Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 09, 2015
Longest ever tiger shark tracking reveals remarkable, bird-like migrations
A new study has yielded the first ever continuous, two or more-year satellite tagging tracks for tiger sharks.

Stillbirth and neonatal death rate report identifies areas for improvement in NHS services
University of Leicester-led research team finds regional variations even after allowing for factors such as poverty, mother's age and ethnicity.

Many experiments for the price of one -- a breakthrough in the study of gene regulation
Inside every cell that makes up a diminutive fruit fly is a vast, dynamic network of information -- the genome whose 15,000 genes allow that cell to function.

Computer game reduces issues associated with AD/HD in children in China
Children diagnosed with AD/HD can improve their behavior and social interactions in the classroom by playing a computer game that exercises their concentration, finds new research out today.

Argonne advances engine simulation for greater efficiency
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory are partnering with Convergent Science, Inc.

Molecular docking site of a bacterial toxin identified
The pharmacologists and toxicologists Dr. Klaus Aktories and Dr. Panagiotis Papatheodorou from the University of Freiburg have identified the molecular docking site that is responsible for the Clostridium difficile toxin's being able to bind to its receptor on the membrane of the intestinal epithelium.

Birth weight affected by warm temperatures during pregnancy
'We found that exposure to high air temperature during pregnancy increases the risk of lower birth weight and can cause preterm birth,' according to Dr.

Low glycemic index diet reduces symptoms of autism in mice
Salk researchers find diet recommended for diabetics ameliorated signs of autism in mice.

First live birth after transplantation of ovarian tissue frozen during childhood
A young woman has become the first in the world to give birth to a healthy child after doctors restored her fertility by transplanting ovarian tissue that had been removed and frozen while she was a child.

Bruno Latour at the University of Cologne
The French social scientist and philosopher Bruno Latour holds this year's Albertus Magnus Professorship at the University of Cologne.

NASA sees Blanca blanking out over Baja
The remnants of former Hurricane Blanca are blanking out over the northern part of Mexico's Baja California today, June 9.

Images reveal structure of heart cells that may hold heart attack clues
Newly released images revealing the 'bicycle spoke' structure of a heart cell may hold key clues to reducing damage from a heart attack.

WSU Spokane researchers isolate smallest unit of sleep to date
Washington State University Spokane scientists have grown a tiny group of brain cells that can be induced to fall asleep, wake up and even show rebound sleep after 'staying up late.' The study -- the first to document that sleep originates in small neural networks -- opens the door to deeper understanding of the genetic, molecular and electrical aspects underlying sleep disorders.

NREL's economic impact tops $872 million
The economic impact of the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) was $872.3 million nationwide in fiscal year 2014, according to a study by the University of Colorado Boulder's Leeds School of Business.

New research: Danish nasal filter more than halves symptoms of hay fever
Clinical trials carried out by Aarhus University show that the use of a mini filter prevents pollen inhalation and results in significantly fewer symptoms such as sneezing, watery eyes and drowsiness.

NREL, Clemson University collaborate on wind energy testing facilities
Two of our nation's most advanced wind energy research and test facilities have joined forces to help the wind energy industry improve the performance of wind turbine drivetrains and better understand how the turbines can integrate more effectively with the electrical grid.

GLP-1 alters how the brain responds to food
Gut hormone-based medications used to treat diabetes, such as GLP-1 receptor agonists, have also been shown to reduce body weight.

Overall rate of traumatic spinal cord injury remains stable in US
Between 1993 and 2012, the incidence rate of acute traumatic spinal cord injury remained relatively stable in the US, although there was an increase among older adults, mostly associated with an increase in falls, according to a study in the June 9 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Largest-ever scientific camera trapping survey reveals 'secret lives of the Serengeti'
Report on effort by more than 28,000 volunteers to review 1.2 million images collected using 225 cameras traps over 1,000 square miles of the Serengeti.

Parasite re-infection reduced by handwashing or nail clipping in Ethiopian children
Promotion of handwashing with soap and weekly nail clipping are both successful strategies to decrease intestinal parasite re-infection rates in school aged Ethiopian children, according to a study published by Mahmud Abdulkader Mahmud and colleagues from Mekelle University, Ethiopia, in this week's PLOS Medicine.

New tool could predict large solar storms more than 24 hours in advance
Large magnetic storms from the sun, which affect technologies such as GPS and utility grids, could soon be predicted more than 24 hours in advance.

Study: Juvenile incarceration yields less schooling, more crime
Teenagers who are incarcerated tend to have substantially worse outcomes later in life than those who avoid serving time for similar offenses, according to a distinctive new study co-authored by an MIT scholar.

Geological game changer
A long-standing fact widely accepted among the scientific community has been recently refuted, which now has major implications on our understanding of how Earth has evolved.

Body's response to spicy foods guides design of new pain relief drugs
UC Davis researchers have identified the molecular interactions that allow capsaicin to activate the body's primary receptor for sensing heat and pain, paving the way for the design of more selective and effective drugs to relieve pain.

In Kenya, program changes male attitudes about sexual violence, Stanford study finds
In Kenya, where rape and violence against women are rampant, a short educational program produced lasting improvements in teenage boys' and young men's attitudes toward women, a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine has found.

Population Council progesterone contraceptive vaginal ring on WHO essential medicines list
The World Health Organization released its 2015 updated essential medicines list and for the first time included the progesterone contraceptive vaginal ring (CVR), a contraceptive safe and effective for lactating women in the postpartum period.

Single dose of HPV vaccine may prevent cervical cancer
A single dose of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Cervarix appears to be as effective in preventing certain HPV infections as three doses, the currently recommended course of vaccination.

NASA looks at rare Arabian Sea tropical cyclone in 3-D
Tropical cyclones are not too common in the Arabian Sea, but tropical cyclone 01A, now renamed Ashobaa, formed this week.

TGAC awarded £100,000 to combat sugar beet crop infection in the UK
The Plant & Microbial Genomics Group at TGAC has been awarded £100,000 towards the identification of the sources of infection and reinfection of the sugar beet crop across the UK.

New electric propulsion system improves safety of light aircraft
Researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and the AXTER Aerospace firm have developed an electric propulsion system to install in small gasoline-powered planes for extra power and range in emergency situations.

NASA sees the start of India's monsoon season
Monsoon rainfall, although a little later than normal, started on June 5, 2015, in southern India.

New study shows intravenous glutamine reduces ischemia reperfusion injuries
A single dose of intravenous glutamine administered immediately after a non-lethal lower limb ischemia reduces the reperfusion inflammatory reaction locally and systemically according to a new study.

UTSW scientists find cellular mechanism for how the body regulates glucose transport
UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists have gleaned a key cellular mechanism of how the body adjusts glucose levels, an important process that when abnormal can promote diabetes, cancer, and rare genetic diseases.

Discovery in plant growth mechanisms opens new research path
New findings reported this week by plant molecular biologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are deepening scientists' views of a cell surface regulator, FERONIA receptor kinase from the model plant Arabidopsis, once thought to be involved only in reproduction but in fact required throughout plant growth, development and in surviving environmental challenges.

Book examines interest groups influence on inequality
As national politics has become intensely more partisan in the past three decades, new research co-authored by a University of Kansas professor links political gridlock to increased economic inequality as well.

Epic fails in 2015 elections: Does polling jeopardize fairness?
While the magnitude of the failure to predict these elections' outcomes left pollsters gobsmacked, a Queensland Behavioural Economics Group study suggests that errors in polling forecasts can actually bias the electoral results themselves.

Less extensive damage to heart muscle/therapeutic hypothermia following acute myocardial infarction
After an acute myocardial infarction, patients treated with rapid lowering of body temperature by combined cold saline infusion and endovascular cooling had less heart muscle damage and reduced incidence of heart failure.

The food-waste paradox
Food wasted means money wasted which can be an expensive problem especially in homes with financial constraints.

Earlier surgical intervention for mitral valve disease is better for most patients
A more aggressive approach to treating degenerative mitral valve disease, using earlier surgical intervention and less invasive techniques, is more beneficial to the patient than 'watchful waiting,' according to an article in the June 2015 issue of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

Study finds credentialed providers have greater knowledge of nutrition support practice
Multidisciplinary health care professionals who hold the Certified Nutrition Support Credential scored significantly higher on a survey about their approaches to nutrition support practice than those who do not hold the credential according to new study.

Clinicians reluctant to prescribe medication that counteracts effects of opioid overdose
A variety of factors including questions about risk and reluctance to offend patients limits clinician willingness to prescribe a potentially life-saving medication that counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose, according to a Kaiser Permanente Colorado study published today in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Current BMI tests underestimate obesity in teens with disabilities
New approaches, based on body mass index (BMI) or other simple measures, are needed to improve assessment of obesity in adolescents with physical disabilities, reports a paper in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, the official journal of the Association of Academic Physiatrists.

'Myths' persist about the increase in human-caused seismic activity
A Seismological Research Letters focus section to be published online June 10 addresses some common misconceptions about induced seismicity -- the biggest of which is that it is primarily related to oil and gas recovery by hydraulic fracturing or 'fracking.'

For safer care, simple steps yield substantial improvements in colorectal surgery
Simple steps that include the consistent use of experienced medical teams for a single type of surgery, preemptive antibiotics before the procedure, less reliance on potent opioids during recovery and urging patients to get out of bed and move around sooner can not only prevent infections, blood clots and other serious complications in people undergoing colorectal operations, but can also accelerate recovery and reduce cost of care, according to results of an ongoing program at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Misperception discourages girls from studying math-intensive science, shows study
Results suggest that schools should foster a 'growth mindset' of mathematical ability to encourage more girls to opt for majors in physics, engineering, mathematics, or computer science

New study: Roadside bomb blasts may cause more brain damage than previously recognized
Engineers seeking to improve helmet design for the nation's troops test how concussive explosions affect the brain's blood vessels.

Aneurysms may recur years after endovascular treatment
Endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysm is effective in preventing long-term bleeding, but may be followed by aneurysm recurrences in a significant proportion of cases, according to a new magnetic resonance angiography study.

Decades of research yield natural dairy thickener with probiotic potential
Microbiologists have discovered and helped patent and commercialize a new type of dairy or food thickener, which may add probiotic characteristics to the products in which it's used.

Researchers turn to the ocean to help unravel the mysteries of cloud formation
In a study published today in ACS Central Science, a research team led by University of Wisconsin-Madison chemistry professor Timothy Bertram peels back the mysteries of the structures of tiny aerosol particles at the surface of the ocean.

No waiting game: Immediate birth control implant more cost-effective
Women who have just given birth are often motivated to prevent a rapid, repeat pregnancy.

New research calls for vitamin D supplementation in critically ill pediatric burn patients
A new clinical trial by researchers at Cincinnati's Shriners Hospital for Children compared the outcomes of vitamin D2 and D3 supplementation on pediatric burn patients.

Argonne and ASU sign five-year research agreement
Argonne National Laboratory recently signed an agreement with Arizona State University that will facilitate a broad portfolio of research shared between the two institutions.

Don't stress the small stuff: NASA's One-Year Mission research combats stress and fatigue
Several Human Research Program investigations are being conducted aboard the International Space Station as part of NASA's One-Year Mission to learn more about how the human body responds to stress in a long-duration, low-gravity environment.

Filming the film: Scientists observe photographic exposure live at the nanoscale
Photoinduced chemical reactions are responsible for many fundamental processes and technologies, from energy conversion in nature to micro fabrication by photo-lithography.

Pigeon 'chain of command' aids navigation
Having a hierarchical social structure with just a few well-connected leaders enables pigeon flocks to navigate more accurately on the wing, new research shows.

MIPT physicists develop ultrasensitive nanomechanical biosensor
Two young researchers working at the MIPT Laboratory of Nanooptics and Plasmonics, Dmitry Fedyanin and Yury Stebunov, have developed an ultracompact highly sensitive nanomechanical sensor for analyzing the chemical composition of substances and detecting biological objects, such as viral disease markers, which appear when the immune system responds to incurable or hard-to-cure diseases, including HIV, hepatitis, herpes, and many others.

Fast and accurate synchronization in the 'blink' of an eye
Researchers improve synchronization between devices connected via wifi tenfold.

Floods as war weapons
A new study shows that, from 1500 until 2000, about a third of floods in southwestern Netherlands were deliberately caused by humans during wartimes.

Are the data underlying the US dietary guidelines flawed?
In a special article published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, an obesity theorist and cardiovascular health researchers claim that the main source of dietary information used by the US Government's 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is scientifically flawed because the underlying data are primarily informed by memory-based dietary assessment methods.

Control system shows potential for improving function of powered prosthetic leg
A control system that incorporated electrical signals generated during muscle contractions and gait information resulted in improved real-time control of a powered prosthetic leg for different modes of walking (such as on level ground or descending stairs), according to a study in the June 9 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on the Americans with Disabilities Act.

New tool could track space weather 24 hours before reaching Earth
A new tool could track space weather 24 hours before reaching Earth.

Lactobacillus reuteri may have multiple benefits as a probiotic in premature infants
A new study finds that supplementing enteral nutrition with Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri) DSM 17938 as a probiotic may reduce the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in premature infants.

New species of leafminer on grapevine in Western Cape came from wild grapes
A new species of leafmining moth has been discovered and described from grapevines in Western Cape.

Scientists gain first glimpse of new concepts developing in the brain
Published in Human Brain Mapping, the scientists have -- for the first time -- documented the formation of a newly learned concept inside the brain and show that it occurs in the same brain areas for everyone.

Mentorship a key factor for female authorship in GI
The percentage of US female physician authors of original research in major gastroenterology journals has grown over time, yet the percentage of women in the senior author position remains lower than expected based on the proportion of female gastroenterologists in academia.

Largest-ever study of parental age and autism finds increased risk with teen moms
Researchers found an increased risk of autism in children born to teen mothers and in children whose parents have a large gap between their ages.

BMJ selected to publish new international orthopedic sports medicine journal
Global healthcare knowledge provider BMJ has added The Journal of ISAKOS: Joint Disorders & Orthopaedic Sports Medicine to its extensive portfolio of specialty journals, the company has announced.

Are offspring of obese moms pre-programmed for obesity and metabolic disease?
The evidence is clear that the children of obese parents are prone to obesity themselves, placing them at higher risk for type 2 diabetes, but how and why this occurs remains under investigation.

Discovery of new rock property earns prize
The discovery of a new fundamental rock property will improve estimates of underground resources, such as hydrocarbons and drinking water, as well as CO2 storage reservoir capacity.

Chemo may be preferred option for some with advanced prostate cancer
In a small clinical trial, scientists at Johns Hopkins' Kimmel Cancer Center and James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute found that men with advanced prostate cancer and detection of androgen receptor splice variant-7 respond to chemotherapy just as well as men who lack the variant.

UC study links brain inflammation triggered by chronic pain to anxiety and depression
Brain inflammation caused by chronic nerve pain alters activity in regions that regulate mood and motivation, suggesting for the first time that a direct biophysical link exists between long-term pain and the depression, anxiety and substance abuse seen in more than half of these patients, UC Irvine and UCLA researchers report.

Can not having enough to eat lead to poor diabetes management?
Latinos who worry about having enough food to eat -- so-called food insecurity -- report having a poorer diet and exhibit worse glycemic control than those who aren't worried about having sufficient food to survive, according to a study presented at the American Diabetes Association's 75th Scientific Sessions.

INFORMS journal: Microsoft algorithm improves directions in large networks for Bing Maps
Did the cross-country drive that you planned using online mapping take twice as long as expected?

Carl Wunsch selected as 2015 Walter Munk Award recipient
Dr. Carl Wunsch has been selected as the 2015 recipient the Walter Munk Award for Distinguished Research in oceanography related to sound and the sea.

Penn study: Processing arrested juveniles as adults has small effect on their recidivism
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have found a three to five percent reduction in the probability of criminal recidivism among a sample of juveniles arrested for felony drug offenses, some of whom were processed as adults due to their age at the time of their arrests.

UM College of Arts & Sciences assistant professor wins 2015 Erdos-Renyi Prize
Chaoming Song, assistant professor of physics at the University of Miami College of Arts & Sciences, has been selected as the winner of the 2015 Erdos-Rényi Prize in Network Science.

Brain lesions in children challenging to diagnose
Brain lesions in children can be especially challenging to diagnose, according to a report in the journal Frontiers in Neurology by a multidisciplinary team of Loyola University Medical Center physicians.

How atmospheric rivers form
A new study, published in the journal Chaos, suggests that unusually persistent spatial structures that self-assemble high in the atmosphere serve as 'tracer patterns' around which atmospheric rivers grow.

Aimmune Therapeutics announces positive Phase 2 study results for treatment of peanut allergy
Positive topline results demonstrate AR101 appears to be a well tolerated and effective treatment option for peanut allergy in a controlled desensitization regimen, as all study completers in active group met the primary desensitization endpoint.

Molescope to be unveiled at World Dermatology Conference in Vancouver
Simon Fraser University Ph.D. graduate Maryam Sadeghi will unveil MoleScope™, an innovative hand-held tool that uses a smartphone to monitor skin for signs of cancer, at the World Congress of Dermatology conference in Vancouver June 9-13.

Study redefines role of estrogen in cervical cancer
Scientists have prior evidence that the hormone estrogen is a major driver in the growth of cervical cancer, but a new study examining genetic profiles of 128 clinical cases reached a surprising conclusion -- estrogen receptors all but vanish in cervical cancer tumors.

A step towards a type 1 diabetes vaccine by using nanotherapy
For the first time liposomes that imitate cells in the process of natural death have been used to treat diabetes.

Improving energy storage with a cue from nature
Materials melt faster when the lines of heat spread through the cold material like the branches of a tree -- and the melting rate can be increased by allowing the tree architecture to evolve over time, researchers have discovered.

Study: Crop-rotation resistant rootworms have a lot going on in their guts
After decades of effort, scientists are finally figuring out how insects develop resistance to environmentally friendly farming practices -- such as crop rotation-- that are designed to kill them.

Scientists downsize the giant 'Dreadnoughtus' dinosaur
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have shown that the most complete giant sauropod dinosaur, Dreadnoughtus, discovered by palaeontologists in South America in 2014, was not as large as previously thought.

Mean light timing may influence body mass index and body fat
A new study suggests that the timing of exposure to moderate levels of light may influence body mass index and body fat.

Bay Area Lyme Foundation awards diagnostic grant to Harvard Medical School researchers
Harvard Medical School research collaborators Nira Pollock, M.D., Ph.D., and John Branda, M.D., have just been awarded the 2015 Emerging Leader Award from Bay Area Lyme Foundation, the leading national nonprofit funder of innovative Lyme disease research.

Tree root research confirms that different morphologies produce similar results
Despite markedly different root morphologies and resulting disparities in nutrient-uptake processes, forest trees of different lineages show comparable efficiency in acquiring soil nutrients, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

'Alzheimer's protein' plays role in maintaining eye health and muscle strength
Amyloid precursor protein (APP), a key protein implicated in the development Alzheimer's disease, may play an important role in eye and muscle health.

Examination of gastroenteritis hospitalization rates following use of rotavirus vaccine
Following implementation of rotavirus vaccination in 2006, all-cause acute gastroenteritis hospitalization rates among US children younger than 5 years of age declined by 31 percent - 55 percent in each of the post-vaccine years from 2008 through 2012, according to a study in the June 9 issue of JAMA.

The Lancet Oncology: 2 large trials provide further evidence that 1 dose of HPV vaccine could prevent the majority of cervical cancers
A single dose of the bivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine (Cervarix®, GlaxoSmithKline group of companies) may offer a similar level of protection against HPV-16/18 infections, which cause about 70 percent of cervical cancers, as the current two- and three-dose schedules, according to new research combining data from two large phase 3 trials published in The Lancet Oncology.

Social media helps young adults quit smoking
Young adults who use social media to quit smoking are twice as successful in their efforts as those who use a more traditional method, according to new research from the University of Waterloo.

How a gut feeling for infection programs our immune response
An unexpected finding by an international team of scientists based at The University of Manchester and National Institutes of Health in America has shed new light on how immune cells are programmed to either repair or protect the body.

Cuckoos mimic 'harmless' species as a disguise to infiltrate host nests
First time 'wolf in sheep's clothing' mimicry has been seen in birds.

Early intervention improves long-term outcomes for children with autism
Early intervention for toddlers with autism spectrum disorder helps improve their intellectual ability and reduces autism symptoms years after originally getting treatment, a new study shows.

Pitt engineer receives $200,000 grant to explore use of bamboo
A University of Pittsburgh-led consortium is one of 14 new multilateral university partnerships created by the Global Innovation Initiative, a program funded by the US and UK governments to foster multilateral research collaboration with higher education institutions in Brazil, China, India and Indonesia.

Discovering a new force driving cell contraction during development and organogenesis
CRG scientists describe a new mechanism shaping cells and generating cell contractile forces during development and organogenesis.

NIST's 'nano-raspberries' could bear fruit in fuel cells
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a fast, simple process for making platinum 'nano-raspberries' -- microscopic clusters of nanoscale particles of the precious metal.

Nearby 'dwarf' galaxy is home to luminous star cluster
A team of Tel Aviv University and UCLA astronomers have discovered a remarkable cluster of more than a million young stars are forming in a hot, dusty cloud of molecular gases in a tiny galaxy very near our own.

Predicting tree mortality
A combination of drought, heat and insects is responsible for the death of more than 12 million trees in California, according to a new study from UC Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS).

Physician waivers to prescribe buprenorphine increases potential access to treatment
In the past, many people living in rural counties have had no practical way to get treatment for opioid addiction.

Book on the design, management and function of green roofs highlights UC research
Researchers explore how to better balance nutrients in green roof systems to reduce nutrient loss in storm water runoff while maintaining healthy plant communities.

Insomnia leads to decreased empathy in health care workers
A new study suggests that insomnia decreases empathy in health care workers and may lead to adverse clinical outcomes and medical errors.

West African Ebola virus strain less virulent than prototype 1976 strain
The Makona strain of Ebola virus circulating in West Africa for the past year takes roughly two days longer to cause terminal disease in an animal model compared to the original 1976 Mayinga strain isolated in Central Africa, according to a new NIH report.

Stem cell discovery paves way for targeted treatment for osteoarthritis
Scientists at the University of York have made a significant advance that could make cell-based treatments for arthritis less of a lottery.

MCAT predicts differently for students who test with extra time
Among applicants to US medical schools, those with disabilities who obtained extra test administration time for the Medical College Admission Test in use from 1991 to January 2015 had no significant difference in rate of medical school admission but had lower rates of passing the United States Medical Licensing Examination Step examinations and of medical school graduation, according to a study in the June 9 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Keep calm and carry on -- for the sake of your long-term health
Reacting positively to stressful situations may play a key role in long-term health, according to researchers. 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