Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 06, 2015
Bariatric surgery associated with improved long-term survival
Among obese patients receiving care in the Veterans Affairs health system, those who underwent bariatric surgery, compared with obese patients who did not have this surgery, had a lower all-cause rate of death at five years and up to 10 years following the procedure, according to a study in the Jan.

What motivates males who commit sexual assault on campus?
The shocking statistic that about one in five women will be the victim of sexual assault while in college is made even more so by the fact that most of those women will know their assailants.

HPV vaccination not associated with increased risk of multiple sclerosis
Although some reports have suggested a link between human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and development of multiple sclerosis or other demyelinating diseases -- a group of central nervous system disorders -- a follow-up of girls and women in Denmark and Sweden who received this vaccination found no increased risk for these disorders, according to a study in the Jan.

New whole blood assay may help overcome roadblocks to TB eradication
One of the roadblocks to the eradication of tuberculosis (TB) is the difficulty in identifying patients with latent TB infections (LTBI).

Study finds substantially shorter life expectancy for patients with type 1 diabetes
For patients with type 1 diabetes in Scotland, at age 20 years, the average man has an estimated life expectancy loss of about 11 years; for women, it is 13 years, compared with the general Scottish population without type 1 diabetes, according to a study in the Jan.

Early blood glucose control lengthens life in people with type 1 diabetes
People with type 1 diabetes who intensively control their blood glucose, or blood sugar, early in their disease are likely to live longer than those who do not, according to research funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Researchers map direct gut-brain connection
Duke scientists have mapped a cell-to-cell connection between the gut and the nervous system that may be a more direct route to signaling satiety than the release of hormones in the blood.

Potential option for treating chronic kidney disease
New clinical research indicates the drug tetrahydrobiopterin may be able to dial back over-activation of the sympathetic nervous system in chronic kidney disease.

Study finds low rate of complications with assisted reproductive technology procedures
In the United States from 2000-2011, autologous -- woman uses her own egg -- and donor assisted reproductive technology procedures were associated with low complication risks, according to a study in the Jan.

International research effort gives neuroscientists better feeling about sense of touch
Our sense of touch is one we often take for granted, until our leg falls asleep and we aren't able to stand, or when we experience acute pain.

More than a third of people with abnormal results drop out of bowel cancer screening
Almost 40 percent of people who have abnormal results from bowel cancer screening tests and are referred for further investigation ignore their next screening invitation two years later.

Grain market mystery solved
In 2005, the wheat cash price and futures price, which normally converge by the time a grain contract matures, weren't coming together.

Alcohol sales linked with alcohol deaths across GB regions
For the first time alcohol sales data, which act as a proxy for alcohol consumption, and alcohol-related deaths for regions in Great Britain have been analyzed.

Drug stimulates brown fat and boosts metabolism
Researchers publishing in the Jan. 6 issue of Cell Metabolism have discovered that a drug FDA-approved to treat overactive bladder may boost brown fat's metabolic powers, making it a promising candidate for combatting obesity.

Computer model explains how animals select actions with rewarding outcomes
Scientists from the universities of Manchester and Sheffield have developed a computer model charting what happens in the brain when an action is chosen that leads to a reward.

Almost three-quarters of parents turn car seats to face forward too early
Many parents don't follow guidelines that call for using rear-facing car seats until age 2, according to National Poll on Children's Health data.

How to sell the drugs of the future
Personalized medicine has shown its effectiveness in the treatment of cancer, and medical professionals are eager to expand it to treat other chronic diseases.

Landmark trial: Early blood glucose control extends life in people with type 1 diabetes
People with type 1 diabetes who intensively control their blood glucose soon after diagnosis are likely to live longer than those who do not.

Circadian rhythms regulate skin stem cell metabolism and expansion, UCI study finds
UC Irvine scientists studying the role of circadian rhythms in skin stem cells found that this clock plays a key role in coordinating daily metabolic cycles and cell division.

Marine litter education boosts children's understanding and actions
A study by Plymouth University finds children could play an important role in solutions to reduce marine litter with some already helping to educate parents and peers about the scale of the issue.

Study suggests that dopamine is a safe anti-angiogenic drug in cancer treatment
A new study suggests that dopamine -- an inexpensive drug currently used to treat heart, vascular and kidney disorders -- can be safely used in cancer treatment to curb the growth of blood vessels in tumors.

Novel imaging technique improves prostate cancer detection
In 2014, prostate cancer was the leading cause of newly diagnosed cancers in men and the second leading cause of cancer death in men.

Earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis, plus other new Geology Online postings
Two papers in the latest online postings for Geology cover the May 12, 2008 Wenchuan, China, earthquake.

Nearly $130,000 in grants awarded to support clinical nutrition and metabolism research
The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition Rhoads Research Foundation today announced that it is awarding nearly $130,000 to support promising clinical nutrition and metabolism research.

Hey, guys: Posting a lot of selfies doesn't send a good message
The picture isn't pretty for guys who post a lot of selfies on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.

2014 AAAS Award for Science Diplomacy: Zafra M. Lerman honored for promoting multinational scientific cooperation in the Middle East
Zafra M. Lerman, creator and advocate for the Biennial Malta Conferences, which promote international scientific cooperation and diplomacy by convening scientists from 15 Middle Eastern nations, has been chosen by the American Association for the Advancement of Science to receive the 2014 Award for Science Diplomacy.

Drug overdose epidemic to recede soon
Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health project that the drug overdose epidemic will peak at about 50,000 annual deaths in 2017 before declining to a non-epidemic state of approximately 6,000 deaths in the year 2035 -- at roughly the same rate seen before the start of the epidemic.

An old genetic tool in plant biology still has value
A review in a recent issue of Applications in Plant Sciences looks at the status of chloroplast simple sequence repeats or microsatellites in plant genetics, exploring their risks, benefits, and use in future studies.

The 'Berlin patient,' first and only person cured of HIV, speaks out
Timothy Ray Brown, long known only as the 'Berlin Patient' had HIV for 12 years before he became the first person in the world to be cured of the infection following a stem cell transplant in 2007.

23andMe and Genentech to analyze genomic data for Parkinson's disease
23andMe will be partnering with Genentech to analyze the genetics associated with Parkinson's Disease.

Fractional quantum Hall effect: Experimental progress and quantum computing applications
The phenomenon of the fractional quantum Hall effect (FQHE), which involves strong Coulomb interactions and correlations among electrons, leads to quasiparticles with a fractional elementary charge.

Researchers uncover key cancer-promoting gene
One of the mysteries in cancer biology is how one protein, TGF-beta, can both stop cancer from forming and encourage its aggressive growth.

Intensive treatment for type 1 diabetes associated with decreased risk of death
After an average of 27 years' follow-up of patients with type 1 diabetes, six and one-half years of initial intensive diabetes therapy was associated with a modestly lower all-cause rate of death, compared with conventional therapy, according to a study in the Jan.

Researchers identify new genetic and epigenetic contributors to diabetes
An analysis of the genomes and epigenomes of lean and obese mice and humans has turned up a wealth of clues about how genes and the environment conspire to trigger diabetes, Johns Hopkins researchers say.

Study rules out spiders as common cause of bacterial infections in humans
Can spiders be carriers of human pathogens? Can they provoke infection through a break in the skin?

Children's vulnerability reflected in genes
Some children are more sensitive to their environments, for better and for worse.

Ischemic micro-lesions associated with flow-diverting stents for aneurysms
The use of flow-diverting stents to treat intracranial aneurysms appears safe and highly successful.

New research shows snacking on almonds instead of a high-carb snack reduced belly fat and other heart disease risk factors
A new study just published in the Journal of the American Heart Association showed that snacking on 42 grams (1.5 ounces) of almonds every day vs. a muffin with the same number of calories not only reduced LDL and total cholesterol, but also reduced abdominal (belly) fat and waist circumference.

New picture, new insight
Using a different type of MRI imaging, researchers at the University of Iowa have discovered previously unrecognized differences in the brains of patients with bipolar disorder.

Ben-Gurion University researchers discover that AAT drug may prevent deadly infections
In the study, mice were directly infected with highly lethal live bacteria, sepsis and peritonitis.

Has car manufacturer taken the corner too fast with the boxfish design?
Billions of years of evolution have provided solutions for countless technical problems, while teaching designers and engineers a thing or two along the way.

News media registration open for ENDO 2015: The 97th Annual Meeting & EXPO in San Diego, Calif.
ENDO 2015 offers journalists the opportunity to discuss groundbreaking research with world-renowned experts in diverse fields, including obesity, diabetes, reproductive health, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, menopause, bone health and thyroid cancer.

More choice may lead to higher costs in ACA marketplaces, study finds
More choices may not be better when it comes to buying health insurance.

Blood sugar levels in heart failure patients predict risk of early death
New research published in the European Heart Journal suggests that people who arrive at hospital emergency departments with acute heart failure should have their blood sugar levels checked on arrival.

Nearly one in five women who undergo hysterectomy may not need the procedure
Although the numbers of hysterectomies are decreasing, a new study of more than three thousand women in Michigan who underwent hysterectomy for benign indications reveals that alternatives to hysterectomy are being underused and that treatment guidelines are often not followed.

Study casts doubt on mammoth-killing cosmic impact
Rock soil droplets formed by heating most likely came from Stone Age house fires and not from a disastrous cosmic impact 12,900 years ago, according to new research from the University of California, Davis.

Pharmaceuticals, personal care products could taint swimming pools
A new study suggests pharmaceuticals and chemicals from personal care products end up in swimming pools, possibly interacting with chlorine to produce disinfection byproducts with unknown properties and health effects.

New drug design enhances brain signaling by a factor of 1,000
Chemical-biological research from the University of Copenhagen sheds light on important communication processes in the brain by means of new effective molecules that improve the starting point provided by nature by more than 1,000 times.

'Iron Sun' is not a rock band, but a key to how stars transmit energy
Creating the conditions of the sun, researchers for the first time have been able to experimentally revise figures used by theorists to define iron's key role in passing sunlight from the sun's core to its radiative surface.

New treatment offers hope for headshaking in horses
A new study has found a treatment called percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation could reduce signs of the condition in horses.

Transformations of diazo compounds catalyzed by environmentally benign iron complexes
Iron can undergo facile changes in its oxidation state and possesses a distinct Lewis acid character.

Despite resolutions, people buy more food after New Year
Despite resolutions to eat better, people buy the greatest amount of food after New Year.

Study finds certification may impact surgical patients
Results from a recent study indicate specialty nursing certification contributes to improved surgical patient outcomes in hospitals nationwide.

Primary care physicians more likely to recommend careers as nurse practitioners
While several physician groups have opposed the perceived replacement of physicians with nurse practitioners as primary care clinicians, a recent survey finds that more physicians would recommend that qualified students pursue careers as nurse practitioners than as primary care physicians.

University of Louisville leads new study to map disease genes in horses
Kentucky and Danish researchers will build a new reference genome sequence for the domestic horse, improving the ability to understand the role genetics play in animal health and well being.

Remapping the damaged brain
Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies, along with researchers from the AIST Human Technology Research Institute in Japan, have identified a time-dependent interplay between two brain regions that contributes to the recovery of motor function after focal brain damage, such as a stroke.

Eight new planets found in 'Goldilocks' zone
Astronomers announced today that they have found eight new planets in the 'Goldilocks' zone of their stars, orbiting at a distance where liquid water can exist on the planet's surface.

New technology enables ultra-fast steering and shaping of light beams
A team of engineers has developed a new acousto-optic device that can shape and steer beams of light at speeds never before achieved.

Volunteer 'Disk Detectives' top 1 million classifications of possible planetary habitats
A NASA-sponsored website designed to crowdsource analysis of data from the agency's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mission has reached an impressive milestone.

When DNA gets sent to time-out
For a skin cell to do its job, it must turn on a completely different set of genes than a liver cell -- and keep genes it doesn't need switched off.

UCSB's Shuji Nakamura receives the 2015 Charles Stark Draper Prize
Nakamura is recognized for his development of the bright blue LED.

Study pinpoints autism-linked protein for sculpting brain connections
Shortly after birth, human brains expand rapidly with the experience of an entirely new world.

New hope for Borneo's orangutans despite climate change and deforestation threats
New conservation research has discovered that up to 74-percent of current orangutan habitat in Borneo could become unsuitable for this endangered species due to 21st century climate or land-cover changes.

Peat fires -- a legacy of carbon up in smoke
It reads like a movie script -- ash falling from the sky, thick smoke shutting down airports and businesses, road closures trapping remote northern villages.

'Flying carpet' technique uses graphene to deliver one-two punch of anticancer drugs
An international team of researchers has developed a drug delivery technique that utilizes graphene strips as 'flying carpets' to deliver two anticancer drugs sequentially to cancer cells, with each drug targeting the distinct part of the cell where it will be most effective.

Major depression in the National Comorbidity Survey
A recent study published in the January 2015 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry underscores the important public health significance of depression among US adolescents.

MIT Portugal alumna recognized at Forbes list '30 Under 30'
For the fourth year, Forbes magazine publishes its annual '30 Under 30' list.

Enterotrack commercializing device for non-invasive inflammation monitoring
EnteroTrack, LLC and the University of Colorado have executed an exclusive license agreement that will allow the company to develop and market a novel device to monitor inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

An unexpected way to recover from a breakup
Breaking up is truly hard to do. And recovery from a breakup can be even harder.

Pneumonia risk far higher for HIV-positive children, study shows
HIV-positive children in developing countries are six times more likely to die from pneumonia than children without the virus, research from the University of Edinburgh suggests.

Targeting fatty acids may be treatment strategy for arthritis, leukemia
Enzymes linked to diabetes and obesity appear to play key roles in arthritis and leukemia, potentially opening up new avenues for treating these diverse diseases, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Study quantifies the effect of depressive thoughts on memory
For people with depressed mood, memory and concentration difficulties are often a day-to-day reality.

Tightly packed in its shell
A study, in which the International School for Advanced Studies collaborated with the Josef Stefan Institute of Ljubljana, analyzed how genome mutations of RNA viruses tend to be lethal for these infectious agents.

Unraveling controls for plant root growth
Green shoots are a sign of spring, but growing those shoots and roots is a complicated process.

Drought led to massive 'dead zone' in Lake Erie
Lake Erie just can't catch a break. The lake has experienced harmful algal blooms and severe oxygen-depleted 'dead zones' for years, but now a team of researchers led by Carnegie's Anna Michalak and Yuntao Zhou has shown that the widespread drought in 2012 was associated with the largest dead zone since at least the mid-1980s.

Seed beetle diversity in Xinjiang, China
An international team of scientists has looked into the diminutive world of seed beetles in Xinjiang, China, to reveal a diversity of 19 species for the region, four of which are new records for the area.

Positive personality traits may protect police at high risk for PTSD
Personal traits such as resilience, satisfaction with life and a grateful disposition may help shield police officers from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Open-access journals Neoplasia and Translational Oncology now published by Elsevier
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and solutions, has announced that it has acquired Neoplasia Press Inc. and assumes publication of its flagship journals, Neoplasia and Translational Oncology.

Surgery for obesity is linked to longer survival
Obese people seem likely to live longer if they have bariatric surgery than if they don't -- with 53 percent lower risk of dying from any cause at five to 14 years after the procedure.

New model identifies eastern stream sections holding wild brook trout
A new model that can accurately identify stream sections that still hold suitable habitat for wild brook trout will help fisheries managers from Maine to Georgia find and protect habitat for this fish, which is an economically, socially and ecologically important species.

Small change in blood acidity could prove detrimental to kidney disease patients
A University of Manchester scientist has discovered that very small changes in the level of acidity in blood may have a detrimental impact on the health of patients with kidney disease.

Corporate philanthropy increases workers' productivity
Working to benefit a good cause increases productivity by up to 30 percent, according to the findings of a new study from the University of Southampton.

Elsevier selected by the Society for Range Management to publish its flagship journals
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and solutions, announced today that it has reached an agreement with the Society for Range Management to publish its flagship journals, Rangeland Ecology & Management and Rangelands.

Of flies and ants: New ant decapitation behavior of Dohrniphora flies
While watching tiny flies in tropical forests in Brazil, Giar-Ann Kung puzzledly remarked to Brian Brown 'they are cutting the ant heads off!' This unexpected find led to the discovery of a grisly new type of behavior reported this month in Biodiversity Data Journal.

A toast to old age?
Many older Americans suffering from substance abuse are retired. But according to Tel Aviv University research, it is not retirement alone that leads to drug and alcohol abuse, but rather a host of circumstances surrounding leaving the work force, often coinciding with painful later-life events such as the death of spouses and friends.

Louisiana Tech University graduate students selected to receive Sigma Xi grants
Two graduate students from Louisiana Tech University have been selected to receive grants from Sigma Xi, an international interdisciplinary research society, as part of the Grants in Aid of Research program.

Smokers, the obese, have markedly higher health-care costs than peers
A new study finds that smokers and the obese ring up substantially higher annual health care costs than their nonsmoking, non-obese peers.

Research paper says women in prison need and want treatment for physical and sexual abuse
Women in prison want and need specific treatment for traumas such as physical and sexual abuse, a new research paper says.

Mounting evidence demonstrates improved cognitive function from cocoa flavanol consumption
A study just published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition adds to the growing body of evidence demonstrating that cognitive function is improved with a diet high in cocoa flavanols -- group of naturally occurring bioactives found in fresh cocoa beans.

Gemini Planet Imager produces stunning observations in its first year
Stunning exoplanet images and spectra from the first year of science operations with the Gemini Planet Imager were featured today in a press conference at the 225th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle, Washington.

RSV infection may be associated with higher risk for bacterial pneumonia
Two common and sometimes dangerous respiratory diseases, a viral one caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and a bacterial one caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae may be linked, suggests a study published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

New year's res-illusions
Do you resolve to eat healthier and lose weight in 2015?

Poor vitamin D status linked to longer respiratory support in ICU patients, study finds
Vitamin D status may influence the duration of respiratory support needed for surgical intensive care patients, according to a new cohort study conducted by researchers at Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. 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