have identified an important new factor behind one of the major causes of blindness, which they hope could lead to new treatments.

Smartphones team-up with QR codes for secure 3-D displays
Quick Response (QR) codes -- the box-shaped symbols that appear on signs, posters, and even business cards -- are a convenient and efficient way of accessing specific web pages with a smartphone or other mobile device.

New form of crystalline order holds promise for thermoelectric applications
A team of researchers from Vanderbilt University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory reports that it has discovered an entirely new form of crystalline order that simultaneously exhibits both crystal and polycrystalline properties and holds promise for improving the efficiency of thermoelectric devices.

New advanced e-voting system selected for Australian state election
A new, advanced electronic voting system developed by the University of Surrey and the Victorian Electoral Commission, in collaboration with the Universities of Melbourne and Luxembourg is to be used in Australia's Victorian State election, which opens on Monday.

Trends in plant biodiversity data online
Today's herbaria, as well as all other collections-based environments, are now transitioning their collections data onto the web to remain viable in the smartphone-in-my-pocket age.

Killing cancer by protecting normal cells
An anti-cancer drug protects normal cells from radiation damage and increases the effectiveness of radiation therapy in prostate cancer models.

Expression of SIP1 protein indicates poor prognosis in pharyngeal cancer
The expression of SIP1 protein in pharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma tumours often indicates an advanced tumour stage, a high risk of recurrence and a poor prognosis, according to research from the University of Eastern Finland.

HIV risks high in Mexico City's male sex trade
The prevalence of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and risky behavior are high among Mexico City's male sex workers, a new study reports.

Warmest oceans ever recorded
This summer has seen the highest global mean sea surface temperatures ever recorded.

Nonsmokers in automobiles are exposed to significant secondhand smoke
Nonsmokers sitting in an automobile with a smoker for one hour had markers of significantly increased levels of carcinogens and other toxins in their urine, indicating that secondhand smoke in motor vehicles poses a potentially major health risk according to a groundbreaking study led by University of California San Francisco researchers.

New imaging technique identifies receptors for targeted cancer therapy
Dartmouth researchers have developed a fluorescence imaging technique that can more accurately identify receptors for targeted cancer therapies without a tissue biopsy. 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