Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 06, 2015
The Lancet: New developments in personalized medicine could save billions of dollars in improved health
New developments in personalized and precision medicine could offer enormous gains in healthy life expectancy for Americans, but the incentives to develop them are weak, according to Dr.

Geochemical process on Saturn's moon linked to life's origin
New work has revealed the pH of water spewing from a geyser-like plume on Saturn's moon Enceladus.

Cal State L.A. receives $5 million NASA grant for research center
Cal State L.A. receives $5 million NASA grant to fund a STEM research center and help educate a new generation of scientists and engineers.

The next step in DNA computing: GPS mapping?
Conventional silicon-based computing, which has advanced by leaps and bounds in recent decades, is pushing against its practical limits.

Extreme excavation: Fire ant style
Scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology, USA, have investigated how fire ants excavate their impressive nests using complex 3-D CT-scanning and discovered that the pests are successful invaders because they are able to construct nests regardless of grain size, in addition to showing how the ants manipulate soil granules while removing spoil from their tunnels.

Perception of US care for the dying worsens
People asked to rate the end-of-life care of an elderly loved one were significantly less likely to report care was excellent in a 2011-13 survey than those who were surveyed in 2000.

Three PNNL scientists receive DOE Early Career Research Program awards, research funding
Three scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have been selected to receive 2015 Early Career Research Program research grants.

When mom gains too much weight during pregnancy, her child is more likely to be obese
A new study conducted in collaboration between the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and Harokopio University has found that when an expecting mother gains more weight than recommended, does not exercise or smokes during pregnancy, the probability that her child will be overweight or obese at the age of eight sharply increases.

Insight into the Ebola virus nucleocapsid assembly mechanism
For decades, numerous research works have identified the structures of most EBOV encoded proteins except two, the L protein and nucleoprotein (NP), because of the difficulties they present in the expression, purification and crystallization process.

New species of diving beetle -- Capelatus prykei -- discovered in isolation in South Africa
A striking new species of beetle with no direct relatives has been identified by a scientist from Plymouth University living in wetlands on the outskirts of Cape Town.

We all want high social status
Not everyone may care about having an impressive job title or a big, fancy house but all human beings desire a high level of social status, according to a newly published study.

A better way to build DNA scaffolds
A new technique to create long strands of DNA could make it more economical to assemble DNA nanostructures for applications such as smart drug-delivery systems, according to a McGill University research team.

Child behavior is worse when dads feel unsupported
The findings by doctoral researcher Rachel Latham from the University of Sussex will be presented today, Thursday, May 7, 2015, at the Annual Conference of the British Psychology Society being held in Liverpool.

Educational app or digital candy? Helping parents choose quality apps for kids
Recently released data show that young children, even babies, are increasingly using digital apps, but scientific research suggests that many apps marketed as 'educational' are nothing more than digital junk food.

'Leg bank' hope for changing amputees' lives
A 'leg bank' -- providing life-changing prostheses to low-income people who have lost limbs -- is being developed by a team including University of Strathclyde researchers.

Scientists go high-tech to study fragile cold-water reefs
Coral reefs are generally associated with warm, shallow and crystal-clear waters in the tropics.

Springing into action: The Wyss Institute introduces its new biosafety process
While new and groundbreaking innovations in biotechnology are developed in laboratories, it is crucial that scientists employ the highest level of safety measures within the laboratory to prevent any unintentional effects on human health or environment.

Micronesia warnings cancelled for Noul, Philippines next up
Typhoon Noul is currently moving west and will veer west-northwest, then later northwest.

QUT new study calls for changes to childcare 'mandatory' sleep rules
The findings from a QUT study have put to bed the idea of mandatory sleep times in licensed childcare settings.

Are parents oblivious to obesity in their children?
When parents ignore a child's weight problem, they make it harder for the child to achieve a healthy weight and undermine ongoing efforts to combat rampant childhood obesity.

Is diet or exercise the best way to reduce diabetes risk?
Though people often think of the benefits from exercise, calorie restriction and weight loss as interchangeable, it appears that they may all offer distinct and cumulative benefits when it comes to managing type 2 diabetes risk.

Securing the supply of sea scallops for today and tomorrow
Good management has brought the $559 million United States sea scallop fishery back from the brink of collapse over the past 20 years.

Vulnerable grassland birds abandon mating sites near wind turbines
Shifting to renewable energy sources has been widely touted as one of the best ways to fight climate change, but even renewable energy can have a downside, as in the case of wind turbines' effects on bird populations.

Children's sleep and mental health are related
A comprehensive survey of nearly 1,000 toddlers that shows that serious sleep disorders in young children can have long-term consequences.

Dillinger Hütte to fund materials research at Saar-University with nearly EUR 1 million
Dillinger Hütte will begin cooperating even more intensively with the materials science and materials engineering program at Saarland University.

New clues into how stem cells get their identity
Scientists at the University of Copenhagen have identified one mechanism that explains how some stem cells choose to become a given cell type: the cells combine specific sets of proteins at precise positions along the DNA.

Survival rates in trauma patients after Massachusetts health insurance reform
A study of survival rates in trauma patients following health insurance reform in Massachusetts found a passing increase in adjusted mortality rates, an unexpected finding suggesting that simply providing insurance incentives and subsidies may not improve survival for trauma patients, according to a report published online by JAMA Surgery.

A healthy lifestyle before bowel cancer diagnosis could help improve survival
Following lifestyle guidelines about diet, physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight is associated with an improved likelihood of survival when diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Age matters in health messages
This is the finding of a study by Dr. Mark Moss and colleagues from Northumbria University that will be presented today, Thursday, May 7, 2015, at the Annual Conference of the British Psychology Society being held in Liverpool.

16.9 million Americans gained health coverage under Affordable Care Act, study finds
A new study is the first to examine health insurance transitions since the end of the second open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act.

An airflow model to reduce time on the tarmac
In a new study, forthcoming in the Journal of Aircraft, Concordia mechanical engineering professor Georgios Vatistas describes a new mathematical tool he developed to calculate the flow of turbulent air produced by a plane's wing tips when an airplane takes off.

VTT sensor detects spoilage of food
VTT has developed a sensor that detects ethanol in the headspace of a food package.

Show us your BabyFace: Researchers appeal for help from new parents
A new app launched by the University of Nottingham is offering parents of newborn infants the chance to play a crucial role in research that could save the lives of premature babies in the developing world.

Mobile phone microscope rapidly detects parasite levels in blood
Scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, and the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues have developed a mobile phone microscope to measure blood levels of the parasitic filarial worm Loa loa.

How managers and colleagues can help staff who witness workplace aggression
That is the conclusion of research being presented today, Thursday, May 7, 2015, by Dr.

Channeling valleytronics in graphene
Berkeley Lab researchers, working at the Advanced Light Source, have discovered topologically protected 1-D electron conducting channels at the domain walls of bilayer graphene that should prove useful for valleytronics.

Scripps Florida scientists win $2.4 million to expand development of new pain therapies
Scientists from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have been awarded $2.4 million from the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health to expand development of new pain medications with fewer side effects than those currently available.

Customers will pay more today if there's payback later, shows equal billing study
A study of the best ways to structure equal billing plans says that smart companies should set them up so that customers get money back at the end of the term.

New report: Forests could be the trump card in efforts to end global hunger
About one in nine people globally still suffer from hunger with the majority of the hungry living in Africa and Asia.

Genetically isolated sloth bears rely on habitat corridors to connect populations
Habitat connectivity and corridors may play an important role in maintaining gene flow between isolated sloth bear populations in central India.

Supreme Court to decide fate of EPA mercury rule with billions at stake
The justices of the nation's highest court are weighing whether the Environmental Protection Agency should have considered potential compliance costs before proceeding with a rule that requires power plants to reduce their mercury emissions.

Inkjet printing process for kesterite solar cells
A research team at HZB has developed an inkjet printing technology to produce kesterite thin film absorbers (CZTSSe).

A step toward avoiding the dreaded chocolate 'bloom'
Chocolate is one of the world's most popular foods, but when a whitish coating called a bloom appears on the confection's surface, it can make consumers think twice about eating it.

Conservationists 'on the fence' about barriers to protect wildlife in drylands
To fence or not to fence? That is the question facing conservationists concerned with barriers that keep wildlife in and people out.

Blood markers could help predict outcome of infant heart surgery
New research suggests it may be possible to predict an infant's progress following surgery for congenital heart disease by analyzing a number of important small molecules in the blood.

New commentary in Women's Health Issues: Trauma-informed primary care
A commentary published today in the journal Women's Health Issues proposes an approach to providing trauma-informed primary care.

Solomon Islands dolphin hunts cast spotlight on small cetacean survival
A new study on the impact of 'drive-hunting' dolphins in the Solomon Islands is casting a spotlight on the increasing vulnerability of small cetaceans around the world.

New stem cell may overcome hurdles for regenerative medicine
Salk Institute scientists have discovered a new type of stem cell that could potentially generate mature, functional tissues.

Next generation science: Corleone Delaveris of Boston College
Corleone S. Delaveris, a senior chemistry major at Boston College, has been named a recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, which will support his graduate studies in chemistry at Stanford University.

Office of Science selects 44 scientists to receive early career research program funding
The Department of Energy's Office of Science has selected 44 scientists from across the nation -- including 17 from DOE's national laboratories and 27 from US universities -- to receive significant funding for research as part of DOE's Early Career Research Program.

Carrot or stick? Punishments may guide behavior more effectively than rewards
When it comes to rewards and punishments, which is more effective -- the carrot or the stick?

Tiny silicone spheres come out of the mist
Technology in common household humidifiers could enable the next wave of high-tech medical imaging and targeted medicine, thanks to a new method for making tiny silicone microspheres developed by chemists at the University of Illinois.

Project seeks climate clues deep in Indonesian lakebed
An international team of scientists has kicked off a project to sample the ancient sediments beneath Lake Towuti on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

A 'super-cool' way to deliver drugs
Some substances, when they undergo a process called 'rapid-freezing' or 'supercooling,' remain in liquid form -- even at below-freezing temperatures.

Springer nature created following merger completion
Key competition authorities including the European Union and the US Department of Justice have cleared the merger of Springer Science+Business Media and the majority of Macmillan Science and Education.

Study finds foreclosures fueled racial segregation in US
Some 9 million American families lost their homes to foreclosure during the late 2000s housing bust, driving many to economic ruin and in search of new residences.

Fecal microbiota transplant cures C. diff, blocks multi-drug resistant pathogens
A fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) not only cured a case of Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection in a 66 year old man; it eliminated populations of multi-drug resistant organisms both in the patient's gastrointestinal tract, and several other body sites.

A fresh approach to a central concept in chemistry: Orbitals
The book incorporates the results of recent research in the relative energies of subshells in many-electron atoms.

UW mapping app turns art into a sharable walking route
The Trace app, developed by University of Washington researchers, turns a digital sketch that you draw on your smartphone screen -- heart, maple leaf, raindrop -- into a walking route that you can send to a friend.

Thermometer-like device could help diagnose heart attacks
Diagnosing a heart attack can require multiple tests using expensive equipment.

Employers prefer male managerial potential to female proven track record
This is the finding of a study by undergraduate student Fatima Tresh, Dr.

NIMH funds major schizophrenia project
Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine will seek to identify the genetic causes of schizophrenia as part of a major project funded by the National Institute of Mental Health to better understand how genetic variation in brain cells affects human health and disease.

Supercycles in subduction zones
When tectonic plates collide, they produce earthquakes like the recent one in Nepal.

What the penis worm's teeth looked like
The carnivorous penis worm, or Ottoia, known from 500-million-year-old fossils, was a fearsome beast: it could turn its mouth inside out to reveal a tooth-lined throat that looked like a cheese grater.

Fishermen, communities need more than healthy fish stocks
A new tool ranks the vitality of a fishery by looking at its economic and community benefits as well as its ecological health.

UTSW establishes hybrid cerebrovascular operating suite
UT Southwestern Medical Center has established a Hybrid Cerebrovascular Operating Suite at Zale Lipshy University Hospital that will combine surgical innovations with advanced imaging capabilities for surgical cases related to stroke and brain aneurysms.

Queen's University leading the way in pioneering, European cyber-security initiative
Queen's University Belfast will be at the forefront of a major, new European push to combat increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks.

Parents often misperceive their obese children as 'about the right weight'
Although rates of childhood obesity have risen over the last several decades, a vast majority of parents perceive their kids as 'about the right weight,' according to new research led by NYU Langone Medical Center.

Plant toxin causes biliary atresia in animal model
A new study is a classic example of how seemingly unlikely collaborators can come together to make surprising discoveries.

Social network experiments create a tipping point to improve public health
Convincing a large group of people to change its behavior is no popularity contest, a new study shows.

Psychologists aim to help Dr. Google
This is one of the outcomes from research by Ph.D.

Scientists X-ray chocolate
An X-ray study carried out at DESY allows to improve the quality of chocolate.

Analysis compares California exchange, commercial health insurance hospital networks
The suspicion that the federal Affordable Care Act reduces options for patients to choose their health care providers proves to be true, according to a new study co-authored by David Weimer, a professor with the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Space debris from satellite explosion increases collision risk for space craft
Debris from the US Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F13 satellite, which recently exploded in orbit, could pose a threat to other spacecraft and missions according to new research from the University of Southampton.

Ulcer-causing bacteria induces stomach stem cell growth in mice, Stanford researchers find
The ulcer-causing bacterium Helicobacter pylori can directly interact with stomach stem cells, causing the cells to divide more rapidly, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

From the depths of a microscopic world, spontaneous cooperation
A clever combination of two different types of computer simulations enabled a group of Illinois researchers to uncover an unexpectedly cooperative group dynamic: the spontaneous emergence of resource sharing among individuals in a community.

NRL licenses new polymer resin for commercial applications
The NRL-developed phthalonitrile-based polymeric composite exhibits superior flame resistant, high temperature, and low water absorption properties applicable to the design and manufacture of composite materials for use in the aerospace, shipbuilding, automotive, and textile industries.

Magic spin put on protein to tease out its 1st dance with tempo set by temperature
The process behind how the molecular components of living organisms start to move has been explained for the first time in new research led by the University of Warwick and published by Science, and it is an intricate set of dance steps where the tempo is set by temperature.

Explosive volcanoes fueled by water, say Oregon researchers
University of Oregon geologists have tapped water in surface rocks to show how magma forms deep underground and produces explosive volcanoes in the Cascade Range.

Attosecond physics: A new gateway to the microcosmos
Ludwig Maximilians Universitaet in Munich physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics have developed a new laser-light source that will lead to significant advances in research on fundamental physics.

Not so cold-blooded creatures
A new study demonstrates certain warm-blooded fishes can swim faster and farther than their cold-blooded counterparts.

What drives the evolution of bird nest structures?
How to protect your chicks from predators? Build a dome over them!

UCSF team proposes new clinical model
Recognizing that patients' experiences of childhood and adult trauma are common and have a direct impact on their health, UCSF clinical researchers and Positive Women's Network-USA have developed and are reporting a new primary care model.

The use of canes and other mobility devices is on the rise among older adults
About one-quarter of adults aged 65 years and older used mobility devices -- such as canes, walkers, and wheelchairs -- in 2011, and about a third of these reported using multiple devices.

Researchers reverse bacterial resistance to antibiotics
The rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a growing problem in the United States and the world.

Compiling a 'dentist's handbook' for penis worms
A new study of teeth belonging to a particularly phallic-looking creature has led to the compilation of a prehistoric 'dentist's handbook' which may aid in the identification of previously unrecognized specimens from the Cambrian period, 500 million years ago.

Local media helps communities to cope after traumatic events
This is one of the findings of a study by MSc student Suzanne Day from Lancaster University being presented this week at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference in Liverpool.

Penn State College of Medicine receives $14 million to study exercise program for seniors
Penn State College of Medicine was awarded nearly $14 million in funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to study the effectiveness of a program integrating strength training, balance exercises and walking for older adults who have had a fall-related fracture.

Pacific Northwest National Lab, Oregon Health & Science U team up for biomed research
The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon, are joining forces to answer some of the world's most complex biomedical questions.

Flower find provides real-time insight into evolution
A Stirling scientist who discovered a new Scottish flower has made an unexpected second finding which provides unique insight into our understanding of evolution.

Study discovers negative regulator of natural killer cell maturation
A new study has identified a regulatory pathway in natural killer cells that inhibits their maturation and homing behavior.

System model for calculating mine profitability
A new system dynamic model makes it possible to plan the profitability of mining operations with greater precision than before.

Mobile phone video microscope automates detection of parasites in blood
A research team led by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, has developed a new mobile phone microscope that uses video to automatically detect and quantify infection by parasitic worms in a drop of blood.

Comprehensive stroke centers may improve bleeding stroke survival
People with brain bleeds are more likely to survive if they're treated at a comprehensive stroke center.

Expanded hospice improves care but raises Medicare costs
Hospice expanded rapidly in the United States during the 2000s, improving quality of care.

Women in high-income medical education positions still paid less than men
The existence of gender-based wage gaps in many occupations continues to be a hot-button topic in social and political debates.

Molecular homing beacon redirects human antibodies to fight pathogenic bacteria
With the threat of multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens growing, new ideas to treat infections are sorely needed.

Researchers discover missing link in the evolution of complex cells
In a new study, published in Nature this week, a research team led from Uppsala University in Sweden presents the discovery of a new microbe that represents a missing link in the evolution of complex life.

Underappreciated cause of bowel obstruction should be included in surgical assessments
Each year, more than 10 million Americans seek medical attention, often in emergency situations, for symptoms of intestinal blockages.

Surfing's global elite collaborate to explore the challenges of sustainability
The surfing world's most powerful figures and practitioners have been brought together for a new book.

Viewing violent news on social media can cause trauma
This is one of the findings by Dr. Pam Ramsden from the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Bradford that will be presented today, Thursday, May 7, 2015, at the Annual Conference of the British Psychology Society being held in Liverpool.

Non-Euclidean geometries for grid cells
Grid cells, space-mapping neurons of the entorhinal cortex of rodents, could also work for hyperbolic surfaces.

New method detects more breast cancer in screening
Tomosynthesis detects 40 percent more breast cancers than traditional mammography does, according to a major screening study from Lund University, Sweden.

Snakes' dining habits shaped by ancestry, relationships moreso than ecology
Diets of snakes from a temperate region in South America may depend more on phylogeny (ancestry) than ecology.

In late post-surgical colon 'leaks,' finger points to microbes
Post-surgical leaks that develop after a segment of the colon has been removed and stitched back together often are caused not by negligence or technical error but by bacteria in the bowel that elude antibiotics, according to new evidence about this devastating complication of gastrointestinal surgery.

Tropical Depression 93W forms near Micronesia
Tropical Depression 93W formed on May 6, 2015, trailing on the heels of Typhoon Noul.

Using fresh whole blood lowers patients' exposure risk in child heart surgery
Infants and children who undergo heart surgery are better off receiving fresh whole blood transfusions from a single donor, compared to receiving component blood from multiple donors, according to new research at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Building scaffolds in the cell's power stations
A group of scientists led by Assistant Professor Dr. Martin van der Laan has decoded the molecular basis for the characteristic structures inside of mitochondria.

NIH study solves ovarian cell mystery, shedding new light on reproductive disorders
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have solved a long-standing mystery about the origin of one of the cell types that make up the ovary.

Sea lion strandings -- The view from the rookery
NOAA Fisheries wildlife biologist Sharon Melin describes conditions at the sea lion rookeries on the Channel Islands, where pups are going hungry because unusually warm water along the Pacific coast has made it more difficult for their mothers to find food.

Brain chemical may offer new clues in treating chronic pain
A chemical in the brain typically associated with cognition, movement and reward-motivation behavior -- among others -- may also play a role in promoting chronic pain, according to new research at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Bigelow Laboratory exploring collaborations to enhance Maine's aquaculture competitiveness
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is hosting 50+ people involved in Maine's aquaculture industry on May 26 to explore how research and industry might join together to increase the resilience and international competitiveness of Maine's shellfish, finfish, and algal (both micro and macro) aquaculture businesses.

When bosses 'serve' their employees, everything improves
New research indicates when the boss puts employees' needs over his or her own, measureable improvements in customer satisfaction, higher job performance by employees, and lower turnover are the result. 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