Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 16, 2015
Unhealthy choices boosted mortality rates for blacks who migrated north
Millions of African-Americans left the rural South during the 20th century in search of greater opportunities for work, education and overall quality of life in the urban North, Midwest and West.

Mothers can pass traits to offspring through bacteria's DNA
A new study in mice has shown that the DNA of bacteria that live in the body can pass a trait to offspring in a way similar to the parents' own DNA.

Sex has another benefit: It makes humans less prone to disease over time
For decades, theories on the genetic advantage of sexual reproduction had been put forward, but none had ever been proven in humans, until now.

Researchers discover molecular trigger of inflammatory bowel disease
Cells lining the gut form a barrier that can be breached because of a signaling molecule called tumor necrosis factor (TNF).

How income fraud made the housing bubble worse
New Princeton-University of Chicago research reveals that, in low-income zip codes, IRS-reported incomes and earnings reported on mortgages in fact differed wildly from 2002 to 2005.

Cancer experience presents time for lifestyle changes in both survivors and family members
After studying cancer survivors and their family caregivers, researchers at Case Western Reserve University conclude that the period between the final cancer treatment and first post-treatment checkup may be an ideal time for the entire household to jumpstart a healthy lifestyle.

Women active a few times weekly have lower risk of heart disease, stroke and blood clots
Middle-aged women physically active a few times per week have lower risks of heart disease, stroke and blood clots than inactive women.

Experimental 'short cut' reduces from millennia to minutes the measure of glass viscosity
Researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the MATGAS research centre, the Universitá di Roma 'La Sapienza' and the Politecnico di Milano have designed a method which indirectly measures the viscosity of glass -- something that required unfeasible observation times at human scale -- based on its elastic properties.

Building a more versatile frequency comb
Northwestern University researchers developed a room temperature frequency comb with increased power based on quantum cascade lasers.

Time for a bold dingo experiment
Sturt National Park in Australia is the ideal site to test whether dingoes can play a role in restoring biodiversity and degraded rangelands.

Anti-inflammatory mechanism of dieting and fasting revealed
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have found that a compound produced by the body when dieting or fasting can block a part of the immune system involved in several inflammatory disorders such as type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease.

Novel crumpling method takes flat graphene from 2-D to 3-D
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a unique single-step process to achieve three-dimensional texturing of graphene and graphite.

Recent research provides new data on chemical gardens, whose formation is a mystery for science
Recent research which has counted with the participation of the University of Granada Andalusian Institute of Earth Sciences has yielded new data on chemical gardens, mysterious formations produced when certain solid salts -- copper sulfate, cobalt chloride -- are added to an aqueous solution of sodium silicate.

Researchers synthesize material for efficient plasmonic devices in mid-infrared range
A research team led by North Carolina State University has identified and synthesized a material that can be used to create efficient plasmonic devices that respond to light in the mid-infrared range.

Ancient rocks show life could have flourished on Earth 3.2 billion years ago
Some of the planet's oldest rocks show evidence that 3.2 billion years ago, life was already pulling nitrogen out of the air and converting it into a form that could support larger, more diverse communities.

Mindfulness meditation appears to help improve sleep quality
Mindfulness meditation practices resulted in improved sleep quality for older adults with moderate sleep disturbance in a clinical trial comparing meditation to a more structured program focusing on changing poor sleep habits and establishing a bedtime routine, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Half spheres for molecular circuits
Corannulene is a carbon molecule with a unique shape -- similar to the better known fullerene -- and promising properties.

In the short run, a high-fat diet may help minimize heart attack damage
A high-fat diet, eaten one day to two weekdays before a heart attack, reduced heart attack damage in mice by about 50 percent, according to a new study.

Criminologist 'hacks' the hacker
Hacking is a late-modern transgressive craft, according to the latest research from a Kansas State University criminologist.

Support for sleeping in? Half of parents favor later school start times for teens
Should teenagers be able to hit the snooze button one more time before school?

Solar power from energy-harvesting trees (video)
Scientists at VTT have developed a prototype of a tree that harvests solar energy from its surroundings - whether indoors or outdoors - stores it and turns it into electricity to power small devices such as mobile phones, humidifiers, thermometers and LED light bulbs.

Molecular inhibitor breaks cycle that leads to Alzheimer's
A molecular chaperone has been found to inhibit a key stage in the development of Alzheimer's disease and break the toxic chain reaction that leads to the death of brain cells, a new study shows.

Bone-loss score may tip off doctors to gum disease in postmenopausal women
Researchers found a link between postmenopausal women with high scores on a Fracture Assessment Risk Tool, and symptoms of severe gum disease, said Leena Palomo, D.D.S., M.S.D., associate professor of periodontics and director of DMD Periodontics program at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine.

New ozone-destroying gases on the rise
Scientists report that chemicals that are not controlled by a United Nations treaty designed to protect the Ozone Layer are contributing to ozone depletion.

Eating disorders linked with financial difficulties in female students
Experiencing financial difficulties at university may increase the risk of female students developing an eating disorder, according to new research from the University of Southampton and Solent NHS Trust.

Teens increasingly sleep deprived
A latest study found that female students, racial/ethnic minorities, and students of lower socioeconomic status are less likely to report regularly getting seven or more hours of sleep each night compared with their male counterparts, non-Hispanic white teenagers, and students of higher socioeconomic status, respectively.

Lack of RNA 'editing' leads to melanoma growth and metastasis
The importance of RNA editing in melanoma has been demonstrated by scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Shy babies need secure parent bond to help prevent potential teen anxiety
Shy babies need to have a strong bond with their parents to avoid developing anxiety disorders in their teens, according to a new study co-authored at the University of Waterloo.

CWRU receives $2.5 million NIDA grant to study prenatal cocaine exposure on young adults
Since 1994, researchers at Case Western Reserve University's Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences have studied children prenatally exposed to cocaine and their mothers to track their development from birth through adolescence.

JCU professor wins international conservation award
William Laurance, a distinguished research professor at James Cook University in Cairns, has received the most esteemed prize awarded by the renowned Zoological Society of London.

Marital 'long-timers' have a 'modest rebound' in sexual frequency after 50 years
While people in the early years of marriage have sex more frequently, and their sexual activity tapers off over time, a slight rebound occurs for those whose marriages endure longer than half a century, according to new research.

Study finds fertile women seek variety in men and consumer products
New research from The University of Texas at San Antonio College of Business suggests women seek more options in dating partners near ovulation -- when they are most fertile -- which may lead them to also seek a greater variety of products and services.

With new data, Planck satellite brings early universe into focus
The latest data release from the Planck space telescope offers insight into everything from the fabric of space to dark matter -- and may even still have a shot at detecting gravitational waves, says Kavli Institute for Cosmology Director George Efstathiou.

New pathways discovered to prevent blindness
Scientists have made a major new discovery detailing how areas of the brain responsible for vision could potentially adapt to injury or trauma and ultimately prevent blindness.

Mayo Clinic: Molecule that provides cellular energy found key to aggressive thyroid cancer
Cancer researchers at Mayo Clinic's campus in Jacksonville, Florida, have identified a molecule they say is important to survival of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma -- a lethal tumor with no effective therapies.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Feb. 17, 2015
Articles being featured in the next issue of Annals of Internal Medicine include: 'Clinical risk calculators seriously overestimate heart attack risk', 'One simple dietary change may be enough to lose weight, improve health', and 'Sore throat may be a sign of serious illness in young adults'.

How we know where we are
Knowing where we are and remembering routes that we've walked are crucial skills for our everyday life.

Terror attacks offer insights for first responders
When terrorists strike, emergency workers who have the proper training, information access and a positive work environment will make better decisions, according to research from the University at Buffalo School of Management.

Molecular evidence for the loss of 3 basic tastes in penguins
A University of Michigan-led study of penguin genetics has concluded that the flightless aquatic birds lost three of the five basic vertebrate tastes -- sweet, bitter and the savory, meaty taste known as umami -- more than 20 million years ago and never regained them.

New algorithms locate where a video was filmed from its images and sounds
Researchers from the Ramón Llull University have created a system capable of geolocating videos by comparing their audiovisual content with a worldwide multimedia database.

In rural India, children receive wrong treatments for deadly ailments
Few health care providers in rural India know the correct treatments for childhood diarrhea and pneumonia -- two leading killers of young children worldwide.

Tuition fee increase has had little effect on students' mental health
New research led by the University of Southampton and Solent NHS Trust has found no evidence of a long term impact on students' mental health as a result of the rise in tuition fees, introduced in 2011.

Large scale study warns of unsustainable ecological decline in rural China
The agricultural development of a region of eastern China is ecologically unsustainable and actions are needed soon to reverse its decline, according to a new study by geographers at the University of Southampton.

How carbonates behave in the Earth's interior
Carbonates are the most important carbon reservoirs on the planet.

How to avoid a bad hire
Bad hiring decisions cost employers millions of dollars, damage workplace morale, reduce productivity and account for more than half of employee turnover nationwide.

New therapeutic strategy discovered for ovarian cancer
Ovarian cancer is the deadliest of all cancers affecting the female reproductive system with very few effective treatments available.

UB researcher has some questions for the interview
Interviews begin with questions, but a University at Buffalo researcher is instead questioning the interview, and the answers are mapping the history and unexplored conceptual areas of this familiar information-gathering tool.

Gene mutation drives cartilage tumor formation
Duke Medicine researchers have shown how gene mutations may cause common forms of cartilage tumors.

How the mind processes complex spatial information
Northwestern University's David H. Uttal will discuss a program that has enhanced students' learning at a variety of levels, from basic spatial reasoning to solving complex problems involving the coordination of numerous variables, such as those involved in climate change.

Satellite images reveal ocean acidification from space
Pioneering techniques that use satellites to monitor ocean acidification are set to revolutionize the way that marine biologists and climate scientists study the ocean.

NIH researchers reveal link between powerful gene regulatory elements and autoimmune diseases
Investigators with the National Institutes of Health have discovered the genomic switches of a blood cell key to regulating the human immune system.

Coronary patients are not meeting lifestyle and risk factor targets
Fewer than one half of all European patients following a heart attack are even receiving the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation and preventive care.

Genetic evidence shows penguins have 'bad taste'
Penguins apparently can't enjoy or even detect the savory taste of the fish they eat or the sweet taste of fruit.

Humans altering Adriatic ecosystems more than nature, UF study shows
The ecosystems of the Adriatic Sea have weathered natural climate shifts for 125,000 years, but humans could be rapidly altering this historically stable biodiversity hot spot, a University of Florida study says.

Study reveals possible treatment for diseases caused by Mitofusin 2 deficiency
Researchers have discovered a novel role for Mitofusin 2, and the findings may point to a new treatment for patients with diseases caused by loss of the mitochondrial protein.

Changing stem cell structure may help fight obesity
Scientists have found that reducing the size of tiny hair like structures on stem cells stops them turning into fat.

Most clinical 'calculators' over-estimate heart attack risk
Most 'risk calculators' used by clinicians to gauge a patient's chances of suffering a heart attack and guide treatment decisions appear to significantly overestimate the likelihood of a heart attack, according to results of a study by investigators at Johns Hopkins and other institutions.

A rapid extension of nanographene sheets from readily available hydrocarbons
The rapid and uniform construction of nanographene sheets has now become possible in a precisely controlled manner from a new catalytic system developed by a team of chemists at the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules, Nagoya University and the JST-ERATO Project led by Professor Kenichiro Itami.

Germans want companies to become more democratic
Electing their own bosses and having a say in the corporate strategy -- the majority of Germans would like to see companies managed more democratically.

Hot flashes, night sweats last for 7+ years in many midlife women
Frequent menopausal vasomotor symptoms (VMS), including hot flashes and night sweats, lasted for more than seven years during the transition to menopause for more than half of the women in a large study and African-American women reported the longest total VMS duration, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Organizational culture predicts use of evidence-based treatments for youth with psychiatric disorder
Many mental health therapists use treatments that have little evidence to support them.

Complex nerve-cell signaling traced back to common ancestor of humans and sea anemones
New research shows that a burst of evolutionary innovation in the genes responsible for electrical communication among nerve cells in our brains occurred over 600 million years ago in a common ancestor of humans and the sea anemone.

Focusing on the success of others can make us selfish
Focusing on the success of others can make us selfish.

Researchers report new figures on 2 muscular dystrophy disorders
Public health researchers report the freqency of two muscle-weakness disorders that strike mostly boys: Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Becker muscular dystrophy.

Scientists uncover marvel molecule that could lead to treatments for inflammatory diseases
The molecule 'blocks' a key biological driver of inflammatory diseases.

Smoke-free campus policy enjoys wide support, new OSU research shows
Students, faculty and staff at Oregon State University have largely embraced a new policy that prohibits smoking on the Corvallis campus, but the policy change hasn't completely eliminated secondhand smoke exposure, new research shows.

New journal Science China Materials launched by Springer
Springer has launched a new journal Science China Materials. Part of the Science China Press journal series, the international peer-reviewed journal covers all aspects of materials science.

Study: Global rainfall satellites require massive overhaul
A new Cornell University study warns that the existing system of space-based rainfall observation satellites requires a serious overhaul.

Cross-border intensive care medicine
Anyone who becomes seriously ill or has an accident while on holiday would like to be treated as well as they are at home. 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