Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 17, 2015
UT Arlington zebra mussels expert to receive national recognition
UT Arlington biology professor emeritus Robert McMahon, widely known for his research of invasive zebra mussels, will receive the National Invasive Species Council's Lifetime Achievement Award Feb.

Submissions open for new OUP Open Access title, Journal of Cybersecurity
Oxford University Press is pleased to announce that submissions are now open for the new open access title Journal of Cybersecurity.

Partners for Kids, Nationwide Children's demonstrate cost savings, quality as pediatric ACO
A new study published in Pediatrics demonstrates the cost-saving and health care quality outcomes of the pediatric Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Partners for Kids.

Drug improves measures of genetic disease that affects liver, spleen
Among previously untreated adults with Gaucher disease type 1, a genetic disease in which there is improper metabolism due to a defect in an enzyme, treatment with the drug eliglustat resulted in significant improvements in liver and spleen size hemoglobin level, and platelet count, according to a study in the Feb.

Bile duct cancer study may pave way for new treatments
Patients with bile duct cancer could be helped by a new class of experimental drug, a laboratory study led by the University of Edinburgh has shown.

Many pregnant teens use alcohol and drugs, study finds
New research from The University of Texas at Austin suggests that many teenagers, especially younger teens, may not be getting the message about the risks of using alcohol and other drugs during pregnancy -- but that having involved parents and being engaged academically can help.

Baylor researcher finds first-ever evidence of climate change in ancient Northern China
Using a relatively new scientific dating technique, a Baylor University geologist and a team of international researchers were able to document -- for the first time -- a drastic climate change 4,200 years ago in northern China that affected vegetation and led to mass migration from the area.

Treatment for severe community-acquired pneumonia and high inflammatory response
Among patients with severe community-acquired pneumonia and high initial inflammatory response, the use of the corticosteroid methylprednisolone decreased treatment failure, compared with placebo, according to a study in the Feb.

A new weapon in the fight against cancer
New research from Concordia University confirms that a tool for keeping the most common forms of cancer at bay could be in your gut.

Are you a gamer? Study explores personal and social indicators of gamer identity
More and more people are playing digital games, but why do only some of them consider themselves 'gamers'?

Recovering attention after a stroke: Brain's right hemisphere may be more valuable
The new research, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, indicates the right hemisphere may assist a damaged left hemisphere recover visual attention.

Surrogate mothers' interests may be compromised in Indian fertility clinics
In fertility clinics and agencies in Delhi, India, none of the 14 surrogate mothers in a recent study were able to explain the risks involved in embryo transfer and fetal reduction.

A new spin on spintronics
A team of researchers from the University of Michigan and Western Michigan University is exploring new materials that could yield higher computational speeds and lower power consumption, even in harsh environments.

Tool can help assess cognitive impairment in multicultural populations
The ability to assess cognitive impairment in multicultural older populations will become more important as demographics change worldwide.

Dr. Lindsay Maggio honored by Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Research by Dr. Lindsay Maggio, a fellow in the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, was selected as the nation's best fellow research paper at the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting.

New device enables 3-D tissue engineering with multicellular building blocks
In creating engineered tissues intended to repair or regenerate damaged or diseased human tissues, the goal is to build three-dimensional tissue constructs densely packed with living cells.

Amyloid formation may link Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes
The pathological process amyloidosis, in which misfolded proteins (amyloids) form insoluble fibril deposits, occurs in many diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes.

Crowdsourcing a valid option for gathering speech ratings
Crowdsourcing -- where responses to a task are aggregated across a large number of individuals recruited online -- can be an effective tool for rating sounds in speech disorders research, according to a study by NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

NASA team develops new Ka-band communications system to break through the noise
The radio frequency band that many NASA missions use to communicate with spacecraft -- S-band -- is getting a bit crowded and noisy, and likely to get more jammed as science missions demand higher and higher data rates.

Who cares? Why evolution suggests parenting responsibility is seldom equally shared
New research from the University of Bristol, UK explores why caring for young is shared unequally between the sexes in so many animal species.

The science of teaching: Study finds brain processes that are key to understanding pupils
How does the brain of a teacher work? New research has identified the parts of the brain involved in computing mistakes in other people's understanding, which is a key process in guiding students' learning.

One in three Dutch doctors would consider assisted suicide for dementia or being 'tired of living'
Most would be prepared to help patients with cancer or other physical illness to die, a survey shows.

Technology changing teacher's role
Along with technological development, traditional teaching methods have been challenged by various technologically enhanced teaching and learning methods.

Voltage tester for beating cardiac cells
For the first time, scientists have succeeded in recording the current in membrane channels of contracting cardiac cells.

Study recommends better EPA labels on cost of traditional vs. hybrid, electric cars
Researchers found that small to mid-sized car consumers would be more likely to choose a hybrid or plug-in electric vehicle over a gasoline vehicle if they know the total cost of ownership instead of simply looking at five-year fuel cost comparison.

Elsevier selected to publish International Society of Nephrology's flagship journals
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, and the International Society of Nephrology, the global medical society devoted to advancing kidney care worldwide, announced today that Elsevier will publish ISN's flagship journals, Kidney International and Kidney International Supplements, as of Jan.

Urbanization may affect the initiation of thunderstorms
A study that assessed the impact of urban land use on the initiation of thunderstorms from 1997 to 2013 in the humid subtropical region of the southeast United States found that so-called isolated convective initiation events occur more often over the urban area of Atlanta compared with its surrounding rural counterparts.

Synthetic biology yields new approach to gene therapy
Bioengineers at the University of Texas at Dallas have created a novel gene-delivery system that shuttles a gene into a cell, but only for a temporary stay, providing a potential new gene-therapy strategy for treating disease.

Medication therapy can increase long-term success for smokers who want to cut back first, study find
A study of more than 1,500 cigarette smokers who were not ready to quit smoking but were willing to cut back on cigarette consumption and combine their approach with varenicline (Chantix) increased their long-term success of quitting smoking.

Study shows beneficial effect of electric fans in extreme heat and humidity
Although some public health organizations advise against the use of electric fans in severe heat, a new study published in the Feb.

Schizophrenia: Impaired activity of the selective dopamine neurons
Schizophrenia is not only associated with hallucinations and delusions, but also with cognitive deficits and impairments of the emotional drive.

Tadpole model links drug exposure to autism-like effects
In utero exposure to the epilepsy drug VPA appears to elevate the risk to babies of developing an autism spectrum disorder.

QUT study links daytime naps to poorer night-time sleep in young children
Children who have daytime naps beyond the age of two may be poorer sleepers at night, Queensland University of Technology researchers have found.

Mapping seascapes in the deep ocean
Researchers from University of Southampton have developed a new, automated method for classifying hundreds of miles of the deep sea floor, in a way that is more cost efficient, quicker and more objective than previously possible.

White sharks grow more slowly and mature much later than previously thought
A new study on white sharks in the western North Atlantic indicates they grow more slowly and mature much later than previously thought.

Violations in pharmaceutical industry self-regulation of medicines promotion
A discrepancy exists between the ethical standard codified in the pharmaceutical industry Codes of Practice and the actual conduct of the pharmaceutical industry in the UK and Sweden, according to a study published by Shai Mulinari and colleagues from Lund University, Sweden in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Johns Hopkins and CDC prepare emergency department staff to care for patients with infectious disease
Four Web-based training modules developed by Johns Hopkins Medicine for emergency department personnel who treat patients with infectious diseases are now available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

New drug target for multiple sclerosis discovered
Scientists at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health have discovered a promising new approach to treat multiple sclerosis.

A novel approach for high performance field emission electron sources
Enhancing the electron emission of multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) is key for applications ranging from cold cathodes used in high-resolution electron microscopes to portable X-ray imaging systems.

Even animals compose
Music is found in all human cultures and thus appears to be part of our biology and not simply a cultural phenomenon.

How social media can help and hurt companies during product recalls
Companies are starting to embrace social media as a viable disclosure channel for product recalls, with the goal of limiting and repairing damage to the firms' reputation.

MAGE genes provide insight into optimizing chemotherapy, UT Southwestern cancer researchers find
UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists have identified a new biomarker that could help identify patients who are more likely to respond to certain chemotherapies.

Science: Chromosome 'bumper repair' gene predicts cancer patient outcomes
A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published in the journal Science shows that levels of mRNA for the gene TERT predict patient outcomes in bladder cancer.

NASA satellites catch birth of Tropical Cyclone Lam in Gulf of Carpentaria
After Tropical Cyclone Lam formed in the northern Gulf of Carpentaria on Feb.

New insight into how brain performs 'mental time travel'
A new brain mapping study pinpoints the areas of the brain responsible for 'mental time travel.'

Insight into inner magnetic layers
Research teams from Paris, Madrid and Berlin have observed for the first time how magnetic domains mutually influence one another at interfaces of spintronic components.

Fast-replicating HIV strains drive inflammation and disease progression
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) mutates very rapidly and circulates in many different strains.

Study details impact of Deepwater Horizon oil on beach microbial communities
Using advanced genomic identification techniques, researchers studying the impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill on communities of beach microbes saw a succession of organisms and identified population changes in specific organisms that marked the progress of the oil's breakdown.

State funding boosts stem cell research in California, other states
A new study analyzed stem cell funding programs in four states and found that in both California and Connecticut, state programs have contributed to an increase in the share of publications in the field produced in these states.

Nicotine metabolite amplifies action of the primary chemical messenger for learning and memory
Nicotine's primary metabolite supports learning and memory by amplifying the action of a primary chemical messenger involved in both, researchers report.

Alirocumab shows promise as treatment to reduce LDL-cholesterol in Phase III study
A recently published clinical trial report reviewing the first completed Phase III study in the ODYSSEY development program has shown that alirocumab showed significantly better LDL-C lowering than ezetimibe, with a comparable safety profile to ezetimibe.

An empty stomach can lead to an empty wallet
Looking to save money on your next shopping trip? Better eat something before you head to the mall.

New solder for semiconductors creates technological possibilities
A research team led by the University of Chicago's Dmitri Talapin has demonstrated how semiconductors can be soldered and still deliver good electronic performance.

New study reveals how to improve chemotherapy use in prostate cancer
Next generation chemotherapy for prostate cancer has unique properties that could make it more effective earlier in treatment if confirmed in clinical trials.

New species, the 'Ruby Seadragon,' discovered by Scripps researchers
While researching the two known species of seadragons as part of an effort to understand and protect the exotic and delicate fish, scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego made a startling discovery: a third species of sea dragon, named the 'Ruby Seadragon' because of its bright red colors.

Broca's area is the brain's script writer where words take shape, study finds
A study conducted at Johns Hopkins using recordings from the brain surface shows Broca's area is active early in the process of forming sentences and ends its work before a word is spoken.

In lab research, SLU team halts NASH liver damage
Saint Louis University researchers have tested in an animal model a promising drug candidate that stopped fatty liver disease from progressing to the stage that causes severe liver damage.

Teen brain scans reveal a key to weight loss
MRI scans of teenagers who had successfully lost weight and kept it off show that they have higher levels of executive function -- the ability to process and prioritize competing interests.

Scientists use MRI to visualize pancreas inflammation in type 1 diabetes
A pilot study led by researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center has revealed that it is possible to use magnetic resonance imaging to 'see' the inflammation in the pancreas that leads to type 1 diabetes.

Think again about gender gap in science
Scholars from diverse fields have long proposed that interlocking factors such as cognitive abilities, discrimination and interests may cause more women than men to leave the science, technology, engineering and mathematics pipeline after entering college.

Leader of the pack
A new Tel Aviv University study looks to the animal kingdom to track the rise of group leaders in chaotic situations and pinpoint the traits that set them apart from their followers.

A close call of 0.8 light years
A group of astronomers from the US, Europe, Chile and South Africa have determined that 70,000 years ago a recently discovered dim star is likely to have passed through the solar system's distant cloud of comets, the Oort Cloud.

'Nature's medicine cabinet' helps bees reduce disease load
In this early and most comprehensive study of its kind, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Dartmouth College studied hundreds of eastern bumblebees, Bombus impatiens, and their intestinal parasite Crithidia bombi, using eight separate toxic chemicals known as secondary metabolites produced by plants to protect themselves against predators.

Elise Dennis honored with Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry Best Paper Award 2014
Elise Dennis is the recipient of the Best Paper Award 2014, presented by the Springer journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry (ABC).

When it comes to an opening number, sometimes the best bargaining move is to offer two
Daniel Ames and Malia Mason, social psychologists who teach and do research at Columbia Business School, conducted five studies to explore the effects of different kinds of opening offers in negotiations.

Primary care nurse-delivered interventions can increase physical activity in older adults
A primary care nurse-delivered intervention can lead to sustained increases in physical activity among older adults, according to an article published by Tess Harris of St George's University of London, and colleagues in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Novel solid-state nanomaterial platform enables terahertz photonics
Compact, sensitive and fast nanodetectors are considered to be somewhat of a 'Holy Grail' sought by many researchers around the world.

Anticoagulant linked with lower risk of death following heart attack compared to heparin
Patients who experienced a certain type of heart attack who received the anticoagulant fondaparinux had a lower risk of major bleeding events and death both in the hospital and after six months compared to patients who received low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH), although both groups had similar rates of subsequent heart attack or stroke, according to a study in the Feb.

Workplace bullying a vicious circle
Bullying at work grinds victims down and makes them an 'easy target' for further abuse according to University of East Anglia research.

Tau-associated MAPT gene increases risk for Alzheimer's disease
An international team of scientists, led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, has identified the microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) gene as increasing the risk for developing Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Men more unsatisfied with extra chores in more gender equal countries
Men are more likely to feel it's unfair when they tackle a greater share of household chores in countries where a more egalitarian division of labor is considered the norm, according to a new study from researchers at Emory University and UmeƄ University in Sweden in the journal Social Politics.

Study finds increased DNA mutations in children of teenage fathers
New research reveals that the sperm cells of adolescent boys have more than six times the rate of DNA mutations as the equivalent egg cells in adolescent girls, resulting in higher rates of DNA mutation being passed down to children of teenage fathers.

Brain's iconic seat of speech goes silent when we actually talk
The brain's speech area, named after 19th century French physician Pierre Paul Broca, shuts down when we talk out loud, according to a new study that challenges the long-held assumption that 'Broca's area' governs all aspects of speech production.

Challenges of soldier rehabilitation and reintegration need closer attention
Veterans returning from combat often face a multitude of challenges that can create a situation in which veterans are unable to reintegrate into civilian life as they had planned and hoped.

Seasonal flu vaccine induces antibodies that protect against H7N9 avian flu
Antibodies that protect against H7N9 avian flu, which emerged in China in 2013 and sparked fears of a global pandemic, have been isolated in individuals who received seasonal flu vaccinations.

Better informed women less likely to want a breast mammogram -- world first Lancet study
Women who understand the risk of over-detection and over-diagnosis associated with mammography screening have lower intentions to have a breast screening test, according to a new Lancet study.

Cancer treatments could evolve from research showing that acetate supplements speed up cancer growth
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers seeking novel ways to combat cancer found that giving acetate, a major compound produced in the gut by host bacteria, to mice sped up the growth and metastasis of tumors.

UI engineers find switchgrass removes PCBs from soils
University of Iowa researchers have found a type of grass that was once a staple of the American prairie can remove soil laden with PCBs, toxic chemicals once used for cooling and other industrial purposes.

Plants survive better through mass extinctions than animals
At least five mass extinction events have profoundly changed the history of life on Earth.

Study: Manufacturing growth can benefit Bangladeshi women workers
The life of a Bangladeshi garment factory worker is not an easy one.

Medication effective in helping smokers quit gradually
Among cigarette smokers not willing or able to quit smoking in the next month but willing to reduce with the goal of quitting in the next three months, use of the nicotine addiction medication varenicline for 24 weeks compared with placebo produced greater reductions in smoking prior to quitting and increased smoking cessation rates at the end of treatment and at one year, according to a study in the Feb.

Study holds hope for reversing childhood asthma associated with maternal smoking
A new study from Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute holds hope for reversing asthma caused by smoking during pregnancy.

High-powered X-ray laser unlocks mechanics of pain relief without addiction
Scientists have solved the structure of a bifunctional peptide bound to a neuroreceptor that offers pain relief without addiction.

Learning from extinction: New insights on controlling cancer
Carlo Maley, Ph.D., a researcher at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute and School of Life Sciences brings a paleontological view of species extinction to bear on the challenges involved in driving populations of cancer cells to annihilation -- or at least improving patient prognosis through disease-limiting efforts.

Napping beyond age of 2 linked to poorer sleep quality in young children
Napping beyond the age of 2 is linked to poorer sleep quality in young children, although the impact on behavior and development is less clear-cut, finds an analysis of the available evidence published online in Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Tracking the effects of global change on the future of Earth's biodiversity
Biodiversity, or the variety of life found in a particular habitat, responds to changing environmental forces such as habitat destruction or climate change, but the responses may not be noticeable until long after the forces first exerted their effects.

UM Rosenstiel School professor receives $2.5 million to study Agulhas Current
Scientists at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science received a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct a climate research study off the coast of South Africa.

This week From AGU: Oklahoma earthquake faults, earthquake monitoring, and sea ice
The Feb. 17, 2015, edition of This Week From AGU features articles Oklahoma earthquake faults, earthquake monitoring, and sea ice.

BMC receives NIDDK grant to study non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Boston Medical Center has received a $1.5 million grant to study non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Bee disease reduced by nature's 'medicine cabinet,' Dartmouth-led study finds
Nicotine isn't healthy for people, but such naturally occurring chemicals found in flowers of tobacco and other plants could be just the right prescription for ailing bees, according to a Dartmouth College-led study.

When estimating fish populations, seeing is believing
By adding video cameras to fish traps, scientists get more precise abundance estimates for several important species of reef fish, including red snapper and gag grouper.

Potential new breathalyzer for lung cancer screening
Chinese researchers have developed a simple, rapid device for detecting volatile organic compounds on the breath, demonstrating potential for early cancer detection.

Major study of trafficked men, women & children reveals abuse & complex health issues
The largest survey to date of the health of trafficking survivors has found high levels of abuse and serious harm associated with human trafficking.

Wireless communications research at University of Akron inspired by ear of insect
What is being done to keep smartphones sleek, speedy, and powered up?

Three Waterloo academics named among Canada's top researchers for 2015
Three Waterloo academics are named among Canada's Top Natural Sciences and Engineering Researchers for 2015 by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada today.

Improved fire detection with new ultra-sensitive, ultraviolet light sensor
A new study published today in Scientific Reports has discovered that a material traditionally used in ceramics, glass and paint, can be manipulated to produce an ultra-sensitive UV light sensor, paving the way for improved fire and gas detection.

From the scent of geranium to cough medicine
Terpenes and their derivatives exert important biological and pharmaceutical functions.

Rice U. study: US natural gas market buffered against local policy intervention
The depth and efficiency of the United States natural gas market would buffer it against potential local policy interventions aimed at limiting access to shale gas resources, according to a new paper by energy economists at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Laser 'ruler' holds promise for hunting exoplanets
The hunt for Earth-like planets around distant stars could soon become a lot easier thanks to a technique developed by researchers in Germany.

Social media can help alert students during campus emergencies, study finds
Using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to spread information during campus emergencies can help keep students safer, according to new research from the University at Buffalo School of Management.

Individuals with type 2 diabetes should exercise after dinner
Individuals with type 2 diabetes have heightened amounts of sugars and fats in their blood, which increases their risks for cardiovascular diseases such as strokes and heart attacks. 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