Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 14, 2015
Helicopter parenting better for pets than for kids
Helicopter parenting may not be the best strategy for raising independent kids.

Crohn's study seeks to find causes of incurable bowel condition
British scientists are playing a key role in a global quest to find the causes of an incurable bowel condition.

Sweet potato leaves a good source of vitamins
A study designed to determine the ascorbic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin B6 content in foliar tissues of sweet potato confirmed that mature and young sweet potato leaves can be a good source of multiple water-soluble vitamins in the human diet.

Total milk intake dropped by nearly half when chocolate milk removed from school program
A new study, published today in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, is the first to investigate impacts of milk choice in Canadian elementary schools.

Combat veterans' brains reveal hidden damage from IED blasts
The brains of Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans who survived blasts from improvised explosive devices and died later of other causes show a honeycomb of broken and swollen nerve fibers in critical brain regions, including those that control executive function.

Depression, behavioral changes may precede memory loss in Alzheimer's
Depression and behavioral changes may occur before memory declines in people who will go on to develop Alzheimer's disease, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Health outcomes improve in states where nurse practitioners independently provide care
Many states do not allow advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to perform primary care duties to their full potential; however, University of Missouri researchers say APRNs can help relieve the shortage of healthcare workers and expand access to care for underserved populations.

Award will evaluate role of training to help young people with cerebral palsy
Physiotherapists from Brunel's Clinical Sciences team have been awarded £250,000 to lead research into resistance training in young people with cerebral palsy.

How prepared is your pilot to deal with an emergency?
Pilots receive extensive training on effectively handling emergency situations that may arise in the cockpit.

Early protection, fungicide effectively reduce downy mildew in basil
Production of sweet basil has been drastically affected by downy mildew caused by the foliar disease Peronospora belbahrii.

Ultra-realistic radiation detection training without using radioactive materials
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have solved the problem by developing a new technology that provides realistic radiation detection training by directly injecting simulated radiation signals into the analog amplifier of the real detectors used by first responders and inspectors.

How to predict responses to disease
Sometimes the response to the outbreak of a disease can make things worse -- such as when people panic and flee, potentially spreading the disease to new areas.

Patients with advanced colon cancer having less surgery, better survival
The annual rate of primary tumor removal for advanced stage IV colorectal cancer has decreased since 1988 and the trend toward nonsurgical management of the disease noted in 2001 coincides with the availability of newer chemotherapy and biologic treatments, according to a report published online by JAMA Surgery.

Temporary tattoo offers needle-free way to monitor glucose levels
Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego have tested a temporary tattoo that both extracts and measures the level of glucose in the fluid in between skin cells.

Professional development programs improve pre-K teacher-child interactions
Two professional development programs for pre-kindergarten teachers have improved their interactions with children, according to a new report for Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.

IOM report proposes standards for sharing clinical trial data
Stakeholders in clinical trials should foster a culture in which data sharing is the expected norm and commit to responsible strategies aimed at maximizing the benefits, minimizing the risks, and overcoming the challenges of sharing data, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine.

Scientists develop novel platform for treatment of breast, pancreatic cancer
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have identified a novel synthetic compound that sharply inhibits the activity of a protein that plays an important role in in the progression of breast and pancreatic cancers.

Dehydration common among patients admitted to hospital from care homes
Research published today by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine concludes that patients admitted to hospital from care homes are commonly dehydrated on admission and consequently appear to experience significantly greater risks of in-hospital mortality.

Plant biologist Caroline Dean receives the 2015 FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award
EMBO and the Federation of European Biochemical Societies announce Caroline Dean of the John Innes Centre Norwich, United Kingdom, as the winner of the 2015 FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award.

Paradox revealed: Cues associated with infant abuse may help reduce stress in adult brain
Neurobiologists at New York University Langone Medical Center and elsewhere found a surprising and paradoxical effect of abuse-related cues in rat pups: those cues also can lower depressive-like behavior when the rat pups are fully grown.

One punch to knock out flu
Researchers show that when comparing the potency of an isolated strain-specific flu antibody with an isolated broadly-neutralizing flu antibody in a lab setting, the latter have much weaker neutralization activity than the strain-specific antibodies.

Race of the electrons
Light can rip electrons out of a piece of metal.

Start up company to commercialize antibody-stabilization technology
The Garvan Institute of Medical Research announces the launch of spin-off company Solvanix Pty.

Experts explore the medical safety needs of civilian space travel
The commercial aviation industry has medical care standards, as does NASA for traditional space missions, and the emerging commercial space transportation industry will need to define medical care practices as well.

Yale YODA Project announces first availability of medical device trial data
The Yale University Open Data Access (YODA) Project is announcing the first-ever broad availability of clinical trial data for medical devices and diagnostics by a company.

HIV/AIDS patients in Deep South have lower survival rates
A nine-state region of the US South has the nation's lowest five-year survival rate among people diagnosed with HIV or AIDS, according to new research.

New exoplanet-hunting telescopes on Paranal
The Next-Generation Transit Survey has achieved first light at ESO's Paranal Observatory in northern Chile.

NIH expands early-stage human testing of infectious disease treatment candidates
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded contracts to three organizations to support early-stage human clinical trials of investigational infectious disease treatments.

Up to 8 percent of South Asians carry gene mutation that causes heart attacks
Up to 8 percent of people from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other South Asian countries carry a mutated gene that causes heart failure and potentially fatal heart attacks.

Cone snail venom holds promise for medical treatments for cancer and addiction
While considered a delicacy in some parts of the world, snails have found a more intriguing use to scientists and the medical profession offering a plethora of research possibilities.

Potassium salts aid bone health and limit osteoporosis risk, new research finds
Latest research from the University of Surrey has found that the potassium salts (bicarbonate and citrate) plentiful in fruit and vegetables, play an important part in improving bone health.

Clinical trial examines safety, effectiveness of drug to treat binge eating disorder
At some doses, the medication lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, a drug approved to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, was effective compared with placebo in decreasing binge-eating days in patients with binge-eating disorder, a public health problem associated symptoms of mental illness and obesity and for which there are no approved medications, according to a study published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

CNIO associates rare gene variants with side effects from chemotherapy with paclitaxel
Variants of the CYP3A4 gene are associated with the appearance of peripheral neuropathy, the most frequent and limiting toxicity for these patients, which includes tingling and pain in the extremities, cramping, muscular weakness and difficulty walking.

New non-destructive device measures root growth in smaller plants
An apparatus called the mini-Horhizotron was used to measure plant root growth in greenhouse settings.

Sexual objectification increases women's fear of crime
A study to be published in Sex Roles, published by Springer, offers an explanation for why women fear face-to-face crime more than men, despite being less likely to experience most crimes.

Sustainability challenged as many renewable resources max out
The days of assuming natural resources can be swapped in and out to solve shortages -- corn for oil, soy for beef -- may be over.

Pitt study links biomarkers to long-term kidney damage and death in critically ill
High levels of two novel urinary biomarkers early in critical illness are associated with adverse long-term outcomes in patients with acute kidney injury (AKI), according to an international, multi-center study led by University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Researchers.

£15.8 million for long-term projects tackling major scientific challenges
Funding to Sheffield, Kent, Manchester, Glasgow and Oxford to tackle major bioscience challenges was awarded.

Levels of 'Molly,' aka ecstasy, spike in rivers near music festival
The illicit drug called 'Molly' or ecstasy is a serious concern for parents, law enforcement and now for environmentalists.

Yabba dabba d'oh! Stone Age man wasn't necessarily more advanced than the Neanderthals
A multi-purpose bone tool dating from the Neanderthal era has been discovered by University of Montreal researchers, throwing into question our current understanding of the evolution of human behavior.

Rainfall can release aerosols, study finds
High-speed imaging captures raindrops releasing clouds of aerosols on impact.

Nemours, Therapy Box create app for kids, adults with speech deficits to use own voices
The UK-based Therapy Box has released the first app that allows people who have limited vocal ability or are losing their voices due to ALS and other disabling conditions to replace generic text-to-speech synthesis with a synthesizer based on their own voice.

'Titin' gene mutations will help identify patients at risk of heart failure
A new study has identified genetic mutations that cause the heart condition dilated cardiomyopathy, paving the way for more accurate diagnosis.

Shoulder to the wheel: Parental intervention improves teen driving
Seven 16- to 19-year-olds die every day as a result of injuries incurred from road crashes.

Mark A. Cane selected as fellow of the Oceanography Society
The Oceanography Society would like to congratulate Professor Mark A.

A new step towards using graphene in electronic applications
A team of the University of Berkeley and the Centre for Materials Physics has managed, with atomic precision, to create nanostructures combining graphene ribbons of varying widths.

VTT develops permeable pavements for Nordic conditions
In co-operation with industrial partners, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd has developed permeable pavements to reduce the problems caused by storm and runoff water in urban areas.

Native grasses identified for use in western US urban landscapes
Researchers assessed the phenotypic and genotypic attributes of a native fine-leaved Festuca collection in Montana by cloning 270 FEID 9025897 plants and evaluating them for genetic diversity and plant morphology for two years.

Advanced 3-D facial imaging may aid in early detection of autism
Autism is a spectrum of closely related disorders diagnosed in patients who exhibit a shared core of symptoms, including delays in learning to communicate and interact socially.

Designing effective health messages
Those who design health messages, such as health care professionals, will be impacted by them differently than the general public.

Two satellites measured rainfall in Tropical Depression Mekkhala
NASA's TRMM and GPM satellites provided a look at Tropical Depression Mekkhala's rainfall data that showed the area of moderate rainfall had expanded as the storm strengthened on Jan.

World leaders gathering at Davos face calls for bold action to turn the tide on cancer
World leaders will face calls for bold action to respond to the rising human and economic toll of cancer when they meet in Davos at this year's World Economic Forum.

New study reports worsening health conditions increase risk of mortgage default and disclosure
The mortgage strain of American home ownership can lead to poor health but a new study finds that the inverse may also be true -- changes in health can serve as a predictor to mortgage distress.

Meteorite material born in molten spray as embryo planets collided
Research suggests collisions of planetary embryos could be the origin of the material that formed asteroids.

Long duration weightlessness in space induces a blood shift
In a study published today in The Journal of Physiology, researchers found that in space, the shift of blood and fluid from the lower to the upper body caused by weightlessness is much higher and the blood pressure much lower than previously thought.

Video series explores the state and future of technological convergence
In a new series of video interviews from the Wilson Center, leading scientists from across the United States discuss the concept of technological convergence and how it affects their work.

US needs harm-reduction approach to drug use, Baker Institute researcher says
The United States' law-and-order approach to reducing the supply of drugs and punishing sellers and users has impeded the development of a public health model that views drug addiction as a disease that is preventable and treatable.

Abstract submission and registration opens for the WCLC 2015
Abstract submission, registration and housing opens today for the 16th World Conference on Lung Cancer.

New restoration focus for western dry forests
New research shows that the most significant current threat to western dry forests is from insect outbreaks and droughts, not wildfires; and historically abundant small trees offer the greatest hope for forest survival and recovery after these events.

The anatomy of petal drop in sunflowers
Anatomical analysis of two sunflower cultivars revealed a differentiated region at the junction of the flowers' petal and achene.

Endocrine Society announces 2015 Laureate Award winners
The Endocrine Society today announced it has selected 14 accomplished endocrinologists as winners of the organization's prestigious 2015 Laureate Awards.

Wrangling over pesticide ingredients comes to a head in 2015
Consumer advocates are fighting a new rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency that aims to address concerns over 'inert' ingredients, including fragrances and dyes, in pesticides for non-food use.

Are all rattlesnakes created equal? No, maybe not
New research by a team of biologists at Florida State University has revealed that creating antivenom is a bit tricky.

Chemical dial controls attraction between water-repelling molecules
A group of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers has provided new insights on hydrophobic interactions within complex systems.

DNA 'glue' could someday be used to build tissues, organs
DNA molecules provide the 'source code' for life in humans, plants, animals and some microbes.

Unified suite of educational resources designed specifically for the IM clerkship
Third-year medical students in the core internal medicine clerkship now have a single integrated suite of educational materials to help them care for patients, prepare for clinical rounds, and study for the end-of-rotation and USMLE Step 2 examinations.

Atomic placement of elements counts for strong concrete
The forces that bind atoms and molecules can impact the strength of particulate materials like concrete.

Improved solar panels and printed electronics on the horizon with new material discovery
New and improved solar panels could result from the discovery of a new liquid crystal material, making printable organic solar cells better performing.

Jaw mechanics of a shell-crushing Jurassic fish revealed
The feeding habits of an unusual 200-million-year-old fish have been uncovered by a University of Bristol undergraduate in a groundbreaking study which has been published in Palaeontology, a leading scientific journal, this week -- a rare achievement for an undergraduate student.

Predicting coral reef futures under climate change
Researchers examining the impact of climate change on coral reefs have found a way to predict which reefs are likely to recover following bleaching episodes and which won't.

Empathy in violent video-games can reduce or increase anti-social behavior
The provocation of anti-social reactions in players of violent video games has been observed in experiments by psychologists for many years.

Researchers discover new 'trick' steroids use to suppress inflammation
A new 'trick' steroids use to suppress inflammation, which could be used to make new anti-inflammatory drugs without the harmful side effects of steroids, has been discovered by researchers at Georgia State University.

How cells communicate
During embryonal development of vertebrates, signaling molecules inform each cell about its position.

A twist on planetary origins
Meteors that have crashed to Earth have long been regarded as relics of the early solar system.

Stargazers begin hunt for planets
University of Warwick scientists have begun searching for planets after the unveiling of 12 robotically controlled telescopes.

Severe asthma: Diagnosis and treatment are inadequate
In a minority of patients asthma can be only partially controlled, or even prove impossible to control, despite intensive treatment.

Root hydraulic conductance linked to trees' post-transplant recovery
A study of two Quercus species investigated whether root hydraulic conductance is related to post-transplant recovery.

NASA eyes Tropical Cyclone Bansi's eyewall replacement
Early on January 14 NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Bansi in the Southern Indian Ocean after it weakened from a Category 4 hurricane to a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Testing for Bovine Tuberculosis is more effective than badger culls
Modelling showed that regular and frequent testing of cattle could eventually lead to the eradication of Bovine TB, whether or not badgers were culled and despite the test being only 80 percent accurate.

Training tools to help stop violence against children and young people
A ground-breaking set of online training tools will help teachers, youth workers and health professionals across Europe identify and challenge controlling and abusive behavior against young people.

Depression, behavior changes may start in Alzheimer's even before memory changes
Depression and other behavior changes may show up in people who will later develop Alzheimer's disease even before they start having memory problems, according to a new study published in the Jan.

New contaminants found in oil and gas wastewater
Duke University scientists have documented high levels of two potentially hazardous contaminants, ammonium and iodide, in wastewater being discharged into area streams and rivers from oil and gas operations in Pennsylvania.

Laser-induced graphene 'super' for electronics
Rice University scientists show the practicality of turning laser-induced graphene into portable, flexible devices by making stacked supercapacitors.

MD Anderson study finds patients with metastatic colorectal cancer having less surgery
With the dawn of the modern era of new chemotherapeutic and biologic agents available for managing their disease, patients with metastatic colorectal cancer are undergoing less surgery for the removal of their primary tumors, according to research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

New species discovered beneath ocean crust
Researchers have found a new species of sulfate-breathing microbes locked away in an aquifer that flows underneath the ocean floor.

Snapchat-style teacher-to-student feedback gets thumbs up
Using FaceTime and maybe even temporary social media apps like Snapchat to give students video feedback on assignments could be more meaningful for learning than the age-old practice of teachers scribbling comments with a red pen, according to new research.

People conform to the norm -- even if the norm is a computer
Often enough it is human nature to conform. This tendency makes us follow the lead of computers, even if the machines give us the wrong advice.

Scientists look to heart disease and strokes for clues to treating Alzheimer's
A growing body of research suggests the most common cause of dementia in older people is a mix of vascular and Alzheimer's-related brain abnormalities, and that approximately half of people who die with Alzheimer's also have evidence of strokes.

Lack of exercise responsible for twice as many deaths as obesity
A brisk 20 minute walk each day could be enough to reduce an individual's risk of early death, according to new research published today.

Platelet transfusions increase odds of death in some rare blood cell disorders
People hospitalized with certain rare blood cell disorders frequently receive a treatment that is associated with a two- to fivefold increase in death, according to a new Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine study that reviewed hospital records nationwide.

Rapid journey through a crystal lattice
How fast do electrons whiz through the atomic layers of a crystal lattice?

Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Awards granted for pioneering ideas in cancer research
The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation announced that six scientists with novel approaches to fighting cancer have been named 2015 recipients of the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award.

Endobronchial forceps effective in retrieval of tip-embedded inferior vena cava filters
A Penn Medicine study published this week in the journal Radiology confirms that an endobronchial forceps technique the research group developed is a safe and highly effective option for many patients seeking inferior vena cava filter removal.

Tattoo-like sensor can detect glucose levels without a painful finger prick
Scientists have developed the first ultra-thin, flexible device that sticks to skin like a rub-on tattoo and can detect a person's glucose levels.

Iron overload disease causes rapid growth of potentially deadly bacteria, UCLA study finds
The bacteria Vibrio vulnificus, found in warm saltwater, can cause people to get sick, or die, after they eat raw tainted shellfish or when an open wound comes in contact with seawater.

Taking sightlessness for a spin can harm people's attitudes toward blindness
Using simulation to walk in the shoes of a person who is blind -- such as wearing a blindfold while performing everyday tasks -- has negative effects on people's perceptions of the visually impaired, according to a University of Colorado Boulder study.

Out of the pouch: Ancient DNA from extinct giant roos
Scientists have finally managed to extract DNA from Australia's extinct giant kangaroos -- the mysterious marsupial megafauna that roamed Australia over 40,000 years ago.

New GSA book studies the central Andes of Argentina and Northern Chile
This new volume in The Geological Society of America's memoir series brings together results from a six-year, multidisciplinary study of the linkages among processes that formed the highest, widest part of the Andean Cordilleran orogenic belt in northern Argentina and Chile.

Better data needed to make good immigration policy
As debates rage about the legal status of immigrants, researchers still lack enough data -- and enough of the right data -- to help policy makers make better, more informed decisions, according to a team of sociologists and statisticians.

Does screening asymptomatic adults for disease save lives?
A new paper published online today in the International Journal of Epidemiology says that randomized controlled trials -- the gold standard method of evaluation -- show that few currently available screening tests for major diseases where death is a common outcome have documented reductions in disease-specific mortality.

Carbon nanotube finding could lead to flexible electronics with longer battery life
University of Wisconsin-Madison materials engineers have made a significant leap toward creating higher-performance electronics with improved battery life -- and the ability to flex and stretch.

Scientists developing imaging test for autism spectrum disorder
Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientists have designed a two-minute brain-imaging test that may be able to aid in the diagnosis of children with autism spectrum disorder.

Mutations linked to repair of chromosome ends may make emphysema more likely in smokers
Mutations in a gene that helps repair damaged chromosome ends may make smokers -- especially female smokers -- more susceptible to emphysema, according to results of a new study led by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers.

Love, marriage and town-gown relationships
A new study assesses a town-gown relationship as if it were a marriage: Asking community members just how much comfort they felt with people from the campus community and how much effort they put into getting along.

The sound of chirping birds in the control center
Computer scientists at the Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interactive Technology at Bielefeld University and the University of Vienna have developed a method that allows control room staff to monitor several processes at the same time, which enables them to take preventative action.

State performance funding falling short in student retention and degree completion
State higher education performance funding is falling short of its intended goals of raising student retention and degree completion rates at community colleges, according to new research published today in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association.

Coenzyme A plays leading role in nitric oxide function so essential to cell metabolism
Case Western Reserve and University Hospitals Case Medical Center researchers and physicians have discovered that the molecule known as coenzyme A plays a key role in cell metabolism by regulating the actions of nitric oxide.

Debunking aging myths in financial decisions
Research by Columbia Business School Professors Eric Johnson and Elke Weber shows that cognitive decline is real, but does not spell doom for making financial choices.

Correcting estimates of sea level rise
The acceleration in global sea level from the 20th century to the last two decades has been significantly larger than scientists previously thought, according to a new Harvard study.

Abscisic acid treatments can prevent tomato blossom-end rot
Root and foliar spray abscisic acid applications were studied to determine how ABA affects the incidence of blossom-end rot in distal tissue of tomato fruit. 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