Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 24, 2015
It's tough to shift that weight, McMaster studies show
The McMaster Evidence Review and Synthesis Centre reviewed hundreds of recent studies about overweight and obesity published in the past decade.

Short hospital stay linked to increased risk of death following hip fracture
Older patients are more likely to die following a short hospital stay for a hip fracture, finds research published in The BMJ today.

Massive amounts of Saharan dust fertilize the Amazon rainforest
Every year, millions of tons of nutrient-rich Saharan dust cross the Atlantic Ocean, bringing vital phosphorus and other fertilizers to depleted Amazon soils.

An evolutionary approach reveals new clues toward understanding the roots of schizophrenia
In a new study appearing in Molecular Biology and Evolution, Mount Sinai researcher Joel Dudley has led a new study that suggests that the very changes specific to human evolution may have come at a cost, contributing to the genetic architecture underlying schizophrenia traits in modern humans.

Study finds hormone therapy in transgender adults safe
In the most comprehensive review to date addressing the relative safety of hormone therapy for transgender persons, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine have found that hormone therapy in transgender adults is safe.

Unexpected outcomes for elderly couples who stop driving
A University of Missouri researcher has found that even if just one member of a couple stops driving, negative consequences result for both the driver and non-driver.

Renewable energy obtained from wastewater
Researchers from the UAB Department of Chemical Engineering have devised an efficient way to obtain electrical energy and hydrogen by using a wastewater treatment process.

Geysers have loops in their plumbing
University of California Berkeley volcanologist Michael Manga and his students threaded sensors and cameras into the superheated water of geysers in Chile and Yellowstone, and have come up with an explanation for why geysers erupt periodically.

Daclatasvir for hepatitis C: Hint of added benefit in genotype 4
A hint of an added benefit can be derived from the drug manufacturer's data subsequently submitted.

High-energy breakfast with low-energy dinner helps control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes
A small new study published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) shows that, in people with type 2 diabetes, those who consume a high-energy breakfast and a low-energy dinner have better blood sugar control than those who eat a low-energy breakfast and a high-energy dinner.

Women's heart disease should be a research priority
Women are generally underrepresented in heart disease research. Because of this gap, physicians lack important information about how women might respond differently to heart disease, have different symptoms and need different diagnostic approaches and treatments.

Singapore scientists discover unique risk variants of age-related macular degeneration in East Asians
In Asia's largest AMD genetic study to date, scientists from Singapore Eye Research Institute and Genome Institute of Singapore have discovered a strong association between an East-Asian specific mutation in a lipid gene CETP and increased risk of wet AMD.

Filipino newcomers to Canada diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age
Filipinos who move to Canada are diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age than women from other parts of East Asia or Caucasians, new research has found.

Novel pretreatment could cut biofuel costs by 30 percent or more
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have invented a novel pretreatment technology that could cut the cost of biofuels production by about 30 percent or more by dramatically reducing the amount of enzymes needed to breakdown the raw materials that form biofuels.

World's protected natural areas receive 8 billion visits a year
Researchers say that the first study to attempt to gauge global visitation figures for protected areas reveals nature-based tourism has an economic value of hundreds of billions of dollars annually, and call for much greater investment in the conservation of protected areas in line with the values they sustain -- both economically and ecologically.

DRI launches global initiative to provide women in developing countries with clean water
Imagine a day in which your access to clean, drinkable water ceased and you could not shower or bathe properly and you had no one to help you.

Climate-change clues from the turtles of tropical Wyoming
Tropical turtle fossils discovered in Wyoming by University of Florida scientists reveal that when the earth got warmer, prehistoric turtles headed north.

Primary care residents unlikely to detect hazardous alcohol use
When it comes to detecting alcohol misuse, newly minted primary care physicians ask the wrong questions at the wrong times, according to a study led by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

International team of scientists launches fossil database
Have you ever wondered exactly when a certain group of plants or animals first evolved?

Researchers clarify vasospasm incidence in children with moderate to severe TBI
Vasospasm, or severe narrowing of blood vessels, is a dangerous complication observed in children with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury.

Key genes for symbiosis between mycorrhiza fungi and trees evolved several times
The life style of ectomycorrhiza fungi is some 100 million years younger than the one of their ancestors within white and brown rot fungi.

Taking NSAIDs with anti-clotting medications and risk of bleeding, CV events
Among patients receiving antithrombotic therapy after a heart attack, the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs was associated with an increased risk of bleeding and events such as heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death, even after short-term treatment, according to a study in the Feb.

Stellate cells in the liver control regeneration and fibrosis
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and the Medical Faculty in Mannheim at Heidelberg University are searching for new approaches to prevent liver fibrosis.

New health care delivery model for prostate cancer care results in better patient outcomes
A comprehensive, population-based regional health care management program for men with prostate cancer who are members of Kaiser Permanente Southern California has led to improved outcomes, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published today in the journal Urology Practice.

Direct brain neurostimulation for partial onset seizures provides long-term benefit
Piotr Olejniczak, M.D., Ph.D., LSU Health New Orleans Professor of Neurology and Director of the Epilepsy Center, contributed to a study of the long-term effectiveness of the first direct brain responsive neurostimulator for partial onset, or focal, seizures that cannot be controlled with medication.

UC Davis leads new effort in functional annotation of animal genomes
Scientists and breeders working with poultry and livestock species will get a new set of tools from an international project that includes the University of California, Davis.

New Florida Tech study links coral disease to a warming Atlantic
Over the last four decades, the iconic elkhorn and staghorn corals that dominated Caribbean reefs for millions of years have all but disappeared.

Younger women delay seeking help for heart attacks, study finds
Younger women may ignore or dismiss the earliest symptoms of an impending heart attack, such as pain and dizziness, and delay seeking emergency medical care.

Inherited gene variation leaves young leukemia patients at risk for peripheral neuropathy
Researchers have identified the first genetic variation that is associated with increased risk and severity of peripheral neuropathy following treatment with a widely used anti-cancer drug.

Scientists find cancer weak spots for new targeted drugs
Scientists have identified weak spots in cancer cells that could be targeted and attacked by new precision drugs.

Too many food choices exacerbate the battle against obesity, researchers find
Researchers found that having too many food choices increases the obesity problem.

The numbers are in: As many as 2 in 3 smokers will die from their habit
A large-scale population study of 200,000 people puts tobacco death toll as high as two in every three smokers.

This week from AGU: Saharan dust transport, moon missions, Pleistocene temperatures
The Sahara Desert is a near-uninterrupted brown band of sand and scrub across the northern third of Africa.

Patients with mental illness less likely to receive diet, exercise advice
Many patients with mental illness, even those at high risk for diabetes and other diseases, are not being counseled by health care providers to exercise or eat healthy.

Together, nanotechnology and genetic interference may tackle 'untreatable' brain tumors
There are no effective available treatments for sufferers of Glioblastoma multiforme, the most aggressive and devastating form of brain tumor.

Ocean acidification slows algae growth in the Southern Ocean
In a recent study, scientists at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, demonstrate for the first time that ocean acidification could have negative impacts on diatoms in the Southern Ocean.

Skin test may shed new light on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases
Scientists have discovered a skin test that may shed new light on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, according to a study released today will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 67th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., April 18-25, 2015.

India's doctors should be helped to expose poor practice or misconduct
Healthcare professionals should be helped to speak up if they become aware of threats to patient safety or wrongdoing.

New fossil timeline database opens for the tree of life
QUT evolutionary biologist Dr. Matthew Phillips has contributed data on the origins of Australia's unique platypus, echidna and kangaroo species, plus research that estimates the origin of modern bats to be 53-58 million years ago, not 65 million, to the new Fossil Calibration Database.

Elsevier selected to publish American College of Chest Physicians' flagship journal CHEST
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, and the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), a world-renowned publisher of evidence-based practice guidelines in chest medicine, have announced that Elsevier will publish CHEST's flagship journal CHEST as of Jan.

Asphaltene analysis takes a giant step
Rice University scientists develop a method to improve the detection of asphaltene that precipitates in crude oil and clogs production lines.

New US patent for LGTmedical's Kenek Core audio waveform technology
LionsGate Technologies Inc., a privately held medical device company, announced today that the US Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent for its pulse oximetry technology based on the Kenek Core proprietary audio waveform platform.

Marine oil supplement has positive effects on post-exercise muscle damage
An Indiana University study has revealed that there may be a greater connection between mussels and muscles than previously thought.

Texas natural gas grants generated $128 million in economic impact last year
The University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Economic Development released a study today showing that three State grants to support natural gas programs generated $128 million in economic impact, $79.1 million in gross state product and supported 927 full-time jobs in 2014.

Boy or girl? Lemur scents have the answer
Dozens of pregnancy myths claim to predict whether a mom-to-be is carrying a boy or a girl.

Research suggests using neuroscience in law may face political resistance
Republicans and Independents disapprove of neuroscience-informed criminal justice reforms when the reforms are seen as being too lenient with criminal defendants.

Undergraduate OSC researcher heading to UK
In pursuit of a graduate degree next year in the United Kingdom, an Ohio State Honors student will leverage what he's learned about using specialized processors at the Ohio Supercomputer Center to study cutting-edge mathematical methods for analyzing large datasets.

Clarithromycin as an anti-cancer agent
An antibiotic may join the ranks of drugs suitable for repurposing as anti-cancer treatments, according to new research from the Repurposing Drugs in Oncology project published in ecancermedicalscience.

New UTHealth research looks at app to help minority stroke patients improve health
A clinical trial investigating the use of a physician-monitored app to help first-time minority stroke patients become healthier has begun at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

TGen study: Destroying tumor material that 'cloaks' cancer cells could benefit patients
Like a stealth jet cloaks itself from radar, cancer cells cloak themselves within tumors by hiding behind a dense layer of cellular material known as stroma.

Easy on the eyes: How eyelash length keeps your eyes healthy
Georgia Tech study finds that the optimal eyelash length is one-third the width of the eye for humans and 21 other mammals.

Gene variant and risk and severity of nerve disorder linked to cancer drug
Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who had a certain gene variant experienced a higher incidence and severity of peripheral neuropathy after receiving treatment with the cancer drug vincristine, according to a study in the Feb.

Quick test for Ebola
Using a simple paper strip similar to a pregnancy test, MIT researchers have found a way to rapidly diagnose Ebola, as well as other viral hemorrhagic fevers such as yellow fever and dengue fever.

Airport screening for viruses misses half of infected travelers but can be improved
Airport screening for diseases often misses at least half of infected travelers, but can be improved, scientists reported Feb.

Why a latte is less likely to spill than a coffee
Carrying a cup of coffee can be precarious for a sleepy-eyed caffeine addict who might accidentally send a wave of java sloshing over the rim, but add some foam and the trip becomes easier.

SAGE publishes new report on UK's social science impact
SAGE, a leading independent academic publisher, and strong advocate for the social sciences, today published a major new report, written by the Campaign for Social Sciences highlighting the value of social sciences to the UK economy and society.

India's private healthcare sector 'treats patients as revenue generators'
India's private healthcare sector 'treats patients as revenue generators' argues a senior doctor in The BMJ today.

Amelotin molecule plays a critical role in tooth enamel maturation
Today, the International and American Associations for Dental Research published an innovative developmental biology study by lead researcher Bernhard Ganss, University of Toronto, ON, Canada, that relates amelotin with tooth enamel defects and enamel formation.

'Patchwork' ovarian cancer more deadly
The most common type of ovarian cancer is more deadly if it consists of a patchwork of different groups of cells, according to a Cancer Research UK study published today in PLOS Medicine.

New, useful feature of Moringa seeds revealed
Previous studies have shown that the extracts from seeds of the Moringa oleifera tree can be used for water purification.

Previously unknown effect of vitamin A identified
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have identified a previously unknown effect of vitamin A in human embryonic development.

Crocs rocked pre-Amazonian Peru
Thirteen million years ago, as many as seven different species of crocodiles hunted in the swampy waters of what is now northeastern Peru, new research shows.

Even low-androgen triple-negative breast cancer responds to anti-androgen therapy
Clinical trials are underway of anti-androgen drugs against high-androgen triple-negative breast cancers, and new work from the University of Colorado Cancer Center shows the threshold for benefit from anti-androgen therapies may be much lower than previously thought: even breast cancers with few androgen receptors benefit from anti-androgen therapy.

Cross-cultural communication -- much more than just a linguistic stretch
Mandarin speakers rely more on tone of voice rather than on facial cues to understand emotion compared to English-language speakers.

Findings may help with the management of anticoagulant-related bleeding within the brain
Among patients with oral anticoagulation-associated intracerebral hemorrhage (bleeding within the brain), reversal of international normalized ratio below a certain level within four hours and systolic blood pressure less than 160 mm Hg at four hours were associated with lower rates of hematoma (a localized swelling filled with blood) enlargement, and resumption of anticoagulant therapy was associated with a lower risk of ischemic events without increased bleeding complications, according to a study in the Feb.

SOHO sees something new near the sun
An unusual comet skimmed past the sun on Feb. 18-21, 2015, as captured by the European Space Agency and NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO.

Pew names 5 new marine conservation fellows for 2015
Five distinguished scientists and conservationists from Canada, Australia, Russia, and the United Kingdom are the 2015 recipients of the Pew fellowship in marine conservation.

Polio vaccination with microneedle patches receives funding
The Georgia Institute of Technology and Micron Biomedical have been awarded $2.5 million in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance the development of dissolvable microneedle patches for polio immunization.

Decline in smoking rates may increase lung cancer mortality
A decline in smoking rates may mean that many people who could have benefited from early detection of lung cancer are dying because they don't qualify for low-dose CT scans, according to a group of Mayo Clinic researchers.

Dendrite eraser: New electrolyte rids batteries of short-circuiting fibers
A new electrolyte allows rechargeable batteries to operate well without growing dendrites, tiny pin-like fibers that short-circuit rechargeable batteries.

NASA Terra satellite spots new Tropical Cyclone 14S
A tropical low pressure area designated as System 90S formed in the Southern Indian Ocean on Feb.

NASA adds up Tropical Cyclone Marcia's Queensland area rainfall
Powerful Tropical Cyclone Marcia dropped a lot of rain as it made landfall and moved over eastern Queensland, Australia from Feb.

4th World Summit 'Gut Microbiota For Health' to be held in Barcelona
The Gut Microbiota For Health World Summit, which will be held for the fourth time, has become the internationally leading platform for scientific exchange and discussion in this booming area of research.

Cyberbystanders: Most don't try to stop online bullies
In a new study, 221 college students participated in an online chat room in which they watched a fellow student get 'bullied' right before their eyes.

The Lancet: Scientists report bionic hand reconstruction in 3 Austrian men
Three Austrian men have become the first in the world to undergo a new technique called 'bionic reconstruction,' enabling them to use a robotic prosthetic hand controlled by their mind, according to new research published in The Lancet.

Tumor location in colorectal cancer may influence survival
The two halves of the human colon have different embryonic origins and gene expression patterns, and these differences may also play a role in cancer biology, according to a study published Feb.

Teen girls from rural areas more likely to have undiagnosed asthma, be depressed
Teen girls who live in rural areas are more likely than their male counterparts to have undiagnosed asthma, and they often are at a higher risk of depression, according to researchers at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University.

NIH-funded researchers identify genetic region associated with peanut allergy
An NIH-funded research suggests that changes in a small region of chromosome 6 are risk factors for peanut allergy in US children of European descent.

Cutting-edge technology optimizes cancer therapy with nanomedicine drug combinations
Designing optimized combination therapies for cancer is remarkably difficult due to the infinite possible drug dose ratios and variable patient-specific response to treatment.

Communicating emotions
Visual cues play a much more important role in the understanding of the emotions being conveyed by music than they do in the understanding of speech.

Evidence supports use of 'retainer' contact lenses for nearsightedness in children, reports Optometry and Vision Science
A technique called orthokeratology ('Ortho-K') -- using custom-made contact lenses to shape the growing eye -- has a significant effect in slowing the progression of myopia (nearsightedness) in children, according to a research review in the March issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry.

Financial incentives show no overall effect on viral suppression: May influence control of HIV in some clinical settings
A new study by The HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) shows that financial incentives did not have an overall effect on motivating HIV-positive patients to take their HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) medication regularly and maintain control of their HIV.

NASA satellite reveals how much Saharan dust feeds Amazon's plants
For the first time, a NASA satellite has quantified in three dimensions how much dust makes this trans-Atlantic journey.

UGA researchers discover potential treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis
Researchers at the University of Georgia have developed a new small molecule drug that may serve as a treatment against multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, a form of the disease that cannot be cured with conventional therapies.

UVA prevents diabetic heart condition by magnifying effect of exercise
Magnifying a benefit of exercise in mice provided a 'profound' protection from diabetic cardiomyopathy, a potentially deadly heart condition that affects many people with diabetes.

Mapping lizard venom makes it possible to develop new drugs
Lizards and other reptiles are not normally considered venomous, but a number of lizard species actually do produce and use venom.

Optical nanoantennas set the stage for a NEMS lab-on-a-chip revolution
Newly developed tiny antennas, likened to spotlights on the nanoscale, offer the potential to measure food safety, identify pollutants in the air and even quickly diagnose and treat cancer, according to the Australian scientists who created them.

Sea level spiked for 2 years along northeastern North America
Sea levels from New York to Newfoundland jumped up about four inches in 2009 and 2010 because ocean circulation changed.

Future Science Group launches new open access journal: Concussion
Future Science Group has launched Concussion, a new open access journal that publishes original research, reviews and commentaries addressing the assessment, management and short and long term implications of this subset of traumatic brain injury, which is gaining increasing attention.

Micro-5: Gut reactions in space
NASA's Micro-5 investigation on the International Space Station may help researchers gain a better understanding of how intestinal pathogens cause disease and how we can prevent or counteract foodborne illness in astronauts.

Study suggests need for more sensitive lung cancer screening criteria
An analysis of lung cancer incidence and screening found a decline in the proportion of patients with lung cancer meeting high-risk screening criteria, suggesting that an increasing number of patients with lung cancer would not have been candidates for screening, according to a study in the Feb.

Ultra-thin nanowires can trap electron 'twisters' that disrupt superconductors
Superconductor materials carry electric current without resistance, but this valuable trait can be crippled by tiny tornado-like formations of electrons called vortices.

Prosthetic hands, robotic trousers and biosensors -- £5.3 million for health-care tech research
A prosthetic hand controlled by the nervous system, robotic clothing to help people with walking, and biosensors to monitor how patients use equipment or exercise during rehabilitation are the focus of three research projects awarded £5.3 million by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Garlic extract could help cystic fibrosis patients fight infection
A chemical found in garlic can kill bacteria that cause life-threatening lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis, research suggests.

Do genes play a role in peanut allergies? New study suggests yes
Researchers have pinpointed a region in the human genome associated with peanut allergy in US children, offering strong evidence that genes can play a role in the development of food allergies.

Space Station 3-D printed items, seedlings return in the belly of a Dragon
Newly 3-D printed wrenches, data to improve cooling systems, protein crystals and seedling samples returned Feb.

Women twice as likely to see pot as risky
A study on the perceived risk of using cannabis and characteristics associated with these perceptions found that non-white, low-income women over 50 were most likely to perceive a risk in using the drug.

Queen's researchers in bid to develop world's fastest super computers
Researchers at Queen's University Belfast are creating ground-breaking computer software which has the potential to develop some of the world's fastest super computers.

Detecting defects at the nanoscale will profit solar panel production
Research at the University of Huddersfield will lead to major efficiency gains and cost savings in the manufacture of flexible solar panels.

Gene regulatory path revealed as target for therapy of aggressive pediatric brain cancer
Working with cells taken from children with a very rare but ferocious form of brain cancer, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists have identified a genetic pathway that acts as a master regulator of thousands of other genes and may spur cancer cell growth and resistance to anticancer treatment.

A new look at culture and its influence on individuals and organizations
Professor Michael Morris suggests 'polyculturalism' offers a better lens for understanding cultural complexity and how it affects collaboration, negotiation and leadership. 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