Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 28, 2015
Monitoring wildlife may shed light on spread of antibiotic resistance in humans
Researchers tested for resistance to 10 antibiotics among cattle and 18 wildlife species to explore key attributes and behaviors that may increase exposure and allow resistance to move among humans, animals, and ecosystems.

Cancer healthcare disparities exist in the LGBTQ community, say Moffitt researchers
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers published one of the first articles that describe the current knowledge about cancers that may disproportionately affect the LGBTQ community, and also offered suggestions for improving their healthcare.

EPSRC rail consortium shows how to cut costs and reduce delays
Practical measures to aid landslip prevention and enhance track stability are among the improvements pinpointed by recent research that will mean rail passengers face fewer speed restrictions, delays and cancellations in future -- and will help the UK rail industry achieve multi-million-pound savings.

Understanding the molecular origin of epigenetic markers
The study published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society reveals the effect of lysine acetylation in histone tails.

Coffee consumption habits impact the risk of mild cognitive impairment
A new study estimates the association between change or constant habits in coffee consumption and the incidence of mild cognitive impairment, evaluating 1,445 individuals recruited from 5,632 subjects, aged 65-84 year old, from the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging, a population-based sample from eight Italian municipalities with a 3.5-year median follow-up.

Scientists discover link between common medications and serious falls in older men
Using data from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, scientists from Trinity College Dublin, St.

RED Epic Dragon Camera captures riveting images on space station
In October 2014 NASA delivered high-definition, 3-D footage of astronauts living and working on the International Space Station to the Internet, posting video of astronauts exploring water tension in microgravity.

Media advisory: American Society of Human Genetics 2015 Annual Meeting
Press registration for the American Society of Human Genetics 2015 Annual Meeting, Oct.

ACA open enrollment periods associated with improved coverage, access to care and health
Results of a national survey that included more than half a million adults indicates significant improvements in trends for self-reported insurance coverage, access to a personal physician and medications, affordability and health after the Affordable Care Act's first and second open enrollment periods, according to a study in the July 28 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on Medicare and Medicaid at 50.

Specific cardiovascular risk factors may predict Alzheimer's disease
Specific cardiovascular risk factors, such as alcohol consumption, smoking, obesity and diabetes, are associated with smaller regional brain volumes that may be early indicators of Alzheimer's disease and dementia according to a study.

Switching off street lights at night does not increase car crashes and crime
Reduced street lighting in England and Wales is not associated with road traffic collisions or crime, according to research from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and UCL.

Barrow scientists 'rewrite' history books
After more than two-years of international investigation, scientists at Barrow Neurological Institute have concluded that Napoleon likely would have conquered Russia in 1812 if not for the life-saving brain surgery performed on Russian general Mikhail Kutuzov by the French surgeon Jean Massot, who operated on Kutuzov after bullets twice passed through his head.

New methods for evaluating geroprotectors to be presented at the Basel Life Science Week 2015
The fight against aging has typically been focused on attacking the symptoms of aging such as physical decay and age-related diseases, but as the study of aging advances with more longevity researchers joining the fight each year strides are being taken to fight aging at its source.

New study data show reduced intracranial pressure
Results from a European clinical trial comparing therapeutic hypothermia to standard treatment for patients with elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) as a result of severe traumatic brain injury demonstrate a significant mean decrease in ICP with body cooling to 32-35oC, which did not occur in the absence of therapeutic hypothermia.

Sleepy fruitflies get mellow
Whether you're a human, a mouse, or even a fruitfly, losing sleep is a bad thing, leading to physiological effects and behavioral changes.

Climate models disagree on strength of carbon land sink across northern Eurasia
In a new assessment of nine state-of-the-art climate model simulations provided by major international modeling centers, Michael Rawlins at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and colleagues found broad disagreement in the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide annually sequestered in tundra and boreal ecosystems of Northern Eurasia, a vast, understudied region of the world.

Findings question measures used to assess hospital quality
Hospitals that were penalized more frequently in the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program offered advanced services, were major teaching institutions and had better performance on other publicly reported process-of-care and outcome measures, according to a study in the July 28 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on Medicare and Medicaid at 50.

Carnegie's Greg Asner elected Fellow of American Geophysical Union
Carnegie investigator Greg Asner has been elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

Majority rule: Why conformity can actually be a good thing
Like to go your own way? Most of us actually prefer to follow the pack, according to UBC research.

High-fat maternal diet changes newborn heart 'tastebuds'
Baby rats whose mothers were fed a high-fat diet had larger than normal hearts with fewer taste receptors for bitter flavours, according to new UNSW research.

Effects over time of tobacco tax increases in New Zealand
Annual 10 percent tobacco tax increases in New Zealand over the next 20 years should lead to health gains, net health system cost savings and modest reductions of about 2 percent to 3 percent in health inequalities between indigenous (Māori) and non-indigenous people, according to a study published by Tony Blakely and colleagues from the University of Otago, New Zealand, in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Report documents unmet need for expanded family planning services at CHCs
As part of a unique survey of nearly 2,000 women of childbearing age who receive health care at the nation's community health centers, 90 percent reported that they were not actively seeking to become pregnant in the next 12 months.

Rates of death, hospitalizations and expenditures decrease for Medicare patients
Among Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries age 65 years or older, all-cause mortality and hospitalization rates, along with inpatient expenditures per beneficiary, decreased from 1999 to 2013, according to a study in the July 28 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on Medicare and Medicaid at 50.

Scripps Florida scientists win $1.4 million to study drug candidates for neurological disorders
Scientists from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have been awarded $1.4 million from the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health to explore the development of drug candidates for a wide range of conditions, including circadian rhythm disorders.

Dog sledding offers a healthy dose of adventure for children with cancer
A common perception of the paediatric cancer patient is of a frail youth whose childhood experiences are tragically curtailed by the disease.

Short wavelength plasmons observed in nanotubes
Working at the Advanced Light Source, Berkeley Lab researchers have observed 'Luttinger-liquid' plasmons in metallic single-walled nanotubes.

Doctor warns about lead poisoning risk from recycling older electronic equipment
The disposal and recycling of electronic devices has increased exposure to lead and other toxicants and created 'an emerging health concern,' according to a pediatrician who directs the Environmental Health and Lead Clinic at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Use of cell-free microRNA as potential cancer biomarkers made possible through Droplet Digital™ PCR
Scientists used Droplet Digital PCR to identify and validate a potential new biomarker for breast cancer.

Chill-tolerant hybrid sugarcane also grows at lower temperatures, team finds
US farmers have long hoped to extend sugarcane's growing range northward from the Gulf coast, substantially increasing the land available for sugar and biofuels.

Where memory is encoded and retrieved: New findings in a long-standing debate
Are the same regions and even the same cells of the brain area called hippocampus involved in encoding and retrieving memories or are different areas of this structure engaged?

NASA's GPM satellite sees heavy rainfall in new Tropical Depression 8E
The eighth tropical depression of the Eastern Pacific Ocean hurricane season formed far from land as the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) core satellite passed overhead and measured rainfall and cloud heights.

Hormones influence unethical behavior
Hormones play a two-part role in encouraging and reinforcing cheating and other unethical behavior, according to research from Harvard University and The University of Texas at Austin.

Identifying ever-growing disturbances leading to freak waves
Physicists like to study unusual kinds of waves, like freak waves found in the sea.

Pitt study: Ancient proteins involved in DNA repair could shed light on tumor development
By studying yeast used in beer- and bread-making, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have uncovered the mechanism by which ancient proteins repair DNA damage and how their dysfunction could lead to the development of tumors.

Major European mouse study reveals the role of genes in disease
The role of over 300 genes has been revealed by scientists across Europe in a major initiative to understand the part they play in disease and biology.

'Carbon sink' detected underneath world's deserts
The world's deserts may be storing some of the climate-changing carbon dioxide emitted by human activities, a new study suggests.

ASU researchers demonstrate the world's first white lasers
Researchers at Arizona State University's Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering have proven that semiconductor lasers are capable of emitting over the full visible color spectrum, which is necessary to produce a white laser.

Compliance with guidelines for treating brain injuries doesn't guarantee better outcomes
Two decades ago, the Brain Trauma Foundation published its first set of guidelines for treating traumatic brain injury.

Autism costs estimated to reach nearly $500 billion, potentially $1 trillion, by 2025
UC Davis health economists have for the first time projected the total costs of caring for all people with autism spectrum disorder in the US for the current calendar year and in 10 years if effective interventions and preventive treatments for the condition are not identified and widely available.

New chemistry makes strong bonds weak
Researchers at Princeton have developed a new chemical reaction that breaks the strongest bond in a molecule instead of the weakest, completely reversing the norm for reactions in which bonds are evenly split to form reactive intermediates.

Patent granted for Oregon-led effort to build fractal-based nerve connections
A vision of using artificial fractal-based implants to restore sight to the blind -- part of a far-reaching concept that won an innovation award for University of Oregon physicist Richard Taylor this year from the White House -- is now covered under a broad US patent.

Chemistry of tattoos (video)
If you don't have a tattoo, you probably at least know someone who does -- but what's the chemistry behind tattoos?

Study finds unexpected biases against teen girls' leadership
Are today's teen girls poised to close the gender gap tomorrow?

Neurology researchers evaluate evidence base for tests for clinical cognitive assessment
Recommendations for improving clinical cognitive testing were reported by the American Academy of Neurology's Behavioral Neurology Section Group, led by Kirk R.

Probiotics improve behavioral symptoms of chronic inflammatory diseases in mice
Probiotics may improve the behavioral symptoms of chronic inflammatory diseases by altering communication between the immune system and the brain, according to an animal study published July 29 in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Past and present sea levels in the Chesapeake Bay Region, USA
In a new article for GSA Today, authors Benjamin DeJong and colleagues write that sea-level rise (3.4 mm/yr) is faster in the Chesapeake Bay region than any other location on the Atlantic coast of North America, and twice the global average (1.7 mm/yr).

Naturally occurring protein fragment found in brain inhibits key enzyme implicated in Alzheimer's
For the first time, UCLA researchers have shown that a natural protein fragment produced in the brain can act as an inhibitor of a key enzyme implicated in the onset of Alzheimer's disease, a finding that could lead to the development of new drugs to treat the disease.

First measurements taken of South Africa's Iron Age magnetic field history
A team of researchers has for the first time recovered a magnetic field record from ancient minerals for Iron Age southern Africa (between 1000 and 1500 AD).

Humpback whale recovery in Australia -- A cause for celebration
Australia has one of the highest rates of animal species that face extinction in the world.

Improvement in the quality of VMMC made possible through the continuous quality improvement approach
The continuous quality improvement (CQI) approach was introduced on a pilot basis to 30 sites across Uganda.

New treatment may help neonatal liver disease associated with parenteral nutrition
A new study finds that exogenous glucagon-like peptide 2 (GLP-2) treatment may help fight neonatal parenteral nutrition associated liver disease (PNALD).

American College of Cardiology to launch JACC: Basic Translational Research
The American College of Cardiology will add to its family of journals with the launch of JACC: Basic Translational Research in December 2015.

Parents' health literacy affects child weight-loss tactics, study finds
Parents who are less health literate may choose weight-loss strategies for their children that are unhealthy or not recommended.

Researchers provide new details about sea stars' immunity
A study led by a University of Texas at Arlington graduate student examining sea stars dying along the West Coast provides new clues about the starfish's immune response and its ability to protect a diverse coastal ecosystem.

Stress hormone reduces heroin cravings
Every addiction is characterized by a strong desire for a certain addictive substance, be it nicotine, alcohol or other drug.

Lobster-Eye imager detects soft X-ray emissions
This week in the journal Review of Scientific Instruments, from AIP Publishing, the group describes developing and launching their imager, which centers on 'Lobster-Eye optics,' as well as its capabilities and future applications in space exploration.

New therapy delivers long-term relief for chronic back, leg pain, study finds
According to a study published in the Online First edition of Anesthesiology, the official medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, patients who received a novel high frequency form of spinal cord stimulation therapy experienced significantly greater, long-term relief for both chronic back and leg pain, when compared to a traditional low frequency form of SCS therapy.

Brain disease scenarios revised by step-by-step imaging of toxic aggregation
Diseases like Alzheimer's are caused when proteins aggregate and clump together.

Firms 'underinvest' in long-term cancer research
Pharmaceutical firms 'underinvest' in long-term research to develop new cancer-fighting drugs due to the greater time and cost required to conduct such research, according to a newly published study co-authored by MIT economists.

Ewing's sarcoma: A dangerous liaison
Researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich have elucidated at the molecular level how an otherwise innocuous inherited mutation that is quite common in European populations interacts with a spontaneous somatic mutation to promote the development of Ewing's sarcoma.

Cellphones can steal data from 'air-gapped computers' according to Ben Gurion University researchers
Led by BGU Ph.D. student Mordechai Guri, the research team discovered how to turn an ordinary air-gapped computer into a cellular transmitting antenna using software that modifies the CPU firmware.

More secondary schools serve healthier lunches
Secondary students found healthier foods on more lunch menus in 2013 than in 2011, resulting in fewer nutrition disparities for small schools or those with racially diverse student bodies.

UV light can kill foodborne pathogens on certain fruits
The growing organic produce industry may soon have a new way to ensure the safety of fresh fruits.

Practice doesn't always make perfect (depending on your brain)
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? New research on the brain's capacity to learn suggests there's more to it than the adage that 'practice makes perfect.' A music-training study by scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital -- The Neuro, at McGill University and colleagues in Germany found evidence to distinguish the parts of the brain that account for individual talent from the parts that are activated through training.

BMJ partners with European Society for Medical Oncology
Global healthcare knowledge provider BMJ has partnered with the European Society for Medical Oncology, with the aim of publishing a new open access cancer journal from next year, the company has announced.

Origins of life: New model may explain emergence of self-replication on early Earth
One question of the origin of life in particular remains problematic: what enabled the leap from a primordial soup of individual monomers to self-replicating polymer chains?

A new litmus test for chaos?
Researchers from the University of Maryland have come up with a new definition of chaos that applies more broadly than Lyapunov exponents and other previous definitions of chaos.

Young Animal Welfare Scientist of the Year
Dr. Jasmeet Kaler, a lecturer in Epidemiology and Farm Animal Health in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, has been has been named as this year's Universities Federation for Animal Welfare's Young Scientist of the Year.

Omega-3 fatty acids may help improve treatment and quality of life in cancer patients
Adding omega-3 fatty acids to anti-tumor medications may improve treatment response and quality of life for cancer patients according to a new study by researchers at the University Hospitals of Leicester in the United Kingdom.

Hepatitis B continues to be a global health problem
Hepatitis B infections are among the most common infectious diseases worldwide.

A marked improvement in health and healthcare for Medicare patients
In a 15-year study of older Medicare patients, Yale School of Medicine researchers saw an estimated 20 percent drop in mortality, about 30 percent fewer hospitalizations, and 40 percent reduction in deaths after hospitalization.

'Seeing' molecular interactions could give boost to organic electronics
For the first time, researchers have directly seen how organic molecules bind to other materials at the atomic level.

Diabetics who skip breakfast provoke hazardous blood sugar spikes
A new Tel Aviv University study reveals how skipping breakfast affects people with type-2 diabetes.

Race & institutional factors play an important role in pharmacogenomic trial participation
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have published a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that analyzed the participation rate of patients in pharmacogenomic trials.

Link between mood, pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients
Depressive symptoms and mood in the moment may predict momentary pain among rheumatoid arthritis patients, according to Penn State researchers.

Report examines Medicare and Medicaid programs at 50 years and challenges ahead
Although Medicare and Medicaid are playing a role in health care payment and delivery reform innovation, it will be difficult to enact large-scale program changes because of the conflicting priorities of beneficiaries, health practitioners and organizations, and policy makers, according to an article in the July 28 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on Medicare and Medicaid at 50.

Big data gives new insight into blood pressure reduction role of commonly prescribed drug
A new big data study conducted by researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University has found that a drug commonly prescribed to conserve potassium in the blood also significantly lowers blood pressure when taken in conjunction with a diuretic frequently prescribed to patients with hypertension.

Movement tracking technology sheds light on different speech disorders in children
Facial motion capture -- the same technology used to develop realistic computer graphics in video games and movies -- has been used to identify differences between children with childhood apraxia of speech and those with other types of speech disorders, finds a new study by NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

Controlling phase changes in solids
A recent study demonstrates the rapid control of phase-changes in resonantly bonded materials.

A new litmus test for chaos?
Researchers from the University of Maryland have described a new definition of chaos that applies more broadly than previous definitions.

Dr. Fred R. Hirsch, M.D., Ph.D., IASLC CEO, honored with Addario Foundation Lectureship Award
The Addario Lung Cancer Foundation announced that it selected Dr.

Washington, DC sinking fast, adding to threat of sea-level rise
New research confirms that the land under the Chesapeake Bay is sinking rapidly and projects that Washington, DC, could drop by six or more inches in the next century -- adding to the problems of sea-level rise.

Technology helps personalized medicine, enabling epigenomic analysis with a mere 100 cells
A new technology, improving the efficiency of the studies in epigenomics, is the subject of a Nature Methods journal article by Chang Lu and Zhenning Cao of Virginia Tech and Kai Tan, Changya Chen and Bing He of the University of Iowa.

FAU to develop unmanned marine vehicles for bridge inspections
Florida has approximately 11,450 bridges and inspecting and maintaining them is arduous, especially since so many of them span rivers, canals and saltwater areas.

Penn Vet study shows immune cells in the skin remember and defend against parasites
For the first time, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found resident T cells in a tissue in response to a parasite infection.

McMaster scientists show a link between intestinal bacteria and depression
Data show that relatively minor changes in microbiota profiles or its metabolic activity induced by neonatal stress can have profound effects on host behavior in adulthood.

Cystic fibrosis microorganisms survive on little to no oxygen
Microbes contributing to cystic fibrosis are able to survive in saliva and mucus that is chemically heterogeneous, including significant portions that are largely devoid of oxygen, according to a study published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies
A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against MERS prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report NIH scientists.

A single hair shows researchers what a bear has been eating
US and Canadian researchers have found they can get a good idea of a grizzly bear's diet over several months by looking at a single hair.

Plant light sensors came from ancient algae
The light-sensing molecules that tell plants whether to germinate, when to flower and which direction to grow to seek more sunlight were inherited millions of years ago from ancient algae, finds a new study from Duke University.

Geography, skills, local companies affect higher education impact on economic development
Policy makers need to take factors like geography, available skills and knowledge and the networks of local companies into account to boost the impact of higher education on economic development, according to a new Atlas Award-winning paper published in the International Journal of Educational Development.

Chimpanzees binge on clay to detox and boost the minerals in their diet
Wild chimpanzees in the forests of Uganda are increasingly eating clay to supplement the minerals in their diet, according to a long-term international study published in the early version of the journal PLOS ONE.

How to digitally stoke that old-time auction fever
The authors explore the impact of time pressure and social competition on bidders in online auctions and how those factors influence auction results and users' experience.

Fatty acid increases performance of cellular powerhouse
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center have discovered an entirely new control mechanism that regulates the function of mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell.

'The Battle for the Roads of Britain'
Professor Keith Laybourn, with Professor David Taylor, examine the coming of the car -- what it meant for British society and in particular how it was policed.

New eye-tracker method shows 'preferred retinal location' in both eyes
Eyes with central vision loss adapt by developing a new fixation point in a different part of the retina, called the preferred retinal location.

Illuminating mechanisms of repetitive thinking
The ability to engage in mental time travel is a unique and central part of the human experience.

Research grasps how the brain plans gripping motion
A new study significantly advances neuroscientists' understanding of how a region of the brain formulates plans for the hand to grip an object.

National study of deep brain stimulation for depression fails to demonstrate efficacy
Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide, and treatment-resistant symptoms of depression have a terrible personal and societal cost.

Doctor Google: How age and other factors influence online health information searches
A new study published in the Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making aims to evaluate the types of search strategies that Internet users adopt when trying to solve a complicated health problem.

World's first bilateral hand transplant on child at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Surgeons at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia joined with colleagues from Penn Medicine recently to complete the world's first bilateral hand transplant on a child.

New computer model could explain how simple molecules took first step toward life
Sergei Maslov, a computational biologist at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and adjunct professor at Stony Brook University, and Alexei Tkachenko, a scientist at Brookhaven's Center for Functional Nanomaterials, have developed a model that explains how simple monomers could rapidly make the jump to more complex self-replicating polymers.

TGen post-doctoral fellow wins $200,000 Bisgrove Scholars award
Dr. Candace Lewis, a research scientist at the Translational Genomics Research Institute, is one of five recipients of the 2015 Bisgrove Scholars award, Science Foundation Arizona announced today.

Tailored mobile health technologies may help patients take their medications appropriately
There was only a 5 percent error rate when patients with chronic kidney disease used mobile health technologies designed to help them use medications appropriately.

Pharmacy expenditures for children with serious chronic illness
In an analysis of expenditures for outpatient pharmacy products used by publicly insured children with serious chronic illness in California, treating hemophilia accounted for about 40 percent of expenditures but included just 0.4 percent of the group studied, suggesting a need to improve pricing for this and other effective yet high-cost medications, according to a study in the July 28 issue of JAMA.

Research with bite
The Tyrannosaurus rex and its fellow theropod dinosaurs that rampage across the screen in movies like Jurassic World were successful predators partly due to a unique, deeply serrated tooth structure that allowed them to easily tear through the flesh and bone of other dinosaurs, says new research from the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Endangered icebreakers: The future of Arctic research, exploration and rescue at risk
The United States' Icebreaker Fleet -- operated by the US Coast Guard -- consists of just two ships that are used for everything from search and rescue to national security operations to scientific research.

Many dialysis patients are unprepared for natural disasters
Among patients scheduled to have dialysis during the landfall of Hurricane Sandy at clinics where electricity had been deprived, 26.3 percent missed dialysis sessions and 66.1 percent received dialysis at non-regular dialysis units.

Red and White Fleet going green
Sandia National Laboratories recently signed a cooperative research and development agreement with Red and White Fleet to design, build and operate a high-speed hydrogen fuel cell passenger ferry and hydrogen refueling station.

New tool uses 'drug spillover' to match cancer patients with treatments
An article in the journal Bioinformatics from researchers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center describes a new tool that improves the ability to match drugs to disease: the Kinase Addiction Ranker predicts what genetics are truly driving the cancer in any population of cells and chooses the best 'kinase inhibitor' to silence these dangerous genetic causes of disease.

Early evidence suggests hybrid cochlear implants may benefit millions with common form of hearing loss
People with a common form of hearing loss not helped by hearing aids achieved significant and sometimes profound improvements in their hearing and understanding of speech with hybrid cochlear implant devices, according to a new multicenter study led by specialists at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Queen's researchers develop technology to reduce cost of purifying natural gas
Researchers at Queen's University Belfast have developed a cutting-edge method of reducing the carbon dioxide content of natural gas, a process of major economic and environmental importance in the oil and gas industry. 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