Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 23, 2015
Lucky charms: When are superstitions used most?
Eric Hamerman at Tulane University and Carey Morewedge at Boston University have determined that people are more likely to turn to superstitions to achieve a performance goal versus a learning goal.

Mothers don't speak so clearly to their babies
People have a distinctive way of talking to babies and small children: We speak more slowly, using a sing-song voice, and tend to use cutesy words like 'tummy'.

FASEB Science Research Conference: Lysophospholipid and Related Mediators -- From Bench to Clinic
This FASEB Science Research Conference 'Lysophospholipid and Related Mediators -- From Bench to Clinic' focuses mainly on new developments in understanding the biology of lysophospholipids, especially lysophosphosphatidate (LPA) and sphingosine 1-phosphate.

SLU scientist aims to improve antibiotics to treat staph infections
Saint Louis University's Mee-Ngan F. Yap, Ph.D., discovered new information about how antibiotics like azithromycin stop staph infections, and why staph sometimes becomes resistant to drugs.

Researchers make magnetic graphene
Graphene has many desirable properties. Magnetism alas is not one of them.

FASEB Science Research Conference: Molecular Mechanisms of Immune Cell Development and Function
The 2015 FASEB Science Research Conference on Molecular Mechanisms of Immune Cell Development and Function is a unique forum for researchers who use molecular and genomic approaches to study the immune system.

Scientists map brains of the blind to solve mysteries of human brain specialization
Studying the brain activity of blind people, scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem are challenging the standard view of how the human brain specializes to perform different kinds of tasks.

A 3-D view of the Greenland Ice Sheet opens window on ice history
Scientists using ice-penetrating radar have created 3-D maps of the age of the ice within the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Bad reputation of crows demystified
In literature, crows and ravens are a bad omen and are associated with witches.

Genetics Society of America names Louisa Stark as recipient of Elizabeth W. Jones Award
The Genetics Society of America is pleased to announce that Louisa A.

Infrared imaging technique operates at high temperatures
A Northwestern University team took advantage of superlattice architecture and new materials to develop a detector that does not require low temperatures to operate.

New 'systems genetics' study identifies possible target for epilepsy treatment
A single gene that coordinates a network of about 400 genes involved in epilepsy could be a target for new treatments, according to research.

Acute heart failure patients bounce back to ERs for complex reasons
A tool designed to assess what interferes with acute heart failure patients' ability to care for themselves after hospital discharge holds promise for improving patient outcomes and reducing re-admissions to the hospital.

Clemson researcher explores how the universe creates reason, morality
Recent developments in science are beginning to suggest that the universe naturally produces complexity.

Gene may open door for improved keloid, scar treatment
Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit have identified a gene that may offer a better understanding of how keloid scars develop and potentially open the door to improved treatment for the often painful, itchy and tender scars.

Lucid dreams and metacognition: Awareness of thinking -- awareness of dreaming
Brain researchers discover similarities between dreaming and wakefulness.

Warming seas decrease sea turtle basking
Green sea turtles may stop basking on beaches around the world within a century due to rising sea temperatures, a new study suggests.

H.E.S.S. finds three extremely luminous gamma-ray sources
The High Energy Stereoscopic System telescopes have again demonstrated their excellent capabilities in searching for high-energy gamma rays.

Friends know how long you'll live, study finds
Young lovers walking down the aisle may dream of long and healthy lives together, but close friends in the wedding party may have a better sense of whether those wishes will come true, suggests new research on personality and longevity from Washington University in St.

MD Anderson and Bayer collaborate to create symptom assessment questionnaires in clinical trials
When cancer patients take part in a clinical trial to develop new therapies, they and their physicians want to know how they will feel and function during treatment.

New brain pathway offers hope for treating hypogylcemia
A novel pathway buried deep within a region of the brain produces a brain hormone that acts as a crucial sensor of blood glucose levels.

Hidden infection shortens life
Recent research shows that mild infections without symptoms of illness can still lead to serious consequences by reducing the lifespan of the infected individuals.

Live broadcast from inside the nerve cell
Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's are caused by defect and aggregated proteins accumulating in brain nerve cells that are thereby paralyzed or even killed.

New review looks at the effect of thyroid disorders on reproductive health
Thyroid disease can have significant effects on a woman's reproductive health and screening for women presenting with fertility problems and recurrent early pregnancy loss should be considered, suggests a new review published today in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist.

Arctic ice cap slides into the ocean
Satellite images have revealed that a remote Arctic ice cap has thinned by more than 50 meters since 2012 -- about one sixth of its original thickness -- and that it is now flowing 25 times faster.

Calculating the future of solar-fuel refineries
A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers has developed a new tool to help engineers better gauge the overall yield, efficiency and costs associated with scaling solar-fuel production processes up into large-scale refineries.

Why all-nighters don't work: How sleep and memory go hand-in-hand
Scientists have long known that sleep, memory and learning are deeply connected but how has remained a mystery.

Scientists extend telomeres to slow cell aging
Will longer telomeres lead to longer, healthier lives? Researchers have taken an important step toward answering this question by developing a new treatment used in the laboratory that extends telomeres.

MIT's Ed Boyden to receive Andrew Carnegie Prize in Mind and Brain Sciences
Carnegie Mellon University will award the third annual Andrew Carnegie Prize in Mind and Brain Sciences to Ed Boyden, associate professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences at the MIT Media Lab and the MIT McGovern Institute.

Small study shows beetroot juice improves exercise function of COPD patients
A Wake Forest study to investigate the effects of acute beetroot juice ingestion on the exercise capacity of COPD patients shows some promise, but a larger clinical trial is needed to verify results.

Culprit identified in decline of endangered Missouri River pallid sturgeon
Oxygen-depleted dead zones between dams in the upper Missouri River have been directly linked with the failure of endangered pallid sturgeon hatched embryos to survive, according to a study published today in the journal Fisheries.

$3.9 million project will identify, treat Washington state toddlers at risk for autism
A $3.9 million, five-year project in Washington state will identify and treat toddlers with autism in the critical years before age 3 -- when specialized services can greatly improve their skills and behavior.

MSU-led research finds cause for decline of Missouri River pallid sturgeon
Oxygen-depleted dead zones between dams in the upper Missouri River have been directly linked with the failure of endangered pallid sturgeon embryos to survive according to a study published today in the journal Fisheries.

Should hospitals keep cardiac catheterization labs open on weekends?
A new study published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology evaluated costs associated with an early versus delayed invasive intervention strategy for patients presenting on weekdays and weekends.

The latest fashion: Graphene edges can be tailor-made
Rice University theorists show it may be possible to tune graphene edges by varying heat and force as graphene is fractured.

Researchers discover genetic links to size of brain structures
Five genetic variants that influence the size of structures within the human brain have been discovered by an international team that included a Georgia State University researcher.

Press registration open: 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting
A record number of more than 60 Nobel Laureates will congregate at Lindau in June/July 2015 to meet the next generation of leading scientists and researchers.

New technique helps probe performance of organic solar cell materials
Researchers have developed a technique for determining the role that a material's structure has on the efficiency of organic solar cells, which are candidates for low-cost, next generation solar power.

2015 ASM Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting: Media registration open
This meeting is intended for scientists, public health researchers and policy makers who need to be informed about the latest scientific developments.

Research pinpoints new technique for producing cheaper solar energy
Pioneering new research could pave the way for solar energy to be converted into household electricity more cheaply than ever before.

Silver nanowires demonstrate unexpected self-healing mechanism
Northwestern University researchers find that silver nanowires can withstand strong cyclic loads, which is a key attribute needed for flexible electronics.

Tonal languages require humidity
Languages with a wide range of tone pitches have primarily developed in regions with high levels of humidity.

FASEB Science Research Conference: Human Milk
Topics programmed as major conference symposia include oligosaccharide synthesis (both in vivo and industrial), metabolism, analysis, and roles in the body; the human milk microbiome and computational approaches needed to understand its complexity, effectors, and functions; and the analysis and role of host cells (immune and otherwise) in human milk.

Diaper compound may expand power of microscopes
A study, partially funded by the National Institutes of Health, showed that a modified form of the superabsorbent chemical used in disposable diapers can expand brain structures to four and a half times their original size.

LSU sociology professor researches the relationship between religion and educational attainment
Researchers have long studied and documented the influence religion has on social groups; however, few have examined the role it plays in education.

Early English exposure prepares Spanish-speaking children for academic success
A University of Missouri researcher has found that family members, teachers and peers can play different roles in shaping Spanish-speaking children's school readiness and English skills that are vital to children's academic success.

Australopithecus africanus: Strong hands for a precise grip
Pre-Homo human ancestral species, such as Australopithecus africanus, used human-like hand postures much earlier than was previously thought

Dragnet for epilepsy genes
An international team of scientists together with the University of Bonn Hospital have taken a new path in the research into causes of epilepsy: The researchers determined the networks of the active genes and, like a dragnet, looked for the 'main perpetrators' using a computer model.

Sisters act together
A team of researchers from the Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology at the Vetmeduni Vienna studied cichlid fishes in Lake Tanganyika in central Africa.

UTSA and Indiana University partner on $6.6 million NSF cloud-based advanced computing systems grant
The University of Texas at San Antonio is partnering with Indiana University on a $6.6 million National Science Foundation grant to build cloud-based advanced computing systems for the science and engineering community.

The brain's electrical alphabet
The brain's alphabet is a mix of rate and precise timing of electrical pulses: the observation was made by researchers at the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste and the Italian Institute of Technology of Rovereto, and has been published in the international journal Current Biology.

FASEB Science Research Conference: Ion Channel Regulation
The objective of the FASEB Science Research Conference entitled Ion Channel Regulation is to stimulate discourse and seed new ideas and collaborations focused on the physiological roles and regulation of ion channels at the basic and translational levels.

Researchers identify efficient methylating enzyme for cancer development
A recent study may help begin to explain how cancer develops though the abnormal turning on and off of genes. 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