Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 12, 2014
Smithsonian launches major new initiative to better understand life on Earth
Scientists across the Smithsonian have studied genomics for years, investigating how animal and plant species function, relate to one another, adapt to change and thrive or fail to survive.

Wake Forest research confirms controversial nitrite hypothesis
Understanding how nitrite can improve conditions such as hypertension, heart attack and stroke has been the object of worldwide research studies.

Lumina Decision Systems wins 2014 INFORMS Decision Analysis Practice Award
The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, the leading professional association for analytics professionals, today announced that the winner of the 2014 INFORMS Decision Analysis Practice Award was presented to Max Henrion, CEO of Lumina Decision Systems, makers of Analytica software.

Cocaine consumption quadruples the risk of sudden death in people between 19 and 49
According to this piece of research, cocaine consumption doubles the risk of death of cardiovascular origin that can be attributed to smoking, and becomes the main risk factor among subjects under 50.

Expected stay rates of US and foreign doctoral graduates diverge with time
A new National Science Foundation report reveals the number of US citizen doctoral graduates in science, engineering and health fields, who remain in the United States, tracks closely with their intent to stay in the United States at the time of graduation.

Global warming's influence on extreme weather
Understanding the cause-and-effect relationship between global warming and record-breaking weather requires asking precisely the right questions.

Stanford professor discusses techniques for minimizing environmental impacts of fracking
Natural gas power plants emit less carbon dioxide than coal power plants, but must be carefully managed to prevent air and water pollution.

Stanford professor discusses benefits and costs of forest carbon projects
Forests can help slow the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere while also providing beneficial biophysical feedbacks.

A matter of birth and death: Unsafe conditions still killing new mothers and newborns
New publication reports that a lack of safe water, sanitation and hygiene in birth settings is killing mothers and newborns in the developing world.

Stanford scientists identify mechanism that accelerated the 2011 Japan earthquake
Stanford scientists identify a mechanism that accelerated the 2011 Japan earthquake.

Taming the inflammatory response in kidney dialysis
Frequent kidney dialysis can cause systemic inflammation, leading to complications such as cardiovascular disease and anemia by triggering the complement cascade, part of the innate immune system.

How bird eggs get their bling
Pigments covered by a thin, smooth cuticle reveal the mystery behind these curious shells, University of Akron researchers discovered.

Women don't run?
An interest in the gender gap between the representations of female candidates in US elections compared to their male counterparts led two University of Pittsburgh professors to take the issue into the laboratory for three years of research.

NASA Sees Tropical Depression Hagupit Winding Down
Tropical Cyclone Bakung is moving in a westerly direction over the open waters of the Southern Indian Ocean and NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of the sea storm.

A control knob for fat?
Researchers found a new function for a long-studied gene: it appears to regulate fat storage in C. elegans.

Researchers use real data rather than theory to measure the cosmos
For the first time researchers have measured large distances in the Universe using data, rather than calculations related to general relativity.

Perioperative Surgical Home improves quality, reduces health care costs
The Perioperative Surgical Home (PSH) model consistently and significantly improves quality of care for patients and reduces health care costs, reports a first-of-its-kind, large-scale literature review of the PSH in the United States and abroad.

Ruling on PETA complaint a victory for animals used in EU chemical tests
In a landmark decision with the potential to save millions of animals from suffering and death in laboratory experiments, the European Ombudsman has determined that the European Chemicals Agency is not fully applying its authority to minimize animal experiments, as required by law, and should begin to do so.

New TGen test uses the unique genetics of women to uncover neurologic disorders
TGen's discovery relies on a simple genetic fact: Men have one X and one Y chromosome, while women have two X chromosomes.

Six undergraduate researchers receive Victoria Finnerty Awards
The Genetics Society of America (GSA) and the Drosophila research community are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 Victoria Finnerty Undergraduate Travel Awards.

More-flexible digital communication
A new theory could yield more reliable communication protocols for digital devices.

All children should have vision health screening between age 3 and 6, expert panel recommends
All children should undergo vision health screening between age 36 and 72 months -- preferably every year -- using evidence-based test methods and with effective referral and follow-up, according to recommendations published in the January issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry.

A new trout species described from the Alakır Stream in Antalya, Turkey
A new fish species, Salmo kottelati, has been described from the Alakır Stream draining to Mediterranean Sea in Anatolia.

Satellite shows return of the Pineapple Express
The 'Pineapple Express' happens when warm air and lots of moisture are transported from the Central Pacific, near Hawaii, to the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Training elderly in social media improves well-being and combats isolation
Training older people in the use of social media improves cognitive capacity, increases a sense of self-competence and could have a beneficial overall impact on mental health and well-being, according to a landmark study carried out in the UK.

Native fungus suggested as another tool for restoring ghostly whitebark pine forests
A Montana State University scientist has found hope for the whitebark pine forests in a native fungus called Siberian slippery jack.

Science: Big data explain evolution of birds
About 95 percent of the 10,000 bird species only evolved upon the extinction of dinosaurs about 66 million years ago.

OPALS: Light beams let data rates soar
On the International Space Station, the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science is demonstrating how laser communications can speed up the flow of information between Earth and space, compared to radio signals.

Stanford faculty awarded seed grants for innovative energy research
Stanford's Precourt Institute, Precourt Energy Efficiency Center and TomKat Center have awarded eight seed grants to Stanford faculty for early-stage energy research.

Earth's most abundant mineral finally has a name
An ancient meteorite and high-energy X-rays have helped scientists conclude a half century of effort to find, identify and characterize a mineral that makes up 38 percent of the Earth.

Oil-dwelling bacteria are social creatures in Earth's deep biosphere, new study shows
Oil reservoirs are scattered deep inside the Earth like far-flung islands in the ocean, so their inhabitants might be expected to be very different, but a new study led by Dartmouth College and University of Oslo researchers shows these underground microbes are social creatures that have exchanged genes for eons.

Migraine was not associated with BC in a pooled analysis of prospective cohort studies
Migraine was not associated with breast cancer risk or differences in the endogenous sex hormones that have been proposed to be associated with migraines, according to a new study published Dec.

Building a worldwide genetic library BRIC-by-BRIC
NASA is laying a strong foundation of life science research with results from a recent investigation on the space station called BRIC-19, one in a series of Biological Research in Canisters investigations.

Male and female breast cancers are not identical
Results of the EORTC10085/TBCRC/BIG/NABCG International Male Breast Cancer Program conducted in both Europe and in the United States and presented at the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium found significant improvement in survival for men with breast cancer, but this improvement was not as good as that observed for women.

'Big bang' of bird evolution mapped by international research team
The genomes of modern birds tell a story: Today's winged rulers of the skies emerged and evolved after the mass extinction that wiped out dinosaurs and almost everything else 66 million years ago.

Stanford scientist examines ways to put stormwater to use in big cities
Stanford researchers plan to use data from St. Paul, Minn., to determine the value of stormwater, and apply these lessons to water projects in Brazil and Ethiopia.

Neurons listen to glia cells
Scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany have discovered a new signal pathway in the brain that plays an important role in learning and the processing of sensory input.

Nuclear fragments could help uncover the origins of life-supporting planets
New research published today in the journal Physical Review Letters describes how recreating isotopes that occur when a star explodes, can help physicists understand where life-supporting elements may be found in space.

NASA's watches Tropical Cyclone Bakung over open ocean
Tropical Cyclone Bakung is moving in a westerly direction over the open waters of the Southern Indian Ocean and NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of the sea storm.

Immune cells in brain respond to fat in diet, causing mice to eat
Immune cells perform a previously unsuspected role in the brain that may contribute to obesity, according to a new study by UC San Francisco researchers.

ASTRO recognized with distinguished 'Accreditation with Commendation' status from ACCME
The American Society for Radiation Oncology's education credentials have been recognized and upgraded by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education from Accreditation to Accreditation with Commendation, approved at the ACCME's December 2014 meeting.

Inaugural survey of American attitudes about the environment released by Yale & AP-NORC
The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research today released the first set of findings from its inaugural environment poll.

22.7 percent of pregnant women suffer intimate partner violence
A new study analyses the violent behaviors exhibited towards pregnant women.

Scripps Florida scientists win grant to uncover ways to erase toxic PTSD memories
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have been awarded $2.3 million from the Department of Health and Human Services of the National Institutes of Health to better understand how memories are stored in the hopes of eventually being able to treat post-traumatic stress disorder by erasing traumatic memories without altering other, more benign ones.

UC3M participates in a new simulator that provides training in cybersecurity
Researchers from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and the Universidad de Málaga have collaborated with the consulting and technology company Indra on the development of a new advanced simulator of training in cybersecurity, a system that teaches users how to carry out computer forensics, prevent cyber attacks and learn techniques of cyber defense.

MBL imaging technique reveals that bacterial biofilms are associated with colon cancer
An imaging technology developed at MBL reveals that bacterial biofilms are associated with colon cancer.

Comet landing named Physics World Breakthrough of the Year
The first ever landing of a man-made probe onto a comet has been named Physics World Breakthrough of the Year for 2014.

Link between low blood glucose and cardiovascular events revealed
A study involving scientists from the University of Leicester has established a link between hypoglycaemia and increased risk of cardiovascular events and mortality in patients with diabetes.

Patient awakes from post-traumatic minimally conscious state after administration of depressant drug
A patient who had suffered a traumatic brain injury unexpectedly recovered full consciousness after the administration of midazolam, a mild depressant drug of the GABA A agonists family.

New theory suggests alternate path led to rise of the eukaryotic cell
Known as the 'inside-out' theory of eukaryotic cell evolution, an alternative view of how complex life came to be was published recently in the open access journal BMC Biology. 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