Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 02, 2014
New cause of child brain tumor condition identified
Doctors and scientists from the University of Manchester have identified changes in a gene, which can increase the risk of developing brain tumors in children with a rare inherited condition called Gorlin syndrome.

Risk-based screening misses breast cancers in women in their forties
A study of breast cancers detected with screening mammography found that strong family history and dense breast tissue were commonly absent in women between the ages of 40 and 49 diagnosed with breast cancer.

Patients take control of their medical exam records
Patients value direct, independent access to their medical exams, according to a new study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

Losing air
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Hebrew University, and California Technical Institute believe a blitz of small space rocks, or planetesimals, may have bombarded Earth around the time the moon was formed, kicking up clouds of gas with enough force to permanently eject small portions of the atmosphere into space.

Preference for gravid females makes rare iguana consumption unsustainable
The Valle de Aguán spiny-tailed iguana is a critically endangered species found in Honduras.

Geosciences and physics at Mainz U score highly in the Best Global Universities rankings
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz is well-placed in terms of geosciences and physics in the recently designed Best Global Universities rankings of the US News & World Report journal.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide used for energy storage products
Researchers have discovered a fascinating new way to take some of the atmospheric carbon dioxide that's causing the greenhouse effect and use it to make an advanced, high-value material for use in energy storage products.

A better look at the chemistry of interfaces
SWAPPS -- Standing Wave Ambient Pressure Photoelectron Spectroscopy -- is a new X-ray technique developed at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source that provides sub-nanometer resolution of every chemical element to be found at heterogeneous interfaces, such as those in batteries, fuel cells and other devices.

Unlike humans, monkeys aren't fooled by expensive brands
A new study appearing in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology shows that capuchin monkeys are more rational than humans when judging price and value: they don't assume that higher price tags mean better quality.

Identifying the cellular origin of fibrosis
Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital have identified what they believe to be the cells responsible for fibrosis, the buildup of scar tissue.

Celiac disease does not increase clinical consultations for fertility problems
Women with celiac disease present with fertility problems no more often than women in the general population, according to a new study in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.

New molecules to burst malaria's bubble: ANU media release
Scientists have released details of a raft of new chemicals with potent anti-malarial properties which could open the way to new drugs to fight the disease.

Cover crops can sequester soil organic carbon
A 12-year University of Illinois study shows that, although the use of cover crops does not improve crop yields, the practice does increase the amount of sequestered soil organic carbon using three different soil management systems.

Lung cancer risk model refines decisions to screen
A new method for determining lung cancer risk could more efficiently identify individuals for annual screening and catch more cancers early, according to a study published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Stroke researchers link frontal lesions with improved spatial neglect after prism therapy
Stroke researchers have found that the presence of frontal lesions predicts better functional improvement in individuals with spatial neglect who received prism adaptation therapy.

New research shows parents play vital role in molding future scientists
Parents and family make all the difference in creating the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians, according to new research by George Mason University.

Perceptions, referrals by medical providers affect mental-health treatment disparities
Disparities in mental-health treatment are known to be associated with patients' racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Fear and caring are what's at the core of divisive wolf debate
To hunt or not hunt: Wolves can't be quantified as simply as men vs. women, hunters vs. anti-hunters, Democrats vs.

Researchers control adhesion of E. coli bacteria
A research team from Kiel University and Goethe University Frankfurt has jointly created a synthetic surface on which the adhesion of E. coli bacteria can be controlled.

VTT developing an environmentally friendly alternative for polystyrene
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is currently developing an affordable and environmentally friendly alternative for polystyrene from PLA bioplastic, which is derived from organic sources.

Finding the simple patterns in a complex world: ANU media release
An Australian National University mathematician has developed a new way to uncover simple patterns that might underlie apparently complex systems, such as clouds, cracks in materials or the movement of the stockmarket.

Combination of autism spectrum disorder and gender nonconformity presents unique challenges
The challenges in providing psychotherapy to individuals with autism spectrum disorders who also are struggling with their gender identity are explored in two case studies of high-functioning persons with diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders and gender dysphoria.

Mediterranean diet associated with longer telomeres
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital have found that greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with longer telomeres.

King Richard III -- case closed after 529 years
King Richard III: a DNA and genealogical study confirms the identity of remains found in Leicester and uncovers new truths about his appearance and Plantagenet lineage.

The biology of anxious temperament may lie with a problem in an anxiety 'off switch'
Persistent anxiety is one of the most common and distressing symptoms compromising mental health.

Study examines use of drugs to strengthen bones for men receiving ADT
Although some guidelines recommend use of bisphosphonates, a class of drugs used to strengthen bone, for men on androgen deprivation therapy, an analysis finds that prescriptions for these drugs remains low, even for those men at high risk of subsequent fractures, according to a study in the Dec.

New study: 55 percent of carbon in Amazonian indigenous territories and protected lands may be at risk
A new peer-reviewed study, released today at the start of the United Nations climate conference in Peru, reveals the unprecedented amount of carbon stored within the nine-nation network of Amazonian indigenous territories and protected natural areas.

If you are having a severe allergic reaction, you need epinephrine first and fast
According to new guidelines published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the scientific publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the fast administration of epinephrine is essential to the treatment of a severe allergic reaction.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Dec. 2014
Better brain imaging; ecosystem research; computer modeling explains IPCC item; better electronics and an ORNL partnership with Julich.

Nova Southeastern University to receive approximately $8.5 million for oil spill research
NSU Oceanographic Center researchers will study the effects of oil spills and dispersants on marine ecosystem in the Gulf of Mexico.

The hacker culture: Creatively overcoming limitations in programming
Chopping games in Warsaw, hacking software in Athens, creating chaos in Hamburg, and partying with computing in Zagreb and Amsterdam: the newly published Springer book 'Hacking Europe' focuses on several European countries at the end of the Cold War and shows that the digital development was not an exclusively American affair.

Gluten-free faba bean for bread and pasta
The Technical Research Center of Finland has developed food application technologies for an ancient domestic protein crop -- faba beans.

Unlike people, monkeys aren't fooled by expensive brands
In at least one respect, Capuchin monkeys are smarter than humans -- they don't assume a higher price tag means better quality, according to a new Yale study appearing in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology.

Warming reaches maximum 10 years after carbon dioxide emission
The climate warming caused by a single carbon emission takes only about 10 years to reach its maximum effect.

See it, touch it, feel it
Technology has changed rapidly over the last few years with touch feedback, known as haptics, being used in entertainment, rehabilitation and even surgical training.

Tracking elephants, ecstasy, and emerging diseases
In the December issue of ESA Frontiers, new diseases travel on the wings of birds In a rapidly changing north and elephants and ecstasy: tracking animal state of being.

New study strengthens evidence of the connection between statin use and cataracts
Some clinicians have ongoing concerns regarding the potential for lens opacities as a result of statin use.

The Lancet: Substantial improvement in England and Wales cancer survival over 40 years
Remarkable improvements in cancer survival mean that half of all people diagnosed with cancer today (2010-11) in England and Wales are expected to survive from their cancer for at least 10 years, compared to just a quarter of people diagnosed 40 years ago (1971-72), according to a new index of survival for all cancers combined*, published in The Lancet.

Nutrition, safety key to consumer acceptance of nanotech, genetic modification in foods
New research shows that the majority of consumers will accept the presence of nanotechnology or genetic modification (GM) technology in foods -- but only if the technology enhances the nutrition or improves the safety of the food.

Fighting air pollution in China with social media
The serious air pollution problem in China has attracted the attention of online activists who want the government to take action, but their advocacy has had only limited success, a new study has revealed.

UNH research: On environment, Republicans closer to Independents than Tea Party
Environmentalists dispirited by the Republicans' dominance of the recent midterm elections can take heart: non-Tea Party Republicans' views on science and environmental issues are closer to those of Independents than to Tea Party supporters.

Why don't children belong to the clean plate club?
New Cornell research aggregated six different studies of 326 elementary school-aged children.

Alcohol abuse linked to newly identified gene network
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have identified a network of genes that appear to work together in determining alcohol dependence.

Professor Satinder Kaur Brar elected to College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists
Professor Satinder Kaur Brar of the INRS Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre was elected to the Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

Heavier newborns show academic edge in school
Birth weight makes a difference to a child's future academic performance, according to new Northwestern University research that found heavier newborns do better in elementary and middle school than infants with lower birth weights.

Study shows Prolaris could save healthcare system $6 billion over 10 years
Clinical data from three studies with Prolaris in prostate cancer patients will be highlighted at the 2014 Society of Urologic Oncology Annual Meeting tomorrow.

New path of genetic research: Scientists uncover 4-stranded elements of maize DNA
A team led by Florida State University researchers has identified DNA elements in maize that could affect the expression of hundreds or thousands of genes.

Rate of prescribing psychotropic drugs to Kentucky kids studied at UofL
A grant from Passport Health Plan will help University of Louisville researchers uncover the reasons why Kentucky kids are prescribed psychotropic meds at almost twice the national average.

Macho stereotypes put off men as well as women
Some men are being driven away from macho occupations like surgery and the Royal Marines because they don't feel that they are 'man enough', according to new research.

Chemists fabricate novel rewritable paper
UC Riverside chemists have fabricated novel rewritable paper, one that is based on the color switching property of commercial chemicals called redox dyes.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Hagupit as Micronesia posts warnings
NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible picture of Tropical Storm Hagupit in the western North Pacific Ocean on Dec.

Better detection, prevention, and pre-clinical treatment: 3 effective tools in the fight against Alzheimer's
Detection, prevention, and preclinical treatment are three key areas that may make a difference in the battle to reduce the rapid rise of new Alzheimer's disease cases every year.

Regenstrief and IU study: Wake Up and Breathe program benefits ICU patients
Researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana University Center for Aging Research report that waking intensive care unit patients and having them breathe on their own decreased both sedation levels and coma prevalence.

West Antarctic melt rate has tripled: UC Irvine-NASA
A comprehensive, 21-year analysis of the fastest-melting region of Antarctica has found that the melt rate of glaciers there has tripled during the last decade.

Traces of Martian biological activity could be locked inside a meteorite
Did Mars ever have life? Does it still? A meteorite from Mars has reignited the old debate.

NIH-funded study is decoding blue light's mysterious ability to alter body's natural clock
Blue light bombards us, whether city lights, smartphones or tablets, says chemist Brian Zoltowski, Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

Green light from FDA for CT lung-imaging software that got its start at U-M Medical School
A technology that started in a University of Michigan Medical School lab may soon help lung disease patients around the world breathe a little easier, by helping their doctors make a clearer diagnosis and more individualized treatment plan.

Tufts dental facilities serving individuals with disabilities to receive national award
Tufts Dental Facilities Serving Individuals with Disabilities, a network of clinics that provides oral health care to adults and children with intellectual, developmental, or acquired disabilities, will be presented with the Gies Award for Outstanding Achievement by an Academic Dental Institution at an event in March.

Health boost for fitness centers
Writing in the International Journal of Business Continuity and Risk Management, Australian researchers highlight how sub-optimal risk management in the health and fitness industry could put users at increased risk of injury and adverse health outcomes rather than providing them with the tools to build a healthy lifestyle.

Blows to head damage brain's 'garbage truck,' accelerate dementia
A new study out today in the Journal of Neuroscience shows that traumatic brain injury can disrupt the function of the brain's waste removal system.

Growing cooperation: First the carrot, then the stick
To encourage cooperation in groups, a combination of rewards and penalties is best, according to a new study by researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

The ryanodine receptor: Calcium channel in muscle cells
Scientists decode the 3-D structure of the calcium channel with unprecedented accuracy.

3-D mammography improves cancer detection in dense breasts
A major new study has found that digital breast tomosynthesis, also known as 3-D mammography, has the potential to significantly increase the cancer detection rate in mammography screening of women with dense breasts.

Chemotherapy can complicate immediate breast reconstruction after mastectomy
Immediate breast reconstruction following mastectomy is becoming more prevalent. However, in breast cancer patients undergoing simultaneous chemotherapy, thrombotic complications can arise that can delay or significantly modify reconstructive plans.

Louisiana Tech University receives UTeach grant to support STEM teacher preparation
The National Math and Science Initiative and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have awarded Louisiana Tech University a $1.45 million grant to support teacher preparation in science, technology, engineering and math fields, as part of the national UTeach program.

New technique simultaneously determines nanomaterials' chemical makeup, topography
A team of researchers from the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and Ohio University have devised a powerful technique that simultaneously resolves the chemical characterization and topography of nanoscale materials down to the height of a single atom.

UT Arlington chemistry professor named IEEE Fellow
Purnendu 'Sandy' Dasgupta is recognized worldwide for his pioneering work in ion chromatography.

UT Arlington book decries methods of the recording industry in the digital age
A new book by a UT Arlington assistant professor reveals how large corporations exploited new technologies to maintain their stranglehold on the music industry.

Even mild coronary artery disease puts diabetic patients at risk
According to a new long-term study, diabetic patients with even mild coronary artery disease face the same relative risk for a heart attack or other major adverse heart events as diabetics with serious single-vessel obstructive disease.

Sons' intelligence linked to fathers' criminal history
Sons whose fathers have criminal records tend to have lower cognitive abilities than sons whose fathers have no criminal history, data from over 1 million Swedish men show.

Diagnosis targets in primary care are misleading and unethical
Last month, there was public outcry at the news that GPs in England would be paid £55 for each case of dementia diagnosed.

Overweight and obesity in pregnancy linked to greater risk of infant death
Overweight and obesity in early pregnancy are associated with increased risks of infant mortality, with the greatest risks seen among severely obese mothers, finds a study published in The BMJ this week.

Turn back the molecular clock, say Argentina's plant fossils
Molecular clocks -- based on changes in genetic material -- indicate much younger ages for a wide variety of plants found as fossils in southern Argentina than do the solid, geologic dates of those fossils, according to geoscientists who surveyed recent paleobotanical discoveries in Patagonia.

Nanotubes may restore sight to blind retinas
Retinal degeneration is one of the most worrisome dangers in the aging process.

Study finds insects play important role in dealing with garbage on NYC streets
In the city that never sleeps, it's easy to overlook the insects underfoot.

Vitamin D deficiency, depression linked in international study
Vitamin D deficiency is not just harmful to physical health -- it also might impact mental health, according to a team of researchers that has found a link between seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, and a lack of sunlight.

Tailor-made pharmaceuticals as basis for novel antidepressants
SAFit-ligands provide the foundation for a mechanistically novel treatment of stress-related psychiatric disorders.

University of Toronto chemists identify role of soil in pollution control
Scientists have long known that air pollution caused by cars and trucks, solvent use and even plants, is reduced when broken down by naturally occurring compounds that act like detergents of the atmosphere.

Crime Victims' Institute investigates human trafficking
Human sex trafficking is a serious problem both domestically and internationally and enhanced education is necessary to address the risk factors for entry into the sex trade, the physical and mental health consequences of victimization, and institutional responses to victims, according to a new series published by the Crime Victims' Institute at Sam Houston State University.

Vitamin supplement successfully prevents noise-induced hearing loss
Researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College and the Gladstone Institutes have found a way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss in a mouse using a simple chemical compound that is a precursor to vitamin B3.

56th ASH Annual Meeting to highlight latest research, celebrate milestones in hematology
The American Society of Hematology (ASH) will host more than 20,000 attendees from around the world for its 56th annual meeting, featuring breakthrough research and the latest patient care advances in hematology Dec.

Inflammatory discovery sheds new light on skin disease
Inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis may result from abnormal activation of cell death pathways previously believed to suppress inflammation, a surprise finding that could help to develop new ways of treating these diseases.

Cutting F-35 manufacturing costs, time earns ONR top award
The Office of Naval Research received one of the nation's top manufacturing awards for an innovative, cost-saving method for making advanced cockpit enclosures, or canopies, for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program.

University of Chicago to establish Genomic Data Commons
The University of Chicago is collaborating with the National Cancer Institute to establish the nation's most comprehensive computational facility that stores and harmonizes cancer genomic data generated through National Cancer Institute-funded research programs.

Managing reefs to benefit coastal communities
Coral reefs provide a range of benefits, such as food, opportunities for income and education, but not everyone has the same access to them, according to a new study conducted by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University.

UTHealth's Weltge honored by the American College of Emergency Physicians
Arlo F. Weltge, M.D., M.P.H., clinical professor of emergency medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School, has received the John A.

Lengthening the life of high capacity silicon electrodes in rechargeable lithium batteries
A new study will help researchers create longer-lasting, higher-capacity lithium rechargeable batteries, which are commonly used in consumer electronics.

New techniques for estimating Atlantic bluefin tuna reproduction
In their study published this week in Nature's online open-access journal Scientific Reports, Lutcavage, a fisheries oceanographer and director of the Large Pelagics Research Center at University of Massachusetts Amherst's Gloucester Marine Station, with her two former doctoral students Heinisch and Jessica Knapp at the University of New Hampshire, introduce a new endocrine-based approach to determine timing of sexual maturation in one of the most important commercial tuna species in the Atlantic.

Study of deadly bat disease finds surprising seasonal pattern of infections
The deadly fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome has spread to bat colonies throughout eastern North America over the past seven years, causing bat populations to crash, with several species now at risk of extinction.

Why does physical activity during childhood matter?
Most scientific research on the topic of physical inactivity has focused on the consequences of physical inactivity for physical health, with significant attention to obesity and medical conditions such as diabetes.

A novel technique for gene insertion by genome editing
Using a novel gene knock-in technique, effective insertion of an exogenous gene was demonstrated in human cells and in animal models, including silkworms and frogs.

New research finds the first evidence of a rogue protein in multiple sclerosis
In a new study published today in the journal Frontiers in Neurology, a team of researchers led by the University of Surrey, have identified a rogue protein in multiple sclerosis, which attacks the body's central nervous system.

Missing ingredient in energy-efficient buildings: People
More than one-third of new commercial building space includes energy-saving features, but without training or an operator's manual many occupants are in the dark about how to use them.

Zeltia Board to approve exploring a merger with PharmaMar for future listing in US market
Zeltia announces that its Board of Directors has approved a strategy to explore merging Zeltia, S.A. with Pharma Mar, S.A., its wholly-owned, oncology subsidiary and core business.

New data suggest treatment effect on cognition leads to the treatment effect on function in patients
Today, Eli Lilly and Company announced results from new analyses of two Phase 3 trials evaluating the relationship between cognitive and functional treatment effects in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease.

Northwestern Medicine surgeons first to treat brain tumor using adaptive hybrid technology
Radiosurgery-guided procedure could offer hope for patients with benign and cancerous brain tumors.

Meteorology meets metrology: Climate research high up in the clouds
HAI -- a new, highly accurate hygrometer of Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Germany -- is aboard the research aircraft HALO.

Antacids linked to better survival in head and neck cancer
Patients with head and neck cancer who used antacid medicines to control acid reflux had better overall survival, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

India joins the Thirty Meter Telescope Project as a full member
Today in New Delhi, officials of the government of India signed documents establishing the country as a full partner in the Thirty Meter Telescope project.

Brain representations of social thoughts accurately predict autism diagnosis
Carnegie Mellon University researchers have created brain-reading techniques to use neural representations of social thoughts to predict autism diagnoses with 97 percent accuracy.

First study of 'Golden Age' mandolins unlocks secrets of their beauty
Some of the most elaborately decorated instruments in history were produced in 18th century Naples.

E-signatures less trusted than handwritten signatures
Now you don't even have live in Estonia to open a business there.

Intermittent fasting even with the occasional cheat day may help combat obesity
New research in mice suggests that restricting access to food to 8-12 hours rather than allowing constant access to food may help prevent and even reverse obesity and type 2 diabetes.

The Arab Spring in Tunisia came from the people
Last Sunday, Tunisia held its second presidential election since the revolution that toppled president Ben Ali in January 2011.

Logging destabilizes forest soil carbon over time, Dartmouth study finds
Logging doesn't immediately jettison carbon stored in a forest's mineral soils into the atmosphere but triggers a gradual release that may contribute to climate change over decades, a Dartmouth College study finds.

A glimmer of hope for corals as baby reef builders cope with acidifying oceans
While the threat of coral bleaching as a result of climate change poses a serious risk to the future of coral reefs worldwide, new research has found that some baby corals may be able to cope with the negative effects of ocean acidification.

Strange galaxy perplexes astronomers
With the help of citizen scientists, astronomers have found an important new example of a very rare type of galaxy that may provide valuable insight on galaxy evolution in the early Universe.

Re-focusing investors' attention away from losses can reduce negative emotional response
MU researchers found that distracting investors helped lessen emotional responses to investment losses.

CO2 warming effects felt just a decade after being emitted
It takes just 10 years for a single emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) to have its maximum warming effects on the Earth.

Revealed: How bacteria drill into our cells and kill them
A team of scientists has revealed how certain harmful bacteria drill into our cells to kill them.

Novel nanoparticle technology to be used to screen for Ebola virus in saliva
Ceres Nanosciences will work with George Mason University and the United States Army Medical Research Institutes of Infectious Diseases to assess the ability of the Nanotrap technology to develop a more sensitive and safer Ebola virus detection method that uses saliva instead of blood.

Another case against the midnight snack
Salk researchers tinker with a time-restricted diet in mice and find that it is remarkably forgiving.

CWRU study finds girls, boys affected differently by witnessing parental violence
Witnessing violence by parents or a parent's intimate partner can trigger a chain of negative behavior in some children that follows them from preschool to kindergarten and beyond, according to researchers at Case Western Reserve University.

Mediterranean diet linked to longer life
Eating a Mediterranean diet might help extend your lifespan, suggests a study published in The BMJ this week. The diet appears to be associated with longer telomere length -- an established marker of slower aging.

University of Illinois researchers develop inexpensive hydrolysable polymer
Through some inventive chemistry, University of Illinois associate professor Jianjun Cheng and his colleagues have developed a class of 'hindered urea bond-containing polymeric materials' or 'poly(hindered urea)s' -- cheap polymers that can be designed to degrade over a specified time period, making them potentially useful in biomedical and agricultural applications.

Do concussions have lingering cognitive, physical, and emotional effects?
A study of active duty US Marines who suffered a recent or previous concussion(s) examined whether persistent post-concussive symptoms and lingering effects on cognitive function are due to concussion-related brain trauma or emotional distress.

Want to get male millennials on board with your cause? Focus on feelings
'Selfish' may be the adjective most often attached to millennials.

People putting their lives at risk by dismissing cancer symptoms
People could be putting their lives at risk by dismissing potential warning signs of cancer as less serious symptoms, according to a Cancer Research UK-funded study published in PLOS ONE. 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