Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 19, 2015
Trust increases with age; benefits well-being
Hollywood has given moviegoers many classic portrayals of grumpy old men.

Healthy grain fiber helps barley resist pests
Research at the University of Adelaide's Waite campus has shed light on the action of the serious agricultural pest, cereal cyst nematode, which will help progress improved resistant varieties.

Superconductivity breakthroughs
The latest superconductor breakthrough, which will be published March 20 in Science, answers a key question on the microscopic electronic structure of cuprate superconductors, the most celebrated material family in our quest for true room-temperature superconductivity.

First stem cell-based approach to treat type 2 diabetes effective in mice
A combination of human stem cell transplantation and antidiabetic drugs proved to be highly effective at improving body weight and glucose metabolism in a mouse model of type 2 diabetes.

World Heritage Sites risk collapse without stronger local management
Without better local management, the world's most iconic ecosystems are at risk of collapse under climate change, say researchers in Science.

NC State researchers create 'nanofiber gusher'
Researchers at North Carolina State University and one of its start-up companies report a method that can produce unprecedented amounts of polymer nanofibers in liquid, which have potential applications in filtration, batteries and cell scaffolding.

Immigrants are usually in better health than native Canadians... at least when they arrive
Research has shown that the health of immigrants is generally better than that of citizens of their host country, at least on their arrival and for some time afterwards.

The taming of the shrew
For the first time ever, a team of scientist from the University of Cologne headed by Professor Stephan Schlemmer succeeded in understanding the spectrum of the highly fluxional molecule CH5+.

Human parasites found in medieval cesspit reveal links between Middle East and Europe
Analysis of a latrine in Jerusalem that dates back over 500 years finds human parasites common in northern Europe yet very rare in Middle East at the time, suggesting long-distance trade or pilgrimage routes and shedding light on prevalent infectious diseases of the age.

£70 million boost for UK science research
More than £70 million is being injected into science research projects to tackle challenges including airport capacity and our ability to search vast volumes of visual data.

Spinal cord neurons that control pain and itch
The spinal cord transmits pain signals to the brain, where they are consciously perceived.

Steroid links fat accumulation with egg development
New work from Carnegie's Allan Spradling and Matthew Sieber focuses on the accumulation of triglyceride and a certain kind of steroids called sterols during oocyte development.

The cost of dominance
Psychologists at the University of Utah conducted four studies to gauge the health effects of the hostile-dominant personality style compared with the warm-dominant style.

Protecting against memory loss with olives
What are the substances contained in olives, that protect against Memory loss?

Educated women choosing to be mothers without marrying their spouses
In Latin America, consensual, common-law, unions are traditionally associated with poorer or indigenous populations.

Spot treatment
Ultrasound, laser and tiny particles combine to treat the root cause of acne.

Waterloo creates cutting-edge tool to help predict impact of invasive species
Researchers at the University of Waterloo have published results of a powerful new tool that could give ecologists new ways of tackling problems posed by deadly invasive species like Asian carp and Zebra mussels.

Color-morphing reef fish is a 'wolf in sheep's clothing'
The dottyback changes its color to match surrounding damselfish species, enabling it to counter the defenses of its damselfish prey by disguising itself as a harmless part of their community, then swooping in to hunt their young.

Sharp rise in UK adults living with cystic fibrosis, predicts Queen's-led task force
The number of people living with cystic fibrosis into adulthood in the UK is expected to increase dramatically -- by as much as 80 percent -- by 2025, according to a Europe-wide survey, the UK end of which was led by Queen's University Belfast.

Even at a molecular level, taking it slow helps us cope with stress
UC Berkeley scientists have identified a new molecular pathway critical to aging.

Small talk with big potential: Bacterial conversation counteracts antibiotic damage
A research team led by Karina Xavier at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência has shown that bacteria living in the intestine both talk and listen to each other.

Why 'hypoallergenic' isn't a thing (video)
It's a simple claim made on thousands of personal care products for adults and kids: hypoallergenic.

Total body iron balance: Liver MRI better than biopsy
Investigators at the Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles have demonstrated that MR imaging of the liver is more accurate than liver biopsy in determining total body iron balance in patients with sickle cell disease and other disorders requiring blood transfusion therapy.

MDC researchers uncover regulatory network in the kidney
The kidney continuously filters the blood and excretes waste products into the urine.

Fewer multiple births could reduce autism risk in ART children
Scientists report that the incidence of diagnosed autism was twice as high for assisted reproductive technology (ART) as non-ART births among the nearly 6 million children in their study, born in California from 1997 through 2007.

What effect does music TV have on the sexual behavior of teenage boys and girls?
There is no doubt that teenage boys and girls are swayed and shaped by music TV.

Sharper nanoscopy
The advent of super-resolved microscopy with visible light won this year's chemistry Nobel.

Scientists trace genomic evolution of high-risk leukemia
By genomic sequencing of leukemia cells from relapsed patients at different stages, scientists have discovered key details of how acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells mutate to survive chemotherapy.

Physician practices need help to adopt new payment models, study finds
Both the federal government and private payers are changing the way they pay physicians and other health professionals, moving to innovative models intended to improve quality and reduce costs.

Racial, ethnic differences in picking surgeons, hospitals for breast cancer care
Black and Hispanic women with breast cancer were less likely to pick their surgeon and the hospital for treatment based on reputation compared with white women, suggesting minority patients may rely more on physician referrals and health plans in those decisions, according to a study published online by JAMA Oncology.

Robotic materials: Changing with the world around them
Advances in materials science, distributed algorithms and manufacturing processes are revolutionizing robotic materials, says a review published today.

UCSF team finds key to making neurons from stem cells
A research team at UC San Francisco has discovered an RNA molecule called Pnky that can be manipulated to increase the production of neurons from neural stem cells.

New PET image analysis technique tracks amyloid changes with greater power
Researchers from Banner Alzheimer's Institute have developed a new brain image analysis method to better track the progression of beta-amyloid plaque deposition, according to a study published in the March issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

New lead against HIV could finally hobble the virus's edge
Since HIV emerged in the '80s, drug 'cocktails' transformed the deadly disease into a manageable one.

Click! That's how modern chemistry bonds nanoparticles to a substrate
Nanoparticles of various types can be quickly and permanently bonded to a solid substrate, if one of the most effective methods of synthesis, click chemistry, is used for this purpose.

Jewish-Christian encounters outside Europe
The encounters and interactions between Jews and Christians in the Middle East, North Africa, India and the Caucasus, which have hitherto been only insufficiently researched, is the subject matter of the new project 'Jews and Christians in the East: Strategies of Interaction between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean,' for which professor Alexandra Cuffel from Bochum has been awarded a Consolidator Grant by the European Research Council.

Crocodile ancestor was top predator before dinosaurs roamed North America
A newly discovered crocodilian ancestor may have filled one of North America's top predator roles before dinosaurs arrived on the continent.

Penn Medicine study finds being near greened vacant lots lowers heart rates
Greening vacant lots may be associated with biologic reductions in stress, according to a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

New MIND diet may significantly protect against Alzheimer's disease
A new diet, appropriately known by the acronym MIND, could significantly lower a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, even if the diet is not meticulously followed, according to a paper published online for subscribers in March in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association.

New research investigates potential probiotic benefits of a pear-enriched diet
A new test tube study, 'Dietary functional benefits of Bartlett and Starkrimson pears for potential management of hyperglycemia, hypertension and ulcer bacteria Helicobacter pylori while supporting beneficial probiotic bacterial response,' was published in the March issue of Food Research International.

'Attract and kill:' Trapping malaria mosquito mums before they lay eggs
Malaria control efforts boosted by discovery in 'magical mud.'

Explosive Destruction System begins first stockpile project
This week the Explosive Destruction System (EDS), designed by Sandia National Laboratories for the US Army, began safely destroying stockpile chemical munitions.

The dissemination of staph infections in hospitals
Wireless sensors recording human interactions explain the transmission of germs, such as MRSA, in hospitals, according to research by Thomas Obadia and colleagues.

Smoke and mirrors on coral reefs: How a tiny fish deceives its prey
Basel Zoologists are unveiling the colorful secrets of coral reefs: On the Australian Great Barrier Reef they discovered a coral reef fish, the dusky dottyback that flexibly adapts its coloration to mimic other fishes and in doing is able to prey on their juvenile offspring.

Study uncovers predictors of chronic kidney disease worsening in children and adolescents
NIH-funded study results published today in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases provide new insights into why a child's chronic kidney disease (CKD) may worsen to kidney failure.

Thinking of drinking and driving? What if your car won't let you?
If every new car had a built-in blood alcohol level tester that prevented impaired drivers from driving the vehicle, the US could avoid 85 percent of crash deaths attributable to alcohol-involved motor vehicle crashes.

Measuring student engagement could help teachers, administrators adapt strategies
A University of Missouri researcher has developed a scale that quantifies student engagement and could help educators identify barriers to student participation and increase levels of student involvement and learning.

Scientists invent new way to control light, critical for next gen of super fast computing
A device resembling a plastic honeycomb yet infinitely smaller than a bee's stinger can steer light beams around tighter curves than ever before possible, while keeping the integrity and intensity of the beam intact.

Flight control breakthrough could lead to safer air travel
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a predictable, reliable, repeatable, and safe flight control system that was successfully tested for the first time on a manned aircraft -- representing an important step toward the introduction of the technology into commercial aviation.

EPSRC and Innovate UK announce £5 million investment in UK cybersecurity research and innovation
Funding bodies' support for Centre for Secure Information Technologies at Queen's University Belfast will help deliver a resilient and connected nation.

Study reports excellent outcomes among HIV+ kidney transplant recipients
Compared with uninfected kidney transplant recipients, mono-infected HIV+ recipients had similar five-year and 10-year kidney survival rates, while HIV+ recipients co-infected with HCV had worse kidney survival rates.

Using tablets to screen new, expecting moms for perinatal depression
University of Illinois social work researcher is collaborating with Champaign-Urbana Public Health District to administer perinatal depression screenings to low-income women.

Live donor liver transplantation found safe and effective for acute liver failure
When patients develop acute liver failure, severe complications arise rapidly after the first signs of liver disease, and patients' health can deteriorate rapidly.

Queen's University in £38m bid to secure Smart Cities and the Internet of Things
A major investment of up to £38 million is set to establish Queen's University Belfast as a world-leading research and innovation hub for cyber security for Smart Cities and the Internet of Things.

Bright new hope for beating deadly hereditary stomach and breast cancers
Deadly familial stomach and lobular breast cancers could be successfully treated at their earliest stages, or even prevented, by existing drugs that have been newly identified by cancer genetics researchers at New Zealand's University of Otago.

Men's preference for certain body types has evolutionary roots
Prehistoric and evolutionary influences appear to shape men's expressed preference for women with a curvy backside.

Better season-long nutrient supply in soybean a 'low-hanging fruit' to improve upon
Because of new varieties and new agronomic practices, the yield potential in soybean is higher now than ever before.

Breast implants could become safer thanks to cell-friendly surface
Scientists at The University of Manchester have created an enhanced surface for silicone breast implants which could reduce complications and make them less likely to be rejected by the body.

A thoroughly urban new millipede
A tiny new millipede has been found which is only known to occur within the city of Launceston, Tasmania, Australia.

Kindergarten and crime: What's the link?
Children who are older when they start kindergarten do well in the short term, academically and socially.

Spreading the seeds of big data
Michigan State University is spreading the seeds of big data to improve agricultural practices around the United States.

Impact of parents' military deployment on children's safety and mental health
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reports that following military parents' return from combat deployment, their children show increased visits for mental healthcare, physical injury, and child maltreatment consults, compared to children whose parents have not been deployed.

Citizen scientists discover new plant species in the Cape Floral Kingdom
Amateur botanists in the Western Cape Province of South Africa have discovered two new species of beautiful blue-flowered legumes.

Some mushrooms glow, and here's why
Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on March 19 finally have an answer to why mushrooms glow.

Stem cells show promise for reversing type 2 diabetes
Scientists at the University of British Columbia and Janssen Research & Development LLC have shown for the first time that type 2 diabetes can be effectively treated with a combination of specially-cultured stem cells and conventional diabetes drugs.

Altering brain chemistry makes us more sensitive to inequality
What if there were a pill that made you more compassionate?

TGAC's take on the first portable DNA sequencing 'laboratory'
The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC) take part in ground breaking portable DNA sequencing trial, the MinION Access Programme.

Johns Hopkins researchers identify 'missing culprit' in heart failure
Working with lab animals and human heart cells, scientists from Johns Hopkins and other institutions have identified what they describe as 'the long-sought culprit' in the mystery behind a cell-signaling breakdown that triggers heart failure.

You can't play checkers with charge ordering
CIFAR fellows were among physicists who observed the shape of a strange phenomenon that interferes with high-temperature superconductivity called charge ordering, discovering that it is stripy, not checkered, and settling a long-standing debate in the field.

IUPUI mathematician modeling human motor movements in Huntington's disease
Yaroslav Molkov, assistant professor of mathematics in the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is using computational modeling to map a motor control system to study Huntington's disease.

Effect of smoking, alcohol on feeding tube duration in head/neck cancer patients
Current smoking and heavy alcohol consumption appear to be risk factors for prolonged use of a feeding tube in patients with head and neck cancer undergoing radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy, according to a report published online by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Strengthening the immune system's fight against brain cancer
When cancer strikes, it may be possible for patients to fight back with their own defenses, using a strategy known as immunotherapy.

Microscope technique reveals for first time when and where proteins are made
Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine have developed a fluorescence microscopy technique that for the first time shows where and when proteins are produced.

LEGATO annual conference: Rice ecosystem services in South-East Asian landscapes
The international project LEGATO (Land-use intensity and Ecological Engineering - Assessment Tools for risks and Opportunities in irrigated rice based production systems) is organizing its 4th annual conference, entitled 'Rice Ecosystem Services in South-East Asian Landscapes - a LEGATO conference' which lasts from March 19-24, 2015 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Life-saving treatments learned from war being missed
Trauma is responsible for more global deaths annually than HIV, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

Chromosome shattering may be a hidden cause of birth defects
The human genome can be very forgiving. When children inherit chromosomes from their parents, some minor genetic changes frequently occur with few, if any, consequences.

Case Western Reserve global health expert urges action to eradicate yaws, tropical disease
Half a century ago, a concentrated global effort nearly wiped a disfiguring tropical disease from the face of the earth.

Fast-food ban in L.A. fails to improve diets or cut obesity, study finds
In 2008, the city of Los Angeles passed a law restricting the opening or expansion of any 'stand-alone fast-food restaurant' in low-income neighborhoods where obesity was a problem.

Scientists pinpoint molecule that switches on stem cell genes
Researchers at Rockefeller University have identified Sox9 as one of only a few factors known in biology that initiate dramatic changes by making genes accessible and recruiting gene-amplifying proteins.

Vitamin D helps immune cells prevent atherosclerosis and diabetes
Altered signaling through the vitamin D receptor on certain immune cells may play a role in causing the chronic inflammation that leads to cardiometabolic disease, the combination of type 2 diabetes and heart disease that is the most common cause of illness and death in Western populations.

Milky Way's center unveils supernova 'dust factory'
Sifting through the center of the Milky Way galaxy, astronomers have made the first direct observations -- using an infrared telescope aboard a modified Boeing 747 -- of cosmic building-block dust resulting from an ancient supernova.

Sandia showcases biology breakthroughs available for licensing
Technologies developed in Sandia National Laboratories' biosciences program could soon find their way into doctors' offices -- devices like wearable microneedles that continuously analyze electrolyte levels and a lab-on-a-disk that can test a drop of blood for 64 different diseases in minutes.

Government action needed on iconic World Heritage ecosystems
Without better local management, the world's most iconic ecosystems, UNESCO World Heritage sites are at risk of collapse under climate change, say researchers in a study published in the journal Science.

Streamlined 'military' work flow means more patient appointments and fewer return visits
Both patients and physicians may benefit from a 'work flow' system developed at military medical facilities and tested at a Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center clinic, according to results of an efficiency study.

Text message reminders boost breast cancer screening attendance
Women who received a text message reminding them about their breast cancer screening appointment were 20 percent more likely to attend than those who were not texted, according to a study published in the British Journal of Cancer today.

Medical expansion has led people worldwide to feel less healthy
Across much of the Western world, 25 years of expansion of the medical system has actually led to people feeling less healthy over time, a new study has found.

Rutgers University chemistry research holds great promise for advancing sustainable energy
Researchers have developed a compound, Ni5P4 (nickel-5 phosphide-4), that has the potential to replace platinum in two types of electrochemical cells: electrolyzers that make hydrogen by splitting water through hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) powered by electrical energy, and fuel cells that make electricity from combining hydrogen and oxygen.

Leadership: 10 tips for choosing an academic chair
Clear and realistic expectations are key to successfully hiring heads of departments, say professor Pierre-Alain Clavien, University of Zurich, and Joseph Deiss, former president of the Swiss Confederation, in a commentary in Nature magazine.

Vitamin D prevents diabetes and clogged arteries in mice
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and both disorders are rooted in chronic inflammation.

New insight into tackling poor oral health in children around the globe
A new research project from the University of Copenhagen has established an effective model for the fight against the escalating burden of tooth decay among children in Asia.

Cancer therapy 'tumor sanctuaries' and the breeding ground of resistance
Tumors acquiring resistance is one of the major barriers to successful cancer therapy.

Scripps Florida scientists win $1.5 million grant to develop new drugs for cancer
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop drug candidates that could treat cancer and neurodegenerative disease.

Hidden benefits of electric vehicles revealed
Electric vehicles are cool, research shows. Literally. A study in this week's Scientific Report by researchers at Michigan State University and in China add more fuel to the already hot debate about whether electric vehicles are more environmentally friendly than conventional vehicles by uncovering two hidden benefits.

Excessive vitamin intake in pregnant rats impacts food choices in offspring
A research group at the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine has been using a rat model to see how maternal intake of above-requirement vitamins (A, D, E, and K) impact offspring's brain development and behavior.

World-first cancer drugs could work in larger group of patients
A pioneering class of drugs that target cancers with mutations in the BRCA breast cancer genes could also work against tumors with another type of genetic fault, a new study suggests.

Scientists grow 'mini-lungs' to aid the study of cystic fibrosis
Scientists at the University of Cambridge have successfully created 'mini-lungs' using stem cells derived from skin cells of patients with cystic fibrosis, and have shown that these can be used to test potential new drugs for this debilitating lung disease.

New genetic method promises to advance gene research and control insect pests
Biologists at the University of California, San Diego have developed a new method for generating mutations in both copies of a gene in a single generation that could rapidly accelerate genetic research on diverse species and provide scientists with a powerful new tool to control insect borne diseases such as malaria as well as animal and plant pests.

Pregnant women with asthma need to curb urge to ask for antibiotics
A new study found that twice as many children born to mothers who took antibiotics during pregnancy were diagnosed with asthma by age three than children born to mothers who didn't take prenatal antibiotics.

SURA honors Florida pharmacy dean as distinguished scientist
SURA today announced that Julie A. Johnson, Dean and Distinguished Professor at the University of Florida's College of Pharmacy, will receive its 2015 SURA Distinguished Scientist Award.

Lack of knowledge about new foreign markets hampers international success
Lack of insight into the culture and regulations of other countries is a great obstacle for companies trying to enter new international markets.

Kidney cancer detected early with urine test
If kidney cancer is diagnosed early -- before it spreads beyond the kidney -- 80 percent of patients survive.

NIH-funded researchers find off-patent antibiotics effectively combat MRSA skin infections
Researchers funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have found that two common antibiotic treatments work equally well against bacterial skin infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) acquired outside of hospital settings.

Quantum computing: 1 step closer with defect-free logic gate
What does hair styling have in common with quantum computing?

Researchers in Berlin tweak the immune system to target cells bearing tumor antigens
Researchers at the Max Delbrück Center Berlin-Buch and Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Berlin-Buch, have succeeded in generating cells of the immune system to specifically target and destroy cancer cells.

Miriam Hospital researchers find topical TXA in total joint replacement lowers blood transfusion use
Orthopedic surgeons from The Miriam Hospital have conducted a cost-benefit analysis of topical tranexamic acid in primary total hip and knee arthroplasty patients that revealed a 12 percent transfusion rate reduction -- from 17.5 percent to 5.5 percent -- with no significant difference in complication rates.

Our eyes multi-task even when we don't want them to, researchers find
Our eyes are drawn to several dimensions of an object -- such as color, texture, and luminance -- even when we need to focus on only one of them, researchers at NYU and the University of Pennsylvania have found.

Prehistoric stone tools bear 500,000-year-old animal residue
Among 500,000-year-old elephant remains at a Lower Paleolithic site in Revadim, Israel, Tel Aviv University archaeologists recently analyzed 'hand axes' and 'scrapers,' universally shaped and sized prehistoric stone tools, replete with animal residue.

Atlas of thoughts
Using a computer game, a research group at Aarhus University has found a way to gain deeper insight into the human thought process.

NASA sees Cyclone Nathan target landfall in Queensland's Cape York Peninsula
NASA's Terra satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Nathan early on March 19 as it was headed for landfall in Queensland's Cape York Peninsula.

New strategy to protect healthy gut microbes from antibiotics
Gut microbes promote human health by fighting off pathogens, but they also contribute to diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

Ocean pipes 'not cool,' would end up warming climate
There are a variety of proposals that involve using vertical ocean pipes to move seawater to the surface from the depths in order to reap different potential climate benefits.

New technologies for getting the most out of semen
For assisted reproductive technologies, selecting the healthiest and best swimming sperm from a sample of semen can dramatically increase success.

Massive amounts of fresh water, glacial melt pouring into Gulf of Alaska
Incessant mountain rain, snow and melting glaciers in a comparatively small region of land that hugs the southern Alaska coast and empties fresh water into the Gulf of Alaska would create the sixth largest coastal river in the world if it emerged as a single stream, a recent study shows.

New tobacco atlas details scale, harms of tobacco epidemic
The fifth edition of the Cancer Atlas graphically details the scale of the tobacco epidemic; the harmful influence of tobacco on health, poverty, social justice, and the environment; the progress being made in tobacco control; and the latest products and tactics being used by the industry to protect its profits and delay and derail tobacco control

Suspension leads to more pot use among teens, study finds
The study found that students attending schools with suspension policies for illicit drug use were 1.6 times more likely than their peers at schools without such policies to use marijuana in the next year -- and that was the case with the student body as a whole, not just those who were suspended. 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