Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 04, 2014
Bradley Hasbro Research Center to study drug treatment program for girls in court system
Marina Tolou-Shams, Ph.D., a psychologist from the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center, has received a $2 million grant to study the efficacy of a drug use intervention for court-involved, non-incarcerated girls who use illicit substances.

Friendly bacteria are protective against malaria
In a breakthrough study to be published on the Dec.

The finer details of rust
Scientists at the Vienna University of Technology have been studying the behavior of iron oxide surfaces.

Typhoid Mary, not typhoid mouse
The bacterium Salmonella typhi causes typhoid fever in humans, but leaves other mammals unaffected.

High-sugar diet in fathers can lead to obese offspring
A new Cell study shows that increasing sugar in the diet of male fruit flies for just one or two days before mating can cause obesity in their offspring through alterations that affect gene expression in the embryo.

Cons of regular low-dose aspirin to stave off serious illness in women outweigh pros
The pros of giving healthy women regular low-dose aspirin to stave off serious illness, such as cancer and heart disease, are outweighed by the cons, suggests a large study published online in the journal Heart.

The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Obesity may shorten life expectancy by up to 8 years and cut healthy life by up to 19 years
Obesity and extreme obesity have the potential to reduce life expectancy by up to 8 years and deprive adults of as much as 19 years of healthy life as a result of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, new research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology suggests.

Disney Research technique captures unique eye traits to produce more realistic faces
The eyes are arguably the most important features of an individual's face, if not a window to the soul, so the use of generic eye models when creating digital faces can have disappointing results.

More evidence for impact of lung cancer targeted therapy from practice-changing trial
An international study involving Manchester researchers has found that for previously untreated lung cancer patients with a particular genetic change, a new targeted therapy is better than standard chemotherapy.

The innate immune system condemns weak cells to their death
In cell competition the strong eliminate the weak, thereby ensuring optimal tissue fitness.

Modern monitoring systems contribute to alarm fatigue in hospitals
Jessica Zègre-Hemsey, a cardiac monitoring expert at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her colleagues at the University of California San Francisco, revealed more than 2.5 million alarms were triggered on bedside monitors in a single month -- the first figure ever reported from a real-world hospital setting.

The Lancet: Basic medical care of Ebola patients is neglected and must improve
The widespread misconception that there are no proven treatments for Ebola virus disease has meant that simple treatments -- especially intravenous fluids and electrolytes, which could reduce the number of deaths caused by the virus -- have been neglected, according to a new Comment, published in The Lancet.

EU companies must boost R&D investment to stay globally competitive
Investment in research and development by companies based in the EU grew by 2.6 percent in 2013, despite the unfavorable economic environment.

Simple model predicts progression of kidney disease among socially disadvantaged patients
A simple model using five commonly available variables from electronic health records adequately discriminates between socially disadvantaged individuals with chronic kidney disease who will and will not progress to kidney failure.

A little rest from grazing improves native grasslands
A new Point Blue Conservation Science study shows a 72 percent increase in where native perennial grasses were found on a coastal California ranch when cattle grazing was changed to give the land more time to rest.

Obesity may shorten life expectancy up to eight years
'Tis the season to indulge. However, restraint may be best according to a new study led by investigators at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and McGill University.

'How much--and when?' Life-history trade-offs a factor in whole-organism performance
In order to get a more complete picture about the evolution of performance, an examination of an organism's whole-organism performance capacities must include a consideration of its life-history trade-offs.

Female sex hormones can protect against the development of some blood disorders
Estrogens, a major class of female sex hormone, can regulate the activity of the hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow and in this way influence the development of some types of leukemia.

Low levels of circulating protein linked with heart problems in mice with kidney disease
Decreased blood levels of a protein called Klotho increases the risk of heart disease in mice with chronic kidney disease.

A poisonous cure
Take two poisonous mushrooms, and call me in the morning.

How cell size matters
For his novel research into how mammalian cell size is influenced by its environment, Liron Bar-Peled has been named the 2014 Grand Prize winner of the Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists.

Research: NFL athletes are seeking unproven stem cell treatments
Some National Football League players have been seeking out unproven stem cell therapies to help accelerate recoveries from injuries, according to a new paper from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

IU collaboration to develop computational model of acetaminophen-induced liver failure
Three Indiana University professors have received $2.1 million to develop a computational model of acetaminophen-induced liver failure -- the leading cause of liver failure in the United States -- by using advanced microscopic and computational technologies that allow scientists to see into the liver of a living animal.

Technology breakthrough reveals cellular transcription process
'This new research tool offers us a more profound view of the immune responses that are involved in a range of diseases, such as HIV infection.

New CoMMpass StudyTM data now on Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation's Researcher Gateway
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) announced today that new data from the landmark CoMMpass Study™ is now available to researchers via the MMRF's Researcher Gateway, an online, open-access portal designed to make key genomic and clinical data publically available for additional study.

El Niño's 'remote control' on hurricanes in the Northeastern Pacific
El Niño peaks in winter and its surface ocean warming occurs mostly along the equator.

Disney Research tone mapping technique creates 'hyper-real' look
A new image processing technique developed by Disney Research Zurich could make high dynamic range video look better when shown on consumer-quality displays by preserving much of the rich visual detail while eliminating 'ghosting' and other unwanted visual artifacts.

People with mental illness more likely to be tested for HIV, Penn Medicine study finds
People with mental illness are more likely to have been tested for HIV than those without mental illness, according to a new study from a team of researchers at Penn Medicine and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published online this week in AIDS Patient Care and STDs.

Response to viral infections depends on the entry route of the virus
Insects can transmit viral diseases to humans. Therefore, understanding how insects cope with viral infection, and what immune mechanisms are triggered, can be important to stop diseases transmission.

Ultrafast complex molecular simulations by 'cutting up molecules'
Scientists at ITbM, Nagoya University and AIST have developed an ultrafast quantum chemical method, which allows rapid and accurate simulations of complex molecular systems consisting of thousands of molecules.

Loss of a chemical tag on RNA keeps embryonic stem cells in suspended animation
Scientists from UCLA, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and Stanford University have discovered a novel mechanism of RNA regulation in embryonic stem cells.

GulfPCR-GIM 2014 announcement
The fourth edition of GulfPCR-GIM 2014, which takes place in Dubai, UAE, will bring together interventional cardiologists and cathlab staff from throughout the world to share experience and knowledge in order to improve cardiovascular care for all patients.

Approved breast cancer drug offers hope for the treatment of blood disorders
A new study provides an explanation as to why blood cancers are more common in men than in women, revealing that estrogens regulate the survival of stem cells that give rise to blood cancers.

NIST study 'makes the case' for RFID forensic evidence management
Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags -- devices that can transmit data over short distances to identify objects, animals or people -- have become increasingly popular for tracking everything from automobiles being manufactured on an assembly line to zoo animals in transit to their new homes.

Maintaining a reliable value of the cost of climate change
The Social Cost of Carbon puts a dollar value on the climate damages per ton of CO2 released, and is used by -- among others -- policymakers to help determine the costs and benefits of climate policies.

Images of brain after mild stroke predict future risk
A CT scan of the brain within 24 hours of a mild, non-disabling stroke can predict when patients will be at the highest risk of another stroke or when symptoms may worsen, according to new research published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

Wireless brain sensor could unchain neuroscience from cables
Neuroscience research has been constrained by the cables required to connect brain sensors to computers for analysis.

Preliminary study suggests Parkinson's drugs safe for the heart
Non-ergot derived dopamine agonists used to treat Parkinson's disease may be safe for the heart, according to preliminary research presented at EuroEcho-Imaging 2014 by Dr.

Greenhouse gases linked to African rainfall
Scientists may have solved a long-standing enigma known as the African Humid Period -- an intense increase in cumulative rainfall in parts of Africa that began after a long dry spell following the end of the last ice age and lasting nearly 10,000 years.

Ebola rapid response
The National Science Foundation has awarded the first of a number of rapid response grants to advance fundamental Ebola research.

AU professor constructs model of receptor protein linked to human growth
American University chemistry professor Stefano Costanzi constructed the three-dimensional model of the protein, providing a visual for the beginnings of a drug discovery campaign to figure out compounds that will bind to the protein, in the hopes of someday providing treatment for growth-altering conditions.

UCLA study: To stop spread of HIV, African governments should target hot zones
To stop the spread of HIV in Africa, researchers at UCLA, using a complex mathematical model, have developed a strategy that focuses on targeting 'hot zones,' areas where the risk of HIV infection is much higher than the national average.

Localized climate change contributed to ancient southwest depopulation
Washington State University researchers have detailed the role of localized climate change in one of the great mysteries of North American archaeology: the depopulation of southwest Colorado by ancestral Pueblo people in the late 1200s.

PharmaMar reports Phase IIb data for overall survival of PM1183 in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer
Platinum-resistant ovarian cancer patients treated with PM1183 had superior median overall survival compared to topotecan.

Chinese scientists create new global wetland suitability map
Wetlands worldwide have been impacted by the expansion of cities and agricultural development.

Research could improve nuclear power plant safety -- and stop your kettle furring up
Taking inspiration from nature, researchers have created a versatile model to predict how stalagmite-like structures form in nuclear processing plants -- as well as how lime scale builds up in kettles.

New single-cell analysis reveals complex variations in stem cells
Using powerful new single-cell genetic profiling techniques, scientists at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and Boston Children's Hospital have uncovered far more variation in pluripotent stem cells than was previously appreciated.

Living African group discovered to be the most populous humans over the last 150,000 years
New genetic research reveals a large community in Southern Africa that was the largest group of humans for most of the past 150,000 years.

Stanford's Precourt Institute and KQED launch e-book series on climate change
The new four-part iBooks Textbook series, 'Clue into Climate,' and an accompanying iTunes U course can be downloaded for free on iPad.

World's key bone, muscle and joint congress to be held in Milan, Italy
Announcing the World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases -- the key annual forum for the presentation of new research and clinical advances in the field.

Boosting length of breastfeeding could save NHS more than £40 million every year
Doubling the number of mums who breastfeed for 7-18 months in their lifetime and helping others to continue for at least four months could save the National Health Service more than £40 million every year, suggests research published online in Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Dirt provides new insight into Roman burials
The first scientific evidence of frankincense being used in Roman burial rites in Britain has been uncovered by a team of archaeological scientists led by the University of Bradford.

Medications for patients with first episode psychosis may not meet guidelines
Many patients with first-episode psychosis receive medications that do not comply with recommended guidelines for first-episode treatment, researchers have found.

Insecticides foster 'toxic' slugs, reduce crop yields
Insecticides aimed at controlling early-season crop pests, such as soil-dwelling grubs and maggots, can increase slug populations, thus reducing crop yields, according to researchers at Penn State and the University of South Florida.

UH team fights antibiotic-resistant bacteria with NIH grant
Addressing the relentless game of cat and mouse played between antibiotics and bacteria, a pair of University of Houston professors recently received a $519,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Quiet as a mouse, but so much to hear
Micheal L. Dent, a University at Buffalo psychologist, listens to what is inaudible to others.

Advances and controversies in clinical nutrition: Looking forward via science
Hear the latest on food and nutrition science at the fourth annual ASN Advances and Controversies in Clinical Nutrition conference at National Harbor, Md., Dec.

Imaging techniques reliably predict treatment outcomes for TB patients
Two medical imaging techniques, called positron emission tomography and computed tomography, could be used in combination as a biomarker to predict the effectiveness of antibiotic drug regimens being tested to treat tuberculosis patients, according to researchers at NIAID, part of NIH.

The social brain: Does guessing others' intentions make a difference when we learn?
People regularly engage in sophisticated 'mentalizing' (i.e. guessing the intentions or beliefs of others) whenever they convince, teach, deceive, and so on.

When noise gets electrons moving
Studying the motion of electrons in a disordered environment is no simple task.

Blood pressure build-up from white blood cells may cause cerebral malaria death
Intracranial hypertension -- increased blood pressure inside the head -- can predict a child's risk of death from malaria.

Coordinating care of older adults moving across treatment still a problem
In what is believed to be the first interview-style qualitative study of its kind among health care providers in the trenches, a team led by a Johns Hopkins geriatrician has further documented barriers to better care of older adults as they are transferred from hospital to rehabilitation center to home, and too often back again.

Predicting the storm: Can computer models improve stem cell transplantation?
Is the human immune system similar to the weather, a seemingly random yet dynamical system that can be modeled based on past conditions to predict future states?

Electric eels deliver Taser-like shocks
A Vanderbilt biologist has determined that electric eels possess an electroshock system uncannily similar to a Taser.

Mini chromosomes that strengthen tumors
Cancers are due to genetic aberrations in certain cells that gain the ability to divide indefinitely.

NASA observes Super Typhoon Hagupit; Philippines under warnings
NASA's Terra satellite and NASA/JAXA's GPM and TRMM satellites have been providing forecasters with valuable data on the Super Typhoon Hagupit.

Coordinated care beneficial to kids with complex respiratory, gastrointestinal disorders
Coordinated care by specialists for children with complex respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders helped lower hospital charges by reducing clinic visits and anesthesia-related procedures in a small single-center study, according to a report published online by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

BIDMC's Ramy Arnaout receives American Heart Association grant
Arnaout's project will focus on antibody repertoires and B cell diversity in cardiovascular diseases, aging and death in a multi-ethnic study cohort.

Federation of European Microbiological Societies journals content goes live with OUP
Oxford University Press is delighted to announce that on Nov.

Current tools for Asian carp eDNA monitoring fall short, Notre Dame study shows
New research published by Notre Dame scientists shows that the tools currently used for Asian carp eDNA monitoring often fail to detect the fish.

Comparison of cultures and epochs: What discourses on weaknesses can trigger
Humanities scholars in Frankfurt can begin a mammoth project on Jan.

Are the benefits of breast milk stimulant worth the risk?
While some specialists encourage the off-label use of domperidone to stimulate breast milk production, some studies have suggested it may be related to negative side effects, including irregular heartbeat and sudden cardiac death.

Geophysicists challenge traditional theory underlying the origin of mid-plate volcanoes
Geophysicists from Virginia Tech and Caltech point to a super-hot layer beneath the tectonic plates as the place of origin for volcanoes, as opposed to deep within the Earth's core.

Congratulations to the 2015 SAGE Young Scholars Award recipients
The Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology, in collaboration with SAGE Publications, has announced the SAGE Young Scholars Awards 2015 recipients.

Endocrine disruptors alter thyroid levels in pregnancy, may affect fetal brain development
A new study led by biologist R. Thomas Zoeller of the University of Massachusetts Amherst provides 'the strongest evidence to date' that endocrine disrupting chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls found in flame retardant cloth, paint, adhesives and electrical transformers, can interfere with thyroid hormone action in pregnant women and may travel across the placenta to affect the fetus.

Don't worry, be happy: Just go to bed earlier
When you go to bed, and how long you sleep at a time, might actually make it difficult for you to stop worrying.

Distrust of police is top reason Latinos don't call 911 for cardiac arrest
Fear of police, language barriers, lack of knowledge of cardiac arrest symptoms and financial concerns prevent Latinos -- particularly those of lower socioeconomic status -- from seeking emergency medical help and performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, according to a study published online yesterday in Annals of Emergency Medicine ('Barriers to Calling 911 and Learning and Performing Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) for Residents of Primarily Latino, High-Risk Neighborhoods in Denver, Colorado').

'Non-echolocating' fruit bats actually do echolocate, with wing clicks
In a discovery that overturns conventional wisdom about bats, researchers reporting in Current Biology have found that Old World fruit bats -- long classified as 'non-echolocating' -- actually do use a rudimentary form of echolocation.

International Space Station enables interplanetary space exploration
From life support systems to growing plants in space, the space station continues to drive human exploration for missions beyond low-Earth orbit.

NTU leads global research to uncover one of mankind's most ancient lineages
Scientists at Nanyang Technological University and Penn State University in the United States have successfully discovered one of modern human's ancient lineages through the sequencing of genes.

Green light for E-ELT construction
The ESO Council gave the green light for the construction of the European Extremely Large Telescope in two phases.

Study reveals effects on body mass index of gene linked to heavy smoking
A genetic variant which causes smokers to smoke more heavily has been shown to be associated with increased body mass index -- but only in those who have never smoked, according to new research led by the University of Bristol and published today in PLOS Genetics.

UT Dallas engineer applies robot control theory to improve prosthetic legs
Research led by Dr. Robert Gregg of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science enables powered prosthetics to dynamically respond to the wearer's environment and help amputees walk.

The walls can talk: New optical technique extracts audio from video
A simple new optical technique to extract audio information from silent high-speed video has been demonstrated by researchers at the Catholic University of America.

Finding infant earths and potential life just got easier
Among the billions and billions of stars in the sky, where should astronomers look for infant Earths where life might develop?

Chicago summer jobs program for high school students dramatically reduces youth violence
A public summer jobs program for high school students from disadvantaged neighborhoods in Chicago reduced violent crime arrests by 43 percent over a 16-month period, according to a new study from the University of Chicago Crime Lab and the University of Pennsylvania.

Pulsars with black holes could hold the 'holy grail' of gravity
The intermittent light emitted by pulsars, the most precise timekeepers in the universe, allows scientists to verify Einstein's theory of relativity, especially when these objects are paired up with another neutron star or white dwarf that interferes with their gravity.

Teleophthalmology for screening, recurrence of age-related macular degeneration
No relevant delay between referral and treatment was found when teleophthalmology was used to screen for suspected age-related macular degeneration and, while teleophthalmology monitoring for recurrence of AMD did result in an average longer wait time for treatment reinitiation, it did not result in worse visual outcomes, according to a study published online by JAMA Ophthalmology.

Obesity and hypertension
For the first time scientists have uncovered how obesity increases the risk of high blood pressure.

Recommendations against mother-infant bedsharing interfere with breastfeeding
Recommendations by physician groups to avoid bedsharing among mothers and their babies are intended to reduce sleep-related infant deaths.

Harvard's Wyss Institute welcomes MIT as a new collaborating institution
The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University announced today that MIT has joined the Wyss Institute collaborative consortium.

Two in 100 adults seriously considered suicide in 2013, CAMH survey shows
Results from an ongoing survey conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) show that 2.2 percent of adults -- or over 230,000 people in Ontario, Canada -- seriously contemplated suicide in the last year.

Why tool-wielding crows are left- or right-beaked
New Caledonian crows show preferences when it comes to holding their tools on the left or the right sides of their beaks, in much the same way that people are left- or right-handed.

New research paves the way for nano-movies of biomolecules
An international team, including scientists from Arizona State University, the University of Milwaukee-Madison, and Germany's Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron, have caught a light sensitive biomolecule at work using an X-ray laser.

Sun emits a mid-level flare on Dec. 4, 2014
On Dec. 4, 2014, the sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 1:25 p.m.

'Satiety hormone' leptin links obesity to high blood pressure
Leptin, a hormone that regulates the amount of fat stored in the body, also drives the increase in blood pressure that occurs with weight gain, according to researchers from Monash University and the University of Cambridge.

Antarctic seawater temperatures rising
The temperature of the seawater around Antarctica is rising according to new University of East Anglia research.

Rice could make cholera treatment more effective
Scientists at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne have shown that, though undeniably effective, the current rehydration therapy for cholera could increase the toxicity of the cholera bacterium.

Antarctica: Heat comes from the deep
The water temperatures on the West Antarctic shelf are rising.

Greenhouse gases linked to past African rainfall
New research, led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, demonstrates for the first time that an increase in greenhouse gas concentrations thousands of years ago was a key factor in causing substantially more rainfall in two major regions of Africa.

ER docs can treat pediatric pain without a needle
Children in emergency departments can safely be treated for pain from limb injuries using intranasal ketamine, a drug more typically used for sedation, according to the results of the first randomized, controlled trial comparing intranasal analgesics in children in the emergency department.

Natural substance in red wine has an anti-inflammatory effect in cardiovascular diseases
A natural substance present in red wine, resveratrol, inhibits the formation of inflammatory factors that trigger cardiovascular diseases.

Genome sequencing for newborns: What do new parents think?
A study published this week in Genetics in Medicine is the first to explore new parents' attitudes toward newborn genomic testing.

PETA science consortium to present non-animal alternatives at FDA tobacco testing workshop
A PETA International Science Consortium advisor, Joseph Manuppello, will present the 'Animal Protection Perspective' at a workshop sponsored by the US Food and Drug Administration intended to identify in vitro models and assays for tobacco toxicity testing.

Electron pairs on demand
Physicists from Leibniz University Hannover and from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt have demonstrated for the first time the on-demand emission of electron pairs from a semiconductor quantum dot and verified their subsequent splitting into two separate conductors.

New research paves the way for nano-movies of biomolecules
An international team, including scientists from DESY, has caught a light sensitive biomolecule at work with an X-ray laser.

Breastfeeding for longer could save the NHS £40 million a year
The NHS could save more than £40 million a year by increasing the length of time that mothers breastfeed, according to research carried out at Brunel University London.

Higher birth weight indicates better performance in school
It's no secret that low-birth-weight babies face significantly greater risks for certain health problems early on, such as respiratory distress or infection.

Kent State researchers find more smartphone play equals less fun during leisure
Today's smartphones are designed to entertain and are increasingly marketed to young adults as leisure devices.

A novel role for Ranbp9 in regulating alternative splicing in spermatogenic cells
A group of researchers led by professor Wei Yan, at the University of Nevada School of Medicine has discovered that a loss of function of Ranbp9 leads to severely reduced male fertility due to disruptions in sperm development.

European Geosciences Union meeting: Media registration now open
The 2015 General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union provides an opportunity for journalists to hear about the latest research in the Earth, planetary and space sciences, and to talk to scientists from all over the world.

Nalmefene for alcohol dependence: Added benefit not proven
No added benefit can be derived from the indirect comparison presented in the drug manufacturer dossier, in particular because the studies on the appropriate comparator therapy were unsuitable.

Smoking and higher mortality in men
In a new study, published in Science, researchers at Uppsala University demonstrate an association between smoking and loss of the Y chromosome in blood cells.

India national salt reduction campaign targets blood pressure, heart disease, stroke
A national salt reduction program in India is set to target reductions in blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, said professor K.

Boston College's Andrew Hargreaves recipient of 2015 Grawemeyer Award in Education
Boston College's Thomas More Brennan Professor in Education Andrew Hargreaves and University of Toronto professor emeritus Michael Fullan have been awarded the $100,00 Grawemeyer Award in Education by the University of Louisville for their book 'Professional Capital: Transforming Teaching in All Schools.'

Press registration open for CNS 2015 in San Francisco
Press registration is now open for the Cognitive Neuroscience Society meeting, March 28-31, 2015, in San Francisco, Calif., at the Hyatt Regency.

Thirty new spider species found in one of China's richest biodiversity hotspots
Scientists from the Institute of Zoology with the Chinese Academy of Sciences have devoted years of their careers to study the astounding diversity hidden in the depths of the Xishuangbanna tropical rain forests.

How strong do you think you are?
Researchers from the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton have shed new light on how grip strength changes across the lifespan. 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