Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 08, 2015
Brain scans reveal how people 'justify' killing
A new study has thrown light on how people can become killers in certain situations, showing how brain activity varies according to whether or not killing is seen as justified.

UAB researchers develop a harmless artificial virus for gene therapy
A team of scientists from the Institute for Biotechnology and Biomedicine at the UAB has produced an alternative to the use of viruses in gene therapy.

Osteoporosis-related fractures in China expected to double by 2035
The results of the first study using a health economics model to project osteoporosis-related fractures and costs for the Chinese population, shows that the country's healthcare system will face a dramatic rise in costs over the next few decades.

Case study Cabo Verde: Simulation offers policy Rx for curbing HIV
The African archipelago nation of Cabo Verde could bring its HIV epidemic under control within 10 years by ramping up a combination of four interventions already underway, according to projections from a sophisticated computer model led by Brown University public health researchers.

Autism's early neuronal 'neighborhood'
The study represents the first ever systematic look at connections between the entire cerebral cortex and the cerebellum using fMRI brain imaging, and its findings provide another piece in the puzzle that could one day lead researchers to develop a reliable brain-based test for identifying autism.

Delay of surgery for melanoma common among Medicare patients
In a study that included more than 32,000 cases of melanoma among Medicare patients, approximately one in five experienced a delay of surgery that was longer than 1.5 months, and about 8 percent of patients waited longer than three months for surgery, according to an article published online by JAMA Dermatology.

Distance running may be an evolutionary 'signal' for desirable male genes
New research shows that males with higher 'reproductive potential' are better distance runners.

Unraveling the origin of the pseudogap in a charge density wave compound
By combining a variety of different experimental techniques and theory, a group led by researchers at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory obtained unique insights into the nature of the pseudogap state in a canonical charge density wave material.

New study indicates that exercise improves non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the Western world.

Muscles matter in baseball injuries
A new approach to analyzing baseball-pitching biomechanics may one day give players more personalized feedback and help prevent elbow injuries.

Doing the impossible: Enzyme-catalyzed Diels-Alder reaction
A computational study carried out at Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences focused on the mechanistic pathway of the SpnF-catalyzed cycloaddition reaction leading to Spinosyn A -- tetracyclic natural insecticide produced by the cells of the bacterium Saccharopolyspora spinosa.

Nitrogen deposition reduces Swiss plant diversity
High human atmospheric nitrogen emissions lead to a reduction of plant diversity.

Tension between politics and science soothed -- for now
Over the past two years, politicians have questioned the value of dozens of projects funded by the National Science Foundation, many of which focus on social sciences and climate change.

MRI screening program for individuals at high risk of pancreatic cancer
A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based screening program for individuals at high risk of pancreatic cancer identified pancreatic lesions in 16 of 40 (40 percent) of patients, of whom five underwent surgery, according to a report published online by JAMA Surgery.

Mysteries of the deep
Scientists who have spent much of their careers in deep-sea submersibles observing coral and sponges are sharing their experiences and expertise through innovative online seminars.

Nearly 1 in 10 adults have impulsive anger issues and access to guns
An estimated 9 percent of adults in the US have a history of impulsive, angry behavior and have access to guns, according to a study published this month in Behavioral Sciences and the Law.

CSIC researchers determine the origin of Annama meteorite
An international team led by the Spanish National Research Council has determined the orbit of Annama, a new characterized meteorite from a fireball occurred on April 19, 2014, at the Kola Peninsula.

Maternal and Child Health Handbook promotes antenatal care visits
Japan's Maternal and Child Health Handbook is proven to promote antenatal care visits in a developing country.

Total annual hospital costs could be reduced by rapid candidemia identification
A new study describes a model that estimates the economic consequences of using the T2Candida® Panel (a novel diagnostic product that provides Candida detection) as an adjunct to the current blood culture-based diagnostic strategy in a high-risk hospital patient cohort.

2015 Triennial Earth-Sun Summit: Press registration now open
The American Astronomical Society's Solar Physics Division and the American Geophysical Union's Space Physics and Aeronomy Section will meet together at the Westin Indianapolis in Indiana for the first Triennial Earth-Sun Summit, April 26-30, 2015.

Recovery potential for the world's coral reef fish
A simple test of the number of fish living on a coral reef can be used as a road map to restore degraded reefs and fishers' livelihoods according to a global study published in the journal Nature.

Study to investigate a potential therapy at cellular level for Huntington's disease
Researchers from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry have received a grant of nearly £520,000 to investigate a potential therapy for Huntington's disease -- for which there is currently no cure.

Scientists predict gradual, prolonged permafrost greenhouse gas emissions
A new scientific synthesis suggests a gradual, prolonged release of greenhouse gases from permafrost soils in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions, which may afford society more time to adapt to environmental changes, say scientists in an April 9 paper published in Nature.

Gay and lesbian job seekers face discrimination
A new study shows that discrimination of gay and lesbian job seekers is commonplace within both private firms and the public sector in the UK.

Allergy drug inhibits hepatitis C in mice
An over-the-counter drug indicated to treat allergy symptoms limited hepatitis C virus activity in infected mice, according to a National Institutes of Health study.

Complex organic molecules discovered in infant star system
For the first time, astronomers have detected the presence of complex organic molecules, the building blocks of life, in a protoplanetary disc surrounding a young star.

Male offspring get the most benefit from pregnant mother's exercise
Male offspring appear to benefit more than females from the positive effects of exercise during pregnancy, an animal study by UNSW medical researchers has found.

Obesity-related receptors have a unique structure
Researchers have used the SPring-8 synchrotron facility in Harima, Japan to elucidate the structure of two receptors of adiponectin, a protein that is associated with obesity and diabetes.

Don't farm on me: Northern Europeans to Neolithic interlopers
Northern Europeans in the Neolithic period initially rejected the practice of farming, which was otherwise spreading throughout the continent, a team of researchers has found.

Ordinary clay can save the day
Ordinary clay is as good as more advanced materials for capturing carbon dioxide, new research has shown.

Poor nutrition for honey bee larvae compromises pollination capabilities as adults
A new study by Heather Mattila, a leading honey bee ecologist and assistant professor of biological sciences at Wellesley College, reveals that inadequate access to pollen during larval development has lifelong consequences for honey bees, leading not only to smaller workers and shorter lifespans, but also to impaired performance and productivity later in life.

Alternating antibiotics render resistant bacteria beatable
Given the alarming rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the discovery of new ways to use the antibiotics already available and approved for use in humans is paramount.

8 reasons the US Surgeon General should announce that UV tanning causes skin cancer
'In 1964 when the Surgeon General finally reported that smoking causes lung cancer, awareness and policy followed.

Research shows alternating antibiotics could make resistant bacteria beatable
Pioneering new research has unlocked a new technique to help combat the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, that cause debilitating and often life-threatening human illness.

Strokes can double the likelihood of attempted suicide
Stroke patients can be up to twice as likely to commit suicide compared with the rest of the population, and the risk of attempted suicide is highest within the first two years after a stroke.

Are plants passive smokers?
Passive smoking isn't only something that people have to cope with, but plants too.

A digital field guide to cancer cells
Scientists are mapping the habits of cancer cells, turn by microscopic turn.

Multi-organization call to action identifies and addresses safety concerns in labor and delivery
A health-care industry-first collaborative blueprint for labor and delivery safety, developed by four leading professional organizations in maternal health, calls for improving communication among clinicians, team leaders, administrators, health care providers, organizations, and patients to ensure fewer risks and better outcomes for mothers and babies.

Butterflies deceive ants using chemical strategies
Oakblue butterflies may use a variety of chemical strategies to deceive ants and avoid their attack.

Depressed? Apps lift mood with personalized therapy
Feeling blue or anxious? Now, there's a mobile 'therapist' designed to understand you and suggest the ideal mini-app to lift your mood.

Don't blame kids if they do not enjoy school, study suggests
When children are unmotivated at school, new research suggests their genes may be part of the equation.

NASA-NOAA satellite sees the end of Tropical Cyclone Ikola
Strong vertical wind shear has taken a toll on Tropical Cyclone Ikola and that was pretty clear in a visible-light image from NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite today, April 8.

Standard nursing assessments improve ability to predict survival in cirrhosis patients
A new study from the Liver Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center suggests that standard assessments that nurses already use to care for patients can be mined for data that significantly improve the ability to predict survival following liver transplantation and may help improve patient outcomes.

Church Missionary Society periodicals now available online
Adam Matthew today announced the launch of Church Missionary Society Periodicals, sourced from the Church Missionary Society collection at the Crowther Mission Studies Library, Oxford.

Melanoma surgery delays are common for Medicare patients
One in five Medicare patients with melanoma experience delays in getting surgery, a Yale study found.

Ecological 'flash mobs': It's all about timing ... and magnets?
What generates synchronous, ecological 'flash mobs' over long distances has long perplexed population ecologists.

The 10th Annual Meeting of the International Conference on Genomics
This is an announcement for the 10th Annual Meeting of the International Conference on Genomics.

We may be looking at wrong mutation for breast cancer treatment
A leading gene candidate that has been the target of breast cancer drug development may not be as promising as initially thought, according to research published in open-access journal Genome Medicine.

Lights tuned to birds' eyes may help reduce bird-aircraft collisions
A study published this week in The Condor: Ornithological Applications may have important implications for reducing bird-aircraft collisions through the customization of aircraft and runway lights to birds' visual systems.

Biologists identify brain tumor weakness
A new discovery could offer more effective drugs to combat brain tumors.

A revealing new look at the secretive black tinamou
One of the world's least-known birds, the black tinamou, is finally coming to light thanks to the persistence of a small group of researchers.

Turning to freshwater sources to fight drug-resistant tuberculosis, other infections
The discovery of antibiotics produced by soil fungi and bacteria gave the world life-saving medicine.

Mars has belts of glaciers consisting of frozen water
Mars has distinct polar ice caps, but Mars also has belts of glaciers at its central latitudes in both the southern and northern hemispheres.

NASA analyzes rainfall in Tropical Cyclone Joalane
NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's GPM satellite provided scientists with a look 'under the hood' of Tropical Cyclone Joalane's clouds at the rate in which rain was falling throughout the storm.

Breast cancer research uncovers the fountain of youth
The Fountain of Youth has been discovered and it's not in Florida as Ponce de Leon claimed.

Bacteria inhibit bat-killing fungus, could combat white-nose syndrome
Bacteria found naturally on some bats may prove useful in controlling the deadly fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome, which has devastated bat populations throughout eastern North America and continues to spread across the continent.

Recipe for saving coral reefs: Add more fish
Fish are the key ingredients in a new recipe to diagnose and restore degraded coral reef ecosystems, according to scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the Wildlife Conservation Society, James Cook University and other organizations in a new study in the journal Nature.

Media invitation for the XXIX General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union
For the first two weeks of August, Hawaii will be the center of the universe when more than 3,500 astronomers from at least 75 countries gather in Honolulu for the XXIX General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union.

Tumor cells that mimic blood vessels could help breast cancer spread to other sites
A team of researchers from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute at the University of Cambridge has shown in a mouse model that the ability of tumor cells to form tubular networks that mimic blood vessels can help drive metastasis, the spread of breast cancer to different sites in the body.

Study shows rats fed a dietary fiber supplement had better weight control
A University of Calgary study has found that rats fed a fiber supplement while on a high fat and high sugar diet show a much lower weight gain than those who did not eat the fiber.

Study finds one of the most accurate ways of determining chances of IVF success
Accurately predicting the probability of a live birth after in vitro fertilization treatment is important for both those undergoing the treatment and their clinicians.

Rise of UK food banks linked to local spending and central welfare cuts
The expansion of food banks across the United Kingdom is associated with cuts in spending on local services, welfare benefits and higher unemployment rates, conclude researchers in The BMJ this week.

Older people can learn to spend less time sitting down
Older adults spend 8.5 waking hours a day sitting or lying down -- time linked to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and death -- even if they're physically active at other times.

UTMB researchers develop Ebola vaccine effective in a single dose
An interdisciplinary team from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and Profectus BioSciences, Inc. has developed a quick-acting vaccine that is both safe and effective with a single dose against the Ebola strain that killed thousands of people in West Africa last year.

Hidden burden: Most people carry recessive disease mutations
Humans carry an average of one to two mutations per person that can cause severe genetic disorders or prenatal death when two copies of the same mutation are inherited, according to estimates published today in the journal Genetics.

A new piece in the 'French paradox' puzzle -- cheese metabolism
Figuring out why the French have low cardiovascular disease rates despite a diet high in saturated fats has spurred research and many theories to account for this phenomenon known as the 'French paradox.' Most explanations focus on wine and lifestyle, but a key role could belong to another French staple: cheese.

Game played in sync increases children's perceived similarity, closeness
New research finds that children who played a simple computer game together in sync felt a greater sense of similarity and closeness -- suggesting that time-based synchronized activities, including in music, dance and sports, could help bring children closer together.

Improved understanding of protein complex offers insight into DNA replication initiation mechanism basics
A clearer understanding of the origin recognition complex -- a protein complex that directs DNA replication -- through its crystal structure offers new insight into fundamental mechanisms of DNA replication initiation.

A new view of the moon's formation
A University of Maryland team is the first to reconcile the accepted model of the moon's formation with the unexpectedly similar isotopic fingerprints of both bodies.

Can arts, crafts and computer use preserve your memory?
People who participate in arts and craft activities and who socialize in middle and old age may delay the development in very old age of the thinking and memory problems that often lead to dementia, according to a new study published in the April 8, 2015, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Sex crimes more common in certain families
New research from Sweden's Karolinska Institutet in collaboration with Oxford University, UK, shows that close relatives of men convicted of sexual offences commit similar offences themselves more frequently than comparison subjects.

Researchers urge stronger warning for indoor tanning risks
The US Surgeon General should declare that indoor ultraviolet radiation tanning causes skin cancer, according to an article published today by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

A glass fiber that brings light to a standstill
At TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology), light was slowed down by coupling atoms to glass fibers.

Multi-organization call to action identifies and addresses safety concerns in labor
A health-care industry-first collaborative blueprint for labor and delivery safety, developed by four leading professional organizations in maternal health, calls for improving communication among clinicians, team leaders, administrators, health care providers, organizations, and patients to ensure fewer risks and better outcomes for mothers and babies.

No association between lung cancer risk in women and reproductive history or hormone use
The Women's Health Initiative Studies, a large prospective study of lung cancer, found no strong associations between lung cancer risk and a wide range of reproductive history variables and only revealed weak support for a role of hormone use in the incidence of lung cancer.

At American University, chemistry majors take charge
A new laboratory curriculum for biochemistry and chemistry majors at American University gives students greater autonomy and lets them control research projects during their junior and senior years.

Genetic screening could improve breast cancer prevention
A test for a wide range of genetic risk factors could improve doctors' ability to work out which women are at increased risk of developing breast cancer, a major study of more than 65,000 women has shown.

Hidden quota for women in top management: UMD study
Companies work fairly hard to place one woman -- but only one -- in a top management position, according to research by Cristian Desző, an associate professor at the Robert H.

Seasonal, year-long cycles seen on the sun
Our sun is constantly changing. It goes through cycles of activity -- swinging between times of relative calm and times when frequent explosions on its surface can fling light, particles and energy out into space.

New emotion recognition model
Philosophers at the Ruhr-Universitat Bochum have put forward a new model that explains how humans recognize the emotions of others.

Shorter height is directly associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease
A University of Leicester-led study uses genetic approach to show link between height and disease.

Ornaments shed light on human transition from hunter gatherer to farmer
The first Northern European agriculturalists used the same ornamental beads for centuries after the introduction of farming, which may indicate their resistance to the spread of farming.

Could a dose of nature be just what the doctor ordered?
There is a well-established link between time spent in nature and better human health.

Fracking fluid chemicals uncovered, helping test for contamination
The organic chemicals in fracking fluid have been uncovered in two new studies, providing a basis for water contamination testing and future regulation.

Increase in inflammation linked to high traffic pollution for people on insulin
A two-year epidemiological study found that people on insulin living next to roads with heavy traffic had markedly increased concentration of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation, compared to those living in lower traffic areas.

Rural African-American women had lower rates of depression, mood disorder
African-American women who live in rural areas have lower rates of major depressive disorder and mood disorder compared with their urban counterparts, while rural non-Hispanic white women have higher rates for both than their urban counterparts, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

Connecting the dots with a golden-winged warbler
For the first time, the same golden-winged warbler has been caught at both a migration hotspot and in his wintering grounds.

Mental disorders and physical diseases co-occur in teenagers
Every third teenager has suffered from one mental disorder and one physical disease.

3-D model of giant salamanders' bite 
A 3-D model of the world's largest living amphibian's bite, the Chinese giant salamander, reveals that it feeds on prey located in front of it, but can also perform quick strikes to the side on approaching animals.

What can brain-controlled prosthetics tell us about the brain?
The field of neuroprosthetics has grown significantly over the past two decades thanks to advancements in technology.

Enriched broccoli reduces cholesterol
Including a new broccoli variety in the diet reduces blood LDL-cholesterol levels by around 6 percent, according to the results of human trials led by the Institute of Food Research.

Pesticide exposure contributes to heightened risk of heart disease
Pesticide exposure, not obesity alone, can contribute to increased cardiovascular disease risk and inflammation in premenopausal women, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

California's solar incentive program has had only modest impact on adoption rates
According to a new analysis, California's aggressive incentive program for installing rooftop solar-electric systems has not been as effective as generally believed.

Plotting the elimination of dengue
Researchers at the University of Melbourne along with international collaborators are using a novel way to block the dengue virus in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes using the insect bacterium, Wolbachia and have for the first time provided projections of its public health benefit.

Anti-HIV antibody shows promise in first human study
A single infusion of an experimental anti-HIV antibody called 3BNC117 resulted in significantly decreased HIV levels that persisted for as long as 28 days in HIV-infected individuals, according to Phase 1 clinical trial findings published online today in Nature.

Worms and germs lead to better immune function
Researchers at Duke Medicine hypothesize that enhancing biodiversity in laboratory rats, including treating the rats with worms, would suppress their immune systems.

Gene study helps explain Legionnaires' probe complications
Genetic research from the University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute helps to explain why tracing the source of an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease that claimed four lives has proven to be more complicated than scientists hoped.

In first human study, new antibody therapy shows promise in suppressing HIV infection
In the first results to emerge from HIV patient trials of a new generation of so-called broadly neutralizing antibodies, Rockefeller University researchers have found the experimental therapy can dramatically reduce the amount of virus present in a patient's blood.

When you land, can you stand? One-Year Mission video miniseries: Functional performance
You always want to be the last man standing, especially at NASA.

How unwanted CDs and DVDs could help cut carbon emissions
Now that most consumers download and stream their movies and music, more and more CDs and DVDs will end up in landfills or be recycled.

First look at 'wasabi receptor' brings insights for pain drug development
In a feat that would have been unachievable only a few years ago, researchers at UC San Francisco have pulled aside the curtain on a protein informally known as the 'wasabi receptor,' revealing at near-atomic resolution structures that could be targeted with anti-inflammatory pain drugs.

Inkjet-printed liquid metal could bring wearable tech, soft robotics
New research shows how inkjet-printing technology can be used to mass-produce electronic circuits made of liquid-metal alloys for 'soft robots' and flexible electronics.

Ironing out oxidative stress
Oxidative stress damages the immune system. Manfred Kopf and his team of ETH research scientists have now shown for the first time that higher doses of vitamin E can reduce the stress on immune cells.

New understanding of electromagnetism could enable 'antennas on a chip'
New understanding of the nature of electromagnetism could lead to antennas small enough to fit on computer chips -- the 'last frontier' of semiconductor design -- and could help identify the points where theories of classical electromagnetism and quantum mechanics overlap.

Complex organic molecules discovered in infant star system
For the first time, astronomers using ALMA have detected the presence of complex organic molecules, the building blocks of life, in a protoplanetary disk surrounding a young star. 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