Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 04, 2015
Striking a gender balance among speakers at scientific conferences
Increasing the number of female speakers at a scientific conference can be done relatively quickly by calling attention to gender disparities common to such meetings and getting more women involved in the conference planning process, suggests a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researcher.

One-fourth of female sex workers in northern Mexican cities enter sex trade as minors
More than 1 in 4 female sex workers in the northern Mexico cities of Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez reported entering the sex trade as minors, and entering the sex trade as an adolescent vs as an adult was associated with a greater risk for HIV infection, according to a study in the Aug.

Two new 'free spirits' for Goethe University
A great success for Goethe University: The jury of the coveted 'Freigeist' Fellowship awarded by VolkswagenStiftung, the Volkswagen Foundation, has chosen not one, but two of Frankfurt's junior researchers as winners -- along with six other young scientists from all over Germany.

Elsevier announces the launch of International Journal of Surgery Open
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical, and medical information products and services, today announced the launch of the International Journal of Surgery Open, a new open access journal covering all areas of surgery.

A fluttering accordion
Scientists from the Universities Jena and Kiel, the Ernst-Abbe-Hochschule Jena and the University Hospital Jena looked into the unique way of the Death's head hawkmoths producing sounds.

Head impacts and collegiate football practice and games
Researchers at the University of Virginia examined the number and severity of subconcussive head impacts sustained by college football players over an entire season during practices and games.

Projected benefits of high BP treatment in China
An expanded program of treatment for hypertension could prevent about 800,000 cardiovascular disease events every year in China, according to a modeling study published this week in PLOS Medicine.

Skipping follow up with pulmonologist after COPD hospitalization could be risky business
Researchers have found the risk for hospital readmission to be nearly three times higher after COPD exacerbation if a follow-up visit to a pulmonologist is skipped.

How did the Fantastic Four get their powers? (video)
The Thing, Human Torch, Invisible Woman and Mister Fantastic are back this summer!

Ukranian physicists uprooted by war, behemoth telescopes that cost a billion dollars or more, and more
David Kramer of Physics Today discusses the negative impact that the conflict in eastern Ukraine has had on physicists and students forced to relocate from their homes and universities.

Super star takes on black holes in jet contest
A super-dense star formed in the aftermath of a supernova explosion is shooting out powerful jets of material into space.

CU researcher calls for improved firearm safety counseling by physicians
Physicians should improve the way they discuss firearm safety with patients by showing more respect for the viewpoints of gun owners, according to an article by a University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty member published in the Aug.

In vitro cellular response to osteopathic manipulative therapy provides proof of concept
In vitro studies of the cellular effects of modeled osteopathic manipulative therapy provide proof of concept for the manual techniques practiced by doctors of osteopathic medicine, according to researchers from the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix.

Latest update to TASC II is published in the Journal of Endovascular Therapy
The Journal of Endovascular Therapy, official publication of the international Society of Endovascular Specialists, announces that is it publishing the latest update of the Inter-Society Consensus for the Management of Peripheral Arterial Disease (TASC II),1 an internationally recognized set of guidelines for the management of patients with peripheral arterial disease.

College football head impact study suggests steps to reduce risk
Despite growing concerns about concussions, the NCAA has not regulated full-contact football practices, arguing that there's insufficient data available.

New benchmarks for molecular spectroscopy
Researchers at Tsinghua University in Beijing have recently used a technique called zero-kinetic energy photoelectron spectroscopy to obtain a list in unprecedented detail of the quantum energy levels of the cyanoacetylene cation, a linear, five-atom molecule that exhibits nuclear and electronic coupling effects and is found in interstellar clouds and in the atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon Titan.

Cosmological 'lost' lithium: An environmental solution
In old stars there is too little Lithium -- 7, a primordial isotope which was created along with the universe in the first 3 minutes, and scientists do not know why.

From pluripotency to totipotency
While it is already possible to obtain in vitro pluripotent cells (i.e., cells capable of generating all tissues of an embryo) from any cell type, researchers from Maria-Elena Torres-Padilla's team have pushed the limits of science even further.

NASA sees Soudelor reach category 5 typhoon status
NASA's Aqua satellite and RapidScat instrument analyzed Super typhoon Soudelor's extent and winds as it reached Category Five typhoon status on the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale.

Understanding the molecular mechanism leading to addiction in humans
A new study just published in the prestigious journal Molecular Psychiatry by the team led by Salah El Mestikawy, Ph.D., researcher at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, professor at McGill University and head of research at CNRS INSERM UPMC in Paris, opens the field to new understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying addiction in humans.

Satellite sees Tropical Storm Guillermo nearing Hawaii
Tropical Storm Guillermo continued to creep closer to the Hawaiian Islands on Aug.

High rates of violence, HIV infection for adolescents in sex trade on US-Mexico border
Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that more than one in four female sex workers in two Mexican cities on the US border entered the sex trade younger than age 18; one in eight before their 16th birthday.

Researchers strategize to outsmart bacteria
Rice University scientists found a mechanism by which bacteria can become resistant to treatment with antibiotics.

Teen marijuana use not linked to later depression, lung cancer, other health problems, study finds
Chronic marijuana use by teenage boys does not appear to be linked to later physical or mental health issues such as depression, psychotic symptoms or asthma, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association.

New device converts DC electric field to terahertz radiation
Researchers have designed a new device that can convert a DC electric field into a tunable source of terahertz radiation.

Keeping algae from stressing out
Some algae like Chlamydomonas reinhardtii produce energy-dense oils or lipids when stressed, and these lipids can then be converted into fuels.

Intervention to screen women for partner violence does not improve health outcomes
Screening women for partner violence and providing a resource list did not influence the number of hospitalizations, emergency department, or outpatient care visits compared with women only receiving a resource list or receiving no intervention over three years, according to a study in the Aug.

New study shows how complex bonobo communication is similar to that of human infants
Researchers at the University of Birmingham, UK and the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland, have found that wild bonobos, our closest living relatives in the primate world, communicate in a similar manner to human infants, using a high-pitched call type, or 'peep,' that requires context to be understood.

Dental coverage for patients with Medicaid may not prevent tooth-related ER visits
Access to dental care by low-income Americans has become the exception, rather than the rule, as fewer dentists accept Medicaid, according to a new study.

Can habitat protection save our disappearing bats?
In summertime, bats are a common feature in the night sky, swooping around backyards to gobble up mosquitoes.

England still struggling to close the gap in cancer survival
Cancer survival in England remains lower than countries with similar healthcare systems, according to a new Cancer Research UK funded study published in the British Journal of Cancer today.

Fish that have their own fish finders
African fish called mormyrids communicate by means of electric signals.

AIDS research prize for Warwick academic
A researcher at the University of Warwick has received international recognition for his contribution to AIDS research.

Mobile FabLab helps pediatric patients better understand their condition
A collaboration between the UTA Libraries and Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth means new high-tech healthcare learning opportunities for young patients.

Frequent travel is damaging to health and wellbeing, according to new study
A new study published today in SAGE journal Environment & Planning A has described how the glamorization of frequent, long-haul travel ignores and exacerbates the physiological, psychological, and societal costs of our 'hypermobile' lifestyles.

Robo-whiskers mimic animals exploring their surroundings
Many mammals, including seals and rats, rely on their whiskers to sense their way through dark environments.

Artificial intelligence improves fine wine price prediction
The price fluctuation of fine wines can now be predicted more accurately using a novel artificial intelligence approach developed by researchers at UCL.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy decreases PTSD symptom severity among veterans
In a randomized trial that included veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), those who received mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy showed greater improvement in self-reported PTSD symptom severity, although the average improvement appears to have been modest, according to a study in the Aug.

Emergency department intervention does not reduce heavy drinking or partner violence
A brief motivational intervention delivered during an emergency department visit did not improve outcomes for women with heavy drinking involved in abusive relationships, according to a study in the Aug.

Coordinated effort by health care facilities can prevent many hospital-acquired infections
Working together and communication are critical to stop the spread of many HAIs, a CDC-led study finds.

NYU Engineering professor honored for study of energy expenditure in robotic systems
The Design Engineering Division of American Society of Mechanical Engineers will award New York University's Joo H.

Atomic view of microtubules
Berkeley Lab researchers produced an atomic view of microtubules that enabled them to identify the crucial role played by a family of end-binding proteins in regulating microtubule dynamic instability, the physical property that enables microtubules to play a crucial role in cell division.

Sardines, anchovies, other fast-growing fish vulnerable to dramatic population plunges
A Rutgers marine biologist studying the rise and fall of fish populations worldwide recently made a counterintuitive discovery: ocean species that grow quickly and reproduce frequently are more likely to experience dramatic plunges in population than larger, slower growing fish such as sharks or tuna.

Giving robots a more nimble grasp
Engineers at MIT have now hit upon a way to impart more dexterity to simple robotic grippers: using the environment as a helping hand.

New clinical practice guidelines address temperature management during heart surgery
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists, and the American Society of ExtraCorporeal Technology have released a set of clinical practice guidelines to address management of a patient's temperature during open heart surgery.

World's quietest gas lets physicists hear faint quantum effects
Bose-Einstein Condensates have been cooled to a record 0.5 nanoKelvin, but the entropy of these gases are relatively high, meaning half the gas is normal, not quantum.

Natural cocktail used to prevent, treat disease of wine grapes
It's happy hour in the battle against Pierce's disease in wine grapes.

UW collaborates with National Water Center
The University of Wyoming will receive research and development funding from the National Water Center in exchange for the center harnessing a University of Wyoming researcher's water management model,

Rutgers tomato reinvented with even more flavor
A new tomato that combines the nostalgia-inducing flavor of an heirloom with the durability of supermarket varieties is Rutgers' answer to anyone who wonders what happened to the flavorful Jersey tomatoes of the past.

Opioid use and sexual violence among drug-using young adults in NYC
The research seeks to identify the potential role of drug use in increasing risk of sexual violence among young adult opioid users in NYC, and to identify the specific social and contextual factors surrounding this group's experiences of sexual violence.

Amazon fire risk differs across east-west divide in 2015
Scientists at NASA and the University of California, Irvine, project fire risk for South America's Amazon Basin in 2015 to fall along an east-west divide.

End-of-century Manhattan climate index to resemble Oklahoma City today
Climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions will alter the way that Americans heat and cool their homes.

Consolidating consciousness
The permanence of memories has long thought to be mediated solely by the production of new proteins.

Case study reveals therapy to reduce sarcoidosis symptoms in 5q-myelodysplastic syndrome
A case study published in the August issue of the journal CHEST found lenalidomide treatments may have an immediate effect in the treatment of sarcoidosis-related symptoms.

How to trust what your customers say about your brand
Marketers would love to get inside the consumer brain. And now they can.

Kavli Lectures: Solving society's problems, examining highly versatile polymers
Using chemistry to solve societal problems and investigating the extraordinary characteristics of porous polymers will be the topics of a pair of Kavli Lectures at the 250th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society.

New study reveals both benefits and risks of antidepressants during pregnancy
Treating maternal psychiatric disorder with commonly used antidepressants is associated with a lower risk of certain pregnancy complications including preterm birth and delivery by Caesarean section, according to researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University Medical Center, and the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

Seagrass thrives surprisingly well in toxic sediments -- but still dies all over the world
Toxic is bad. Or is it? New studies of seagrasses reveal that they are surprisingly good at detoxifying themselves when growing in toxic seabed.

HIV grows despite treatment, study finds
HIV can continue to grow in patients who are thought to be responding well to treatment, according to research by the University of Liverpool.

$15 million funds research to help older adults prevent cognitive decline?
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, led by Eric J.

Parents' preconception exposure to environmental stressors can disrupt early development
Even before a child is conceived, the parents' exposure to environmental stressors can alter the way genes are expressed and ultimately harm the child's health when those genes are passed down to the next generation, according to a new article published in the Endocrine Society's journal Endocrinology.

Award for a pioneer of Alzheimer's research
British neuroscientist John Hardy will be awarded this year's 'Hartwig Piepenbrock-DZNE Prize' which is endowed with 60,000 Euro.

Eating away at cognitive decline
Eating a group of specific foods known as the MIND diet may slow cognitive decline among aging adults, even when the person is not at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers at Rush University Medical Center.

Study: Number of new cases of dementia decreasing for African-Americans but not Africans
An Indiana University and Regenstrief Institute study is the first to report significantly decreased incidence rates for Alzheimer's disease and other dementias in African-Americans over two decades.

Scientists solve mystery behind earthworm digestion
Scientists have discovered how earthworms can digest plant material, such as fallen leaves, that would defeat most other herbivores.

New weapon in the fight against malnutrition
UBC scientists have opened the doors to new research into malnutrition by creating an animal model that replicates the imbalance of gut bacteria associated with the difficult-to-treat disease.

Pathogen grows on cold smoked salmon by using alternative metabolic pathways
The pathogen, Listeria monocytogenes grows on refrigerated smoked salmon by way of different metabolic pathways from those it uses when growing on laboratory media.

Neutron stars strike back at black holes in jet contest
Radio observations with the Very Large Array showed a neutron star in a binary system with a normal companion producing strong jets of superfast material, rivaling those of their much-denser cousins, black holes.

Ancient Chinese archives track decline of rare apes
Scientists at the international conservation charity Zoological Society of London have used historical records from China stretching back over 400 years to track changes in the distribution of gibbons, which today are some of China's most threatened species.

Waiting for pleasure
Researchers at McGill have clearly identified, for the first time, the specific parts of the brain involved in decisions that call for delayed gratification.

Regular consumption of spicy foods linked to lower risk of death
Eating spicy food more frequently as part of a daily diet is associated with a lower risk of death, suggests a new study published in The BMJ this week.

Flexible vocalizations in wild bonobos show similarities to development of human speech
From an early age, human infants are able to produce vocalizations in a wide range of emotional states and situations -- an ability felt to be one of the factors required for the development of language.

New discovery provides insight into the development of complications in type 1 diabetes
Joslin scientists have advanced understanding of how the cellular repair process is impaired in type 1 diabetes, which can cause cell death and lead to complications.

Dogs process faces in specialized brain area, study reveals
Having neural machinery dedicated to face processing suggests that this ability is hard-wired in dogs through cognitive evolution, and may help explain dogs' extreme sensitivity to human social cues.

North Korea to fight food insecurity and natural disaster with trees
Experts in DPR Korea intend to restore the quality of forest lands, alleviate wide-spread food insecurity and reduce the frequency of natural disasters in the country through an ambitious program of agroforestry -- 'the use of trees on farms and in the landscape.' The The National Agroforestry Strategy and Action Plan 2015-2024 was drafted by the Ministry of Land and Environment Protection, in collaboration with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and with scientific input from the World Agroforestry Centre.

CU-Boulder researchers use wastewater treatment to capture CO2, produce energy
Cleaning up municipal and industrial wastewater can be dirty business, but engineers at the University of Colorado Boulder have developed an innovative wastewater treatment process that not only mitigates carbon dioxide emissions, but actively captures greenhouse gases as well.

Crop pests outwit climate change predictions en route to new destinations
A paper from the University of Exeter has highlighted the dangers of relying on climate-based projections of future crop pest distributions and suggests that rapid evolution can confound model results.

Precariously balanced rocks provide clues for unearthing underground fault connections
Stacked in gravity-defying arrangements in the western San Bernardino Mountains, near the San Andreas Fault, granite boulders that should have been toppled by earthquakes long ago resolutely remain.

IU biologist contributes to international effort to expand theory of evolution
An Indiana University professor is part of an international team of biologists working to expand Darwin's theory of evolution to encompass factors that influence a species' growth and development beyond genetics -- as well as to consider the impact of species on the environment.

Insulin's potential to treat dementia outlined in new study
The Journal of Alzheimer's Disease recently published online a study looking at the promising results of a $500,000 NIH study on the effects of intranasal insulin in improving Alzheimer's disease.

Optimal observation locations for improving high-impact air-sea enviromental events forecastings
This paper emphasizes the importance of accurate initial conditions in predicting several high-impact oceanic-atmospheric environmental events.

Scientists identify that memories can be lost and found
A team of scientists believe they have shown that memories are more robust than we thought and have identified the process in the brain, which could help rescue lost memories or bury bad memories, and pave the way for new drugs and treatment for people with memory problems.

Almost 80 species scavenge hunting remains worldwide
Human activities such as livestock farming, fishing or hunting yearly waste tons of food into natural ecosystems.

New research shows remembering self-control failures leads to repeat failures
We don't always make better decisions with our self-control even after making mistakes in our past.

Riding a horse is far more complex than riding simulators
For equestrian training you do not necessarily need a horse.

A droplet's pancake bounce
New discovery about how surface gradients influence droplet behavior may enable novel surfaces with anti-icing capabilities for a tremendous range of applications.

New Medicaid health care program for disabled adults improves aspects of patients' care
UF Health researchers have found that care linked to heart attacks and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, among disabled adults covered by Medicaid has improved with the expansion of a new health care program in Texas over the last decade.

New strain of yeast to be helpful in toxic waste removal
A new strain of yeast called Yarrowia lipolytica Y-3492 was found to be very active in waste water treatment.

Biology, not just physics, controls release of scent compounds from plants
Purdue University research suggests active biological mechanisms transport scent and taste compounds known as volatiles from plant cells to the atmosphere, a finding that could overturn the textbook model of volatile emission as a process that occurs solely by diffusion.

Protecting the environment by re-thinking death
Scientists first had to re-think death before they could develop a way of testing the potential harm to the environment caused by thousands of chemicals humankind uses each day.

Key protein drives 'power plants' that fuel cells in heart and other key body systems
Case Western Reserve University scientists have discovered that a protein called Kruppel-like Factor 4 (KLF4) controls mitochondria -- the 'power plants' in cells that catalyze energy production.

The ghostly remnants of galaxy interactions uncovered in a nearby galaxy group
Astronomers using the Subaru Telescope's Hyper Suprime-Cam observed the nearby large spiral galaxy M81, together with its two brightest neighbors.

Brain infection study reveals how disease spreads from gut
Diagnosis of deadly brain conditions could be helped by new research that shows how infectious proteins that cause the disease spread.

New biosensors for managing microbial 'workers'
A Wyss Institute team led by Core Faculty member George Church has developed new biosensors that could improve control and complexity of metabolically engineered microbes, bringing us one step closer to a future in which genetically engineered bacteria can produce valuable chemical commodities in an environmentally friendly way.

Progress has been made in reducing rates of violence in US; overall numbers remain high
Even though homicide and assault rates have decreased in the US in recent years, the number of these and other types of violent acts remains high, according to a report in the Aug.

Flowers can endanger bees
Flowers can pose a grave danger to bees, a team of researchers that includes a UC Riverside entomologist has determined.

Molecular tinkering doubles cancer drug's efficacy
Researchers at Duke University have molecularly repackaged a widely used cancer drug called paclitaxel, more than doubling its effectiveness at destroying tumors than the current gold-standard pharmaceutical, Abraxane.

Precariously balanced rocks suggest San Jacinto, San Andreas may have ruptured together
Precariously balanced rocks point to connections between Southern California's San Jacinto and San Andreas faults that could change how the region plans for future earthquakes.

Team advances therapy preventing addiction relapse by erasing drug-associated memories
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have made a discovery that brings them closer to a new therapy based on selectively erasing dangerous and tenacious drug-associated memories.

How new moms assess their partners' ability to parent
New mothers take a close look at their personal relationship with their husband or partner when deciding how much they want him involved in parenting, new research finds.

Trauma experiences change the brain even in those without PTSD
Trauma may cause distinct and long-lasting effects even in people who do not develop PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), according to research by scientists working at the University of Oxford's Department of Psychiatry.

Cures for PTSD often remain elusive for war veterans
Our nation's veterans continue to suffer emotional and psychological effects of war -- some for decades.

Successful European project to minimize the environmental problems caused by coal waste
The ECOAL-MGT project, designed to minimize the environmental problems caused by coal waste piles beside forests, has successfully been completed following tests carried out in San Pedro da Cova, Portugal.

Study: Sequential voting in presidential primaries best system to winnow candidates
A new study says the sequential election format of the US presidential primary is the best mechanism to select a candidate who would prevail in a head-to-head election against any one of the other candidates, says co-author and University of Illinois economist Mattias Polborn.

Exercise during teen years linked to lowered risk of cancer death later
Women who exercised during their teen years were less likely to die from cancer and all other causes during middle-age and later in life, according to a new study by investigators at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Shanghai Cancer Institute in China.

Weight loss surgery benefits for gut microbiome last at least a decade
A new human study published August 4 in Cell Metabolism shows that two types of bariatric surgeries, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and vertical banded gastroplasty, result in similar microbiome remodeling changes that are maintained a decade later in a group of women.

Spiders quickly learn eavesdropping to gain ground on the mating competition
Results of an NSF-funded research partnership are revealed in the August issue of the prestigious international journal Animal Behaviour.

UTMB uncovers how common white fat can be turned into energy-burning brown fat in humans
Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have discovered, for the first time in humans, that the widely reviled energy storing white fat can be turned into an energy burning brown fat that uses up excess calories.

UT Arlington Research Institute teams with Dallas firm to build new solar optics system
The University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute and Dallas-based Skyven Technologies have been awarded a National Science Foundation's Small Business Innovation Research program grant to build and test a Phase 1 prototype of a novel optics system for concentrating sunlight more than 1,000 times the usual amplification.

Feed supplement greatly reduces dairy cow methane emissions
A supplement added to the feed of high-producing dairy cows reduced methane emissions by 30 percent and could have ramifications for global climate change, according to an international team of 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