Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 27, 2015
More than one-third of Division I college athletes may have low vitamin D levels
A new study presented today at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons found that more than one-third of elite, Division I college athletes may have low levels of vitamin D, which is critical in helping the body to absorb calcium needed to maintain bone mass, and to minimize musculoskeletal pain and injury risk.

Bundled payments: Study finds causes of hospital readmissions following joint replacements
A new study from researchers at NYU Langone's Hospital for Joint Diseases identifies common causes of hospital readmissions following total hip and knee arthoplasty procedures among patients involved in a Bundled Payment Care Initiative.

For drivers with telescopic lenses, driving experience and training affect road test results
For people with low vision who need bioptic telescopic glasses to drive, previous driving experience and the need for more training hours are the main factors affecting performance on driver's license road tests, according to a study in the April issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry.

Precocious GEM: Shape-shifting sensor can report conditions from deep in the body
Scientists working at NIST and NIH have devised and demonstrated a new, shape-shifting probe, about one-hundredth as wide as a human hair, which is capable of sensitive, high-resolution remote biological sensing that is not possible with current technology.

Do biofuel policies seek to cut emissions by cutting food?
A study published in the journal Science found that government biofuel policies rely on reductions in food consumption to generate greenhouse gas savings.

Study provides evidence against the fetal origins of cancer and cardiovascular disease
A study by researchers at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health and in the Netherlands evaluated the relationship between nutritional conditions in early life and adult health, and found that famine exposure during the first pregnancy trimester was associated with increases in mortality from causes other than cancer or cardiovascular disease.

Teenagers shape each other's views on how risky a situation is
Young adolescents' judgements on how risky a situation might be are most influenced by what other teenagers think, while most other age groups are more influenced by adults' views, finds new UCL research.

New lobster-like predator found in 508 million-year-old fossil-rich site
What do butterflies, spiders and lobsters have in common? They are all surviving relatives of a newly identified species called Yawunik kootenayi, a marine creature with two pairs of eyes and prominent grasping appendages that lived as much as 508 million years ago -- more than 250 million years before the first dinosaur.

Launch of new partnership arrangement for future operation of NPL
Today the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills formally signed a partnership agreement with the Universities of Strathclyde and Surrey which will set a new strategic direction for the future of the National Physical Laboratory.

When attention is a deficit
During tasks that require our attention, we might become so engrossed in what we are doing that we fail to notice there is a better way to get the job done.

High-precision radar for the steel industry
Steel is the most important material in vehicle and machinery construction.

Safeguarding the UK's water, energy and food resources
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is investing £4.5 million to safeguard the UK's water, energy and food security.

Predicting pesticide loads more accurately
The EU wants to further improve the authorization process for plant protection products.

A long-standing mystery in membrane traffic was solved
In a recent issue of Science, published on March 27, 2015, a research team, led by Tae-Young Yoon of the Department of Physics at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and Reinhard Jahn of the Department of Neurobiology of the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, reports that NSF/α-SNAP disassemble a single SNARE complex using various single-molecule biophysical methods that allow them to monitor and manipulate individual protein complexes.

Evolutionary novelties in vision
A new study from SciLifeLab at Uppsala University published in PLOS ONE shows that genes crucial for vision were multiplied in the early stages of vertebrate evolution and acquired distinct functions leading to the sophisticated mechanisms of vertebrate eyes.

Boston University STEM outreach program gains major boost from AT&T
AT&T contributes $145,000 contribution to Boston University's College of Engineering to create a two-year engineering and technology program for an urban high school population, and to document its impact on high school graduation rates.

Greener industry if environmental authorities change strategy
Fewer industrial firms would violate environmental legislation and a higher number would adopt cleaner technologies if environmental authorities would focus their monitoring efforts on companies with the most environmentally damaging technology.

A cyber moment: ONR Reservist wins Federal 100 Award
Lt. Cmdr. Tom McAndrew, with the Office of Naval Research, became the first ONR Reservist to win a Federal 100 Award at an awards ceremony March 26.

More evidence for groundwater on Mars
Monica Pondrelli and colleagues investigated the Equatorial Layered Deposits (ELDs) of Arabia Terra in Firsoff crater area, Mars, to understand their formation and potential habitability.

The stapes of a neanderthal child points to the anatomical differences with our species
Asier Gómez-Olivencia, an Ikerbasque researcher at the UPV/EHU, has led a piece of research that has produced a 3D reconstruction of the remains of a two-year-old Neanderthal recovered from an excavation carried out back in the 1970s at La Ferrassie.

Saudi Arabia's role in global energy markets is changing, new Baker Institute paper finds
Saudi Arabia's role in global energy markets is changing, according to a new paper from an energy expert at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Two distinguished NJIT alumni received lifetime achievement awards
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) this year bestowed one of its highest honors, the Outstanding Projects And Leaders (OPAL) Lifetime Achievement award, on two NJIT alumni who have made substantial and lasting contributions to the field of engineering.

Study takes aim at mitigating the human impact on the Central Valley
Study of California's Central Valley shows that as temperature-mitigating technologies are deployed, other environmental factors like pollution become a concern.

Dr. Lewis Cantley honored with the 2015 AACR Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lectureship
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) will honor Lewis C.

MRI based on a sugar molecule can tell cancerous from noncancerous cells
Imaging tests like mammograms or CT scans can detect tumors, but figuring out whether a growth is or isn't cancer usually requires a biopsy to study cells directly.

The color of lettuce determines the speed of its antioxidant effect
Lettuce is a food that greatly benefits health, mainly because it is rich in antioxidants.

Fracture liaison services prevent fractures and save lives
Using a simulation model, Swedish researchers have shown that the implementation of Fracture Liaison Services could considerably reduce the human and healthcare costs associated with osteoporotic fractures.

Is painful knee and hand osteoarthritis in women associated with excess mortality?
UK researchers present a study that compares mortality rates of women with painful knee and hand osteoarthritis with the mortality of unaffected women from the same community; demonstrates higher risk of early death in the group with painful knee osteoarthritis.

Smaller plates, smaller portions? Not always
It may have become conventional wisdom that you can trick yourself into eating less if you use a smaller plate.

Notre Dame researchers develop computational model to simulate bacterial behavior
University of Notre Dame applied mathematician Mark Alber and environmental biotechnologist Robert Nerenberg have developed a new computational model that effectively simulates the mechanical behavior of biofilms.

Big data allows computer engineers to find genetic clues in humans
Computer scientists at Washington University in St. Louis' School of Engineering & Applied Science tackled some big data about an important protein and discovered its connection in human history as well as clues about its role in complex neurological diseases.

A peek at the secret life of pandas
The world is fascinated by the reclusive giant pandas, yet precious little is known about how they spend their time in the Chinese bamboo forests.

Nanoscale worms provide new route to nano-necklace structures
Researchers have developed a novel technique for crafting nanometer-scale necklaces based on tiny star-like structures threaded onto a polymeric backbone.

Playing music by professional musicians activates genes for learning and memory
Although music perception and practice are well preserved in human evolution, the biological determinants of music practice are largely unknown.

NYU developing HIV antibodies and RNA test in a single POC
NYU College of Dentistry has received a sub-award in the amount of $335,000 from a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant from NIH to complete the development of a fully automated self-confirming assay that can simultaneously detect HIV/AIDS antibodies and viral RNA from the AIDS virus in a single specimen.

A 'sponge' for culturing neurons
By using an innovative yet simple technique, a team of Italian research scientists (from SISSA in Trieste, the University of Trieste and IIT in Genova) have managed to obtain an in vitro culture of primary neurons (and astrocytes) that is genuinely three-dimensional.

A tool is created to improve the sustainability of the transport sector
Thanks to this tool, developed through the BIOLCA project, it has been possible to minimize the sector's environmental, social and economic impacts.

Love the cook: Attraction to comfort food linked to positive social connections
A big bowl of mashed potatoes. What about spaghetti and meatballs?

Virtual vehicle testing -- Modeling tires realistically
Manufacturers conduct virtual tests on vehicle designs long before the first car rolls off the assembly line.

Solving molybdenum disulfide's 'thin' problem
A Northwestern University research team used silver nanodiscs to increase the promising new material's light emission by twelve times, making it a better candidate for light-emitting diode technologies.

Sexual selection isn't the last word on bird plumage, UWM study shows
Evolutionary changes have led to both sexes becoming closer together in color over time to blend into their surroundings and hide from predators, a new study has found.

DFG to establish 1 clinical research unit and 5 research units
At its spring meeting in Bonn, the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft approved the establishment of one new Clinical Research Unit and five new Research Units.

C. difficile doubles hospital readmission rates, lengths of stay
Patients with Clostridium difficile infection are twice as likely to be readmitted to the hospital as patients without the deadly diarrheal infection, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Most NFL players with injuries to the midfoot return to game action, Penn study finds
Nearly 93 percent of National Football League athletes who sustained traumatic injuries to the midfoot returned to competition less than 15 months after injury and with no statistically significant decrease in performance, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

A first glimpse inside a macroscopic quantum state
Science News reports on detection of particle entanglement in a beam of squeezed light.

Recipe for antibacterial plastic: Plastic plus egg whites
Bioplastics made from protein sources such as albumin and whey have shown significant antibacterial properties, findings that could eventually lead to their use in plastics used in medical applications such as wound healing dressings, sutures, catheter tubes and drug delivery, according to a recent study by the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Metals used in high-tech products face future supply risks
Yale researchers have assessed the 'criticality' of all 62 metals on the Periodic Table of Elements, providing key insights into which materials might become more difficult to find in the coming decades, which ones will exact the highest environmental costs -- and which ones simply cannot be replaced as components of vital technologies.

Research on medical abortion and miscarriage may change international routines
Two scientific studies led by researchers at Sweden's Karolinska Institutet are expected to form the basis of new international recommendations for the treatment of medical abortions and miscarriages.

Researchers discover how body's good fat tissue communicates with brain
Brown fat tissue, the body's 'good fat,' communicates with the brain through sensory nerves, possibly sharing information that is important for fighting human obesity, such as how much fat we have and how much fat we've lost, according to researchers at Georgia State University.

Climate change does not cause extreme winters
Cold snaps like the ones that hit the eastern United States in the past winters are not a consequence of climate change.

Integrative approaches key to understanding cancer, developing therapies, say Moffitt scientists
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers are using integrative approaches to study cancer by combining mathematical and computational modeling with experimental and clinical data.

The shortest DNA sequences reveal insights into the world's tallest trees
Coast redwoods (Sequioa sempervirens), famous for being the world's tallest trees, are also unusual for their ability to reproduce clonally from stumps, fallen logs, and roots.

The switch that might tame the most aggressive of breast cancers
Australian researchers have found that so-called 'triple-negative breast cancers' are two distinct diseases that likely originate from different cell types.

Al-Hendy receives top honors from the Society for Reproductive Investigation
Dr. Ayman Al-Hendy, an obstetrician-gynecologist and molecular biologist at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University and GRHealth, has received two top honors from the Society for Reproductive Investigation. 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