Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 05, 2015
Power grid forecasting tool reduces costly errors
PNNL has developed a new tool to forecast for future energy needs that is up to 50 percent more accurate than several commonly used industry tools, showing potential to save millions in wasted electricity.

The Alan Turing Institute signals progress on many fronts
The Alan Turing Institute has marked its first few days of operations with the announcement of its new director, the confirmation of £10 million of research funding from Lloyd's Register Foundation, a research partnership with GCHQ, a collaboration with Cray Inc. and EPSRC, and its first research activities.

Recreating alchemical and other ancient recipes shows scientists of old were quite clever
From 'dragon's blood' to slippery elm root, coded and obscure ingredients of ancient recipes are getting a second look today not by Harry Potter fans, but by historians who want to experience science as it was practiced centuries ago.

Long-term ovarian cancer survival higher than thought
Combing data collected on thousands of California ovarian cancer patients, UC Davis researchers have determined that almost one-third survived at least 10 years after diagnosis.

Scientists discover cancer markers may be present early during human development
Researchers at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute have uncovered a link between the genomes of cells originating in the neural crest and development of tumors -- a discovery that could lead to new ways to diagnose and treat cancer.

New medical research reporting requirements may lead to fewer positive outcomes
The adoption of new transparent reporting standards may have contributed to a significant reduction in the percentage of studies reporting positive research findings among large-budget clinical trials funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Online tool enables public to track 'tip-of-the tongue' states, speech errors
Michael Vitevitch and colleagues have produced a web-based tool allowing everyday people to engage in 'citizen science' by recording speech errors.

How to tell the difference between bipolar disorder and depression
Many patients with bipolar disorder, a debilitating mental condition that can take a person from the sluggishness of severe depression to super-human energy levels, are often misdiagnosed as having major depressive disorder, or MDD.

Scientists solve planetary ring riddle
A University of Leicester study suggests universal particle distribution of Saturn's rings.

Telephone-based cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety in rural older adults
Telephone-based cognitive behavioral therapy was better at reducing worry, generalized anxiety disorder symptoms and depressive symptoms in older adults who live in rural areas, where access to mental health treatment may be limited, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

Students create tool to stop pests in their tracks
Every day, invasive species threaten the health of vital agricultural and natural lands, from plants like the fast-growing kudzu vine to animals like the pernicious red scale insect that chomps through citrus crops.

Finding the 'conservación' in conservation genetics
A recently published special issue of the Journal of Heredity focuses on case studies of real-world applications of conservation genetics in Latin America, from nabbing parrot smugglers to exposing fraudulent fish sales.

Exploring 'clinical conundrum' of asthma-COPD overlap in nonsmokers with chronic asthma
Researchers may be closer to finding the mechanism responsible for loss of lung elastic recoil and airflow limitation in nonsmokers with chronic asthma.

National network of entrepreneurs shines at White House Demo Day
Just as transformative ideas and discoveries often arise from unexpected places, innovators and entrepreneurs are as likely to come from a small town in Ohio as Silicon Valley.

Two spin liquids square off in an iron-based superconductor
A study conducted by researchers at Brookhaven and Oak Ridge national laboratories describes how an iron-telluride material related to a family of high-temperature superconductors develops superconductivity with no long-range electronic or magnetic order.

From a million miles away, NASA camera shows moon crossing face of Earth
A NASA camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite captured a unique view of the moon as it moved in front of the sunlit side of Earth last month.

Wasp masters manipulate web-building zombie slave spiders
Parasitic Reclinervellus nielseni wasps rob their hosts of free will, turning them into zombies that build a nursery web that protects the wasp pupae during metamorphosis.

Milky Way-like galaxies may have existed in the early universe
A new, large-scale computer simulation has shown for the first time that large disk galaxies, much like our own Milky Way, may have existed in the early days of the universe.

Disney Research leverages redundancy in casually shot videos to enable scene-space effects
The same sort of video processing effects that usually require video to be shot in controlled environments where 3-D positions of cameras and objects are precisely known can be achieved with real-world, handheld video shot from consumer-grade cameras using a new approach pioneered by Disney Research.

Pitt team gets the beat, develops method of quantifying ciliary movement
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have figured out how to objectively quantify the beating action of cilia, the tiny, hair-like projections on cells that line nasal passages, the lungs and almost every other body tissue, according to a study published online today in Science Translational Medicine.

Storytelling skills support early literacy for African American children
'Previous research found an association between oral narratives and literacy at later stages of development,' said researcher Nicole Gardner-Neblett at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute.

How stress can tweak the brain to sabotage self-control
A challenging morning meeting or an interaction with an upset client at work may affect whether we go for that extra chocolate bar at lunch.

Music played during surgeries may hinder communication and impact patient safety
In a new study of 20 operations conducted in the UK, repeated requests -- for example, for a surgical instrument -- were five times more likely to occur in surgeries with music than in those without.

When new parents become unhappy, brothers and sisters become less likely
New parents' drop in subjective well-being helps to explain why many remain with one child, even though they desire two.

ONR scientist awarded for 'game-changing' research on wireless networks
For his work on network information theory -- which seeks to determine how many users and devices a wireless network can support -- Dr.

Science's policy forum focuses on water in lead up to World Water Week in Stockholm
Science has published a series of six Policy Forum essays on water to coincide with leading annual water conference, World Water Week.

How makerspaces can be more accessible to people with disabilities
University of Washington researchers have released new guidelines to make MakerSpaces more accessible to people with disabilities, as these communal spaces with soldering irons, 3-D printers, sewing machines and other 'making' tools pop up nationwide.

Targeting the early-teens for extra exercise could cut diabetes risk
A study has found that physical activity provides the greatest benefits to adolescent insulin resistance -- a risk factor for type 2 diabetes -- when the condition peaks at age 13, but provides no benefit to it at age 16.

Scientists solve structure of important protein for tumor growth
In a collaborative study between at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute and the Argonne National Laboratory, scientists have used a highly specialized X-ray crystallography technique to solve the protein structure of hypoxia-inducible factors, important regulators of a tumor's response to low oxygen.

Disney Research method captures facial details at high fidelity and real time
Forehead wrinkles that rapidly deepen and crow's feet that appear suddenly around the eyes might distress the average person, but the ability to quickly and realistically incorporate such details in a facial reconstruction is the key feature of a new performance capture method developed at Disney Research.

Population changes, priorities cause woodlands to increase
Woody plant encroachment is one of the biggest challenges facing rangelands worldwide, but it consistently has been under-measured and poorly understood, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist in College Station.

Cyanobacteria can manufacture biocatalysts for the industry
Using photosynthetically active microorganisms, researchers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have succeeded in manufacturing several biocatalysts suitable for industrial application: a crucial step towards sustainable chemical processes, according to Dr Marc Nowaczyk from the Chair for Plant Biochemistry and Jun.-Prof Dr Robert Kourist, Junior Research Group Microbial Biochemistry.

New articles on butterfly conservation from Oxford Journals
Seven articles dealing with the conservation of monarch butterflies were published on August 5 in Annals of the Entomological Society of America.

Series of wildfires in Northern California continue blazing
California has been hit hard the past few weeks with storms.

Data-driven method provides simple means of calculating aerodynamics of light, 3-D objects
Obtaining the aerodynamic properties necessary to simulate falling leaves or a tumbling box caught by the wind can be as simple as dropping the object off of a balcony and recording the fall, thanks to OmniAD, a data-driven technique developed at Disney Research.

Special edition of Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences
Canadian Science Publishing and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology are pleased to announce the release of a special edition of Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences in recognition of the Museum's thirtieth anniversary on Sept.

Disney Research rendering method preserves detail in film quality production graphics
Disney Research has developed a new method of rendering high-quality graphics for animated features that efficiently corrects for erroneous pixels while preserving the crisp detail in images, significantly increasing the efficiency of producing animated images.

Attend HFES 2015 for cutting-edge presentations on human factors/ergonomics
The 2015 International Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society features more than 400 presentations from leading HF/E experts across multiple domains on topics including patient safety, product design, driver distraction, emergency response, human-robot interaction, and more.

This week from AGU: Climate models, Earth's elasticity & 5 new research papers
Scientists have matched the output of climate models to the way the Earth's temperature record is constructed in a new study in Geophysical Research Letters.

How white blood cells limit muscle regeneration
Researchers have identified a protein produced by white blood cells (CD163) that puts the brakes on muscle repair after injury in mice.

$1.5 million gift to JAX establishes Sims Family Fund for SMARD Research
A $1.5 million gift to The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) from Mr.

Molecular trick alters rules of attraction for non-magnetic metals
Scientists have demonstrated for the first time how to generate magnetism in metals that aren't naturally magnetic, which could end our reliance on some rare and toxic elements currently used.

Nova Southeastern University researcher discovers a new deep-sea fish species
NSU researcher working in the deepest parts of the Gulf of Mexico has identified a new species of anglerfish.

New study demonstrates combined impact of smoking and early menopause on mortality
Women may now have yet another reason to quit smoking given the results of a new study that is being reported online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society.

Sandcastles inspire new nanoparticle binding technique
In a paper published this week in Nature Materials, researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill show that magnetic nanoparticles encased in oily liquid shells can bind together in water, much like sand particles mixed with the right amount of water can form sandcastles.

World-famous, yet nameless: Hybrid flowering dogwoods named by Rutgers scientists
Garden lovers and horticulturalists now have two new species names to add to their vocabulary and memory.

Two-drug combination boosts survival in metastatic prostate cancer
Men with metastatic, hormone-sensitive prostate cancer gained more than a year of survival when they received both hormone-blocking medications and chemotherapy right after diagnosis, rather than delaying the chemo until the cancer worsened, according to a study led by Dana-Farber's Christopher Sweeney published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

NSF selects first Long-Term Ecological Research network communications office
The National Science Foundation has selected the University of California Santa Barbara as the site for the first national Long-Term Ecological Research network communications office.

Interactive editing tool from Disney Research enables personalization of planar linkages
Disney Research has created LinkEdit, interactive software for predictably changing the shape or motion of planar linkages used in such objects as kinetic sculptures, folding furniture and mechanical toys.

Lightning reshapes rocks at the atomic level, Penn study finds
A lightning strike can reshape a mineral's crystal structure, according to a study led by Reto Gieré of the University of Pennsylvania.

Carbohydrates are the third revolution in evolution, besides nucleic acids & proteins
The publication entitled Carbohydrate Chemistry: State of the Art and Challenges for Drug Development offers an overview of key aspects of carbohydrate biology and chemistry that are fundamental for the design of novel therapeutics.

Drinking guidelines are a poor fit with Britain's heavy drinking habits
The Government's current alcohol guidelines are unrealistic and largely ignored because they have little relevance to people's drinking habits, according to a new report by the University of Sheffield's Alcohol Research Group in collaboration with the University of Stirling.

Delay in treatment, missed diagnostic testing found among lung cancer patients
Patients undergoing surgery for lung cancer may wait too long to receive treatment, and too many patients skip vital diagnostic steps that are needed to help determine the best possible treatment, according to study published in the August 2015 issue of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

Source of liver stem cells identified
Howard Hughes Medical Institute scientists have identified stem cells in the liver that give rise to functional liver cells.

River buries permafrost carbon at sea
As temperatures rise, some of the organic carbon stored in Arctic permafrost meets an unexpected fate -- burial at sea.

Penn study details powerful molecular promoter of colon cancers
Cancer researchers already know of some oncogenes and other factors that promote the development of colon cancers, but they don't yet have the full picture of how these cancers originate and spread.

York University researchers map 'self-regulation' to develop comprehensive definition
The comprehensive definition by York University researchers says: Learning 'self-regulation' involves learning how to monitor and manage your internal states, understanding what it feels like to be calm and alert, and so also learning to recognize when certain activities help you to return yourself to those states most easily, as well as what pulls you out of them.

Disney Research method efficiently renders granular materials at multiple scales
Computer graphics researchers have developed a way to efficiently render images of sand castles, gravel roads, snowmen, salt in a shaker or even ocean spray -- any object consisting of randomly oriented, but discernible grains -- that look realistic whether viewed from afar or up close.

Cancer treatment models get real
Rice University and MD Anderson Cancer Center researchers use a custom flow perfusion bioreactor to show the value of testing cancer samples in realistic environments.

Study looks at best way to bring healthy streams back after development
Is it possible to truly restore a stream disturbed by housing developments and road construction?

NSF awards grants for study of Nepal earthquake
The Himalayas: These forbidding peaks in South Asia, which reach more than 29,000 feet and include Mount Everest, mark one of Earth's youngest mountain ranges.

Viruses thrive in big families, in sickness and in health
A study led by the University of Utah School of Medicine finds that every child puts a household at increased risk for viral infections.

UK drinking guidelines are a poor fit with Britain's heavy drinking habits
The UK government's current alcohol guidelines are unrealistic and largely ignored because they have little relevance to people's drinking habits, according to a new report by the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group in collaboration with the University of Stirling.

NASA looks at Tropical Storm Guillermo closing in on Hawaii
NASA's Terra satellite and RapidScat provided forecasters with information about Tropical Storm Guillermo, revealing that the strongest winds were on the northern and eastern sides.

Snow leopard blood no better prepared for high altitude than domestic cats
The blood of most cats is poorly equipped to carry oxygen at altitude, yet snow leopards are capable of scaling heights of over 6,000 meters.

Seeing the sunnier side of life -- scientists bring a whole new meaning to winter blues
Scientists at the University of York have shed new light on how humans process color -- revealing that we see things differently in winter compared with summer.

Natural selection, key to evolution, also can impede formation of new species
An intriguing study involving walking stick insects led by the University of Sheffield in England and the University of Colorado Boulder shows how natural selection, the engine of evolution, can also impede the formation of new species.

Meniscal transplant in patients age 50 and under relieves pain, delays additional surgery
Most patients younger than age 50 with a torn or severely damaged meniscus experienced reduced pain and improved knee function following transplant surgery, according to a study in the Aug.

Want to improve your health? Focus on nutrition and not weight
If you are watching what you eat, working out, and still not seeing improvements in your cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, etc., here's some hope.

High salt intake could be a risk factor for multiple sclerosis
Here's another reason to put the salt shaker down: New research in The FASEB Journal involving mice shows that diets high in sodium may be a novel risk factor in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS) by influencing immune cells that cause the disease.

Caltech astronomers unveil a distant protogalaxy connected to the cosmic web
A team of astronomers led by Caltech has discovered a giant swirling disk of gas 10 billion light-years away -- a galaxy-in-the-making that is actively being fed cool primordial gas tracing back to the Big Bang.

Water striders' jumping on water -- understood and imitated after careful observations
Recent Science paper (reference 1) by a team of engineers and biologists describes miniature robots that imitate the mechanism used by jumping insects on the water surface (Figure 1).

Bioscience students earn scholarships from the ASBMB for commitment to diversity
Five students from across the United States earned Distinguished Undergraduate Scholarships from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for their academic accomplishments in the face of adversity and commitment to increasing educational access for underrepresented students.

Penn scientists identify key genetic factor that keeps moles from turning into melanoma
Moles are benign tumors found on the skin of almost every adult.

A simple tableware switch could reduce exposure to a potentially harmful substance
In households with kids -- or grown-up klutzes -- a durable set of melamine plates and bowls is a must.

Communities with beautiful scenery, weather have lower rates of religious affiliation
Counties in the United States with more beautiful weather and scenery have lower rates of membership and affiliation with religious organizations, according to a Baylor University study.

World Economic Forum selects Carnegie Mellon BrainHub startup as technology pioneer
Neon is among 49 innovative global companies involved in the design, development and deployment of new and proven technologies that the WEF predicts will have a significant impact on business and society.

EPJ Data Science Highlight -- What 15 years of mobile data can say about us
Large-scale anonymized datasets from mobile phones can give a better picture of society than ever before available.

Normalization of testosterone level after testosterone replacement therapy
Patients with low testosterone levels who have then gone on to have testosterone replacement therapy could be at lower risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke, according to research published today in the European Heart Journal.

Study finds state policies influence vaccination, disease outbreak rates
Lax state vaccination laws contribute to lower immunization rates and increased outbreaks of preventable diseases -- like whooping cough and measles -- according to a new study from the University of Georgia.

Stroke therapy put to the test in preclinical randomized controlled trial
In the midst of what some call a 'crisis' in the ability to replicate results of laboratory studies, a European consortium has conducted a preclinical randomized controlled trial (pRCT) -- which mimics the design and rigorous standards of a clinical trial but is done in animals, and provides one more view of the drug's efficacy before it is used in the clinical trial setting.

People with low scores on test of thinking skills may be at higher risk for heart attack
People with low scores on a test of executive function, the higher-level thinking skills used to reason, problem solve and plan, may be at higher risk of heart attack or stroke, according to a new study published in the Aug.

How stock market's 'spare tire' keeps economy churning during banking crises
A new study finds in countries with strong legislation to prevent fraudulent corporate behavior, banking crises have a less severe impact on firms and the economy in general.

Spaceflight may increase susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease
Here's the summary of a new research report appearing in the August 2015 issue of The FASEB Journal: Prolonged spaceflight may give you a nasty case of diarrhea.

Pandas set their own pace, tracking reveals
When it comes to body clocks, pandas are the rugged individualists of the forest.

Consuming highly refined carbohydrates increases risk of depression
A diet high in refined carbohydrates may lead to an increased risk for new-onset depression in postmenopausal women, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The ghost of a dying star
This extraordinary bubble, glowing like the ghost of a star in the haunting darkness of space, may appear supernatural and mysterious, but it is a familiar astronomical object: a planetary nebula, the remnants of a dying star.

Long-term followup of type of bariatric surgery finds regain of weight, decrease in diabetes remission
While undergoing laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy induced weight loss and improvements in obesity-related disorders, long-term followup shows significant weight regain and a decrease in remission rates of diabetes and, to a lesser extent, other obesity-related disorders over time, according to a study published online by JAMA Surgery.

Detecting Viagra's active ingredient, other dietary supplements' hidden ingredients
To lose weight, boost energy or soothe nerves, many consumers turn to dietary supplements.

Researchers find romantic kissing is not the norm in most cultures
For generations, passionate kisses immortalized in movies, songs and the arts have served as a thermometer of romantic affection.

Computer algorithm can forecast patients' deadly sepsis
A new computer-based method correctly predicts septic shock in 85 percent of cases, without increasing the false positive rate from screening methods that are common now.

Making a better nitrate test kit
This little black box could change how we study one of the world's biggest water quality issues.

The role of intra-abdominal fat in IBD uncovered
Intra-abdominal fat cells may contribute to the development and progression of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to a study published in Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the basic science journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.

Surveys reveal trends in global consumption of sugary beverages, fruit juices and milk
A team led by researchers from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University estimated global intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juices, and milk across 187 countries.

Why the long face? Horses and humans share facial expressions
Horses and humans use similar facial expressions to communicate, according to new University of Sussex research.

Moffitt Cancer Center's Dr. James J. Mulé named Master of Immunology
James J. Mulé, Ph.D., associate center director for Translational Science at Moffitt Cancer Center, has been named a Master of Immunology by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) publication Cancer Immunology Research.

Review highlights steps needed to deal with bed bugs in multi-family housing
A new review highlights how an integrated pest management approach that utilizes a combination of chemical and nonchemical control options is the best strategy for getting rid of bed bug infestations.

SLU research finds hospital physicians fail to identify, address weight issues in children
Physicians and physician trainees fail to identify or address overweight/obesity in over 90 percent.

Wrinkles and all: Hi-res eyelid reconstruction makes digital doubles look more realistic
Little details, such as the wrinkling or twitching of an eyelid, can have a big impact on whether a digitally rendered face looks real in a film or videogame.

Enthusiasm for personalized medicine is premature, prominent public health scholars argue
The increasing national focus on personalized or 'precision' medicine is misguided, distracting from broader investments to reduce health inequities and address the social factors that affect population health, two leading public health scholars argue in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Disney system uses everyday descriptions of cloth to aid garment design for animations
The elaborate costumes worn by Rapunzel, the heroine of Disney's 'Tangled,' are testament to the growing sophistication of cloth animation, but for art directors, who must tweak tens or hundreds of technical parameters, achieving a desired look for simulated clothing can be laborious.

Gastric bypass surgery lowers women's alcohol tolerance
Women who have gastric bypass surgery to lose weight should keep a close eye on their alcohol consumption, according to a study at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Parental experience may help coral offspring survive climate change
A new study from scientists at the University of Hawai'i - Mānoa's Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology reveals that preconditioning adult corals to increased temperature and ocean acidification resulted in offspring that may be better able to handle those future environmental stressors.

Bariatric surgery procedure lowers tolerance for alcohol
In a small study, women who had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery reached certain blood alcohol concentrations in half the number of drinks compared to women who didn't have the surgery, and reported a greater feeling of drunkenness, according to a study published online by JAMA Surgery.

'Yolks' and 'shells' improve rechargeable batteries
Nanoparticles with 'yolks' and 'shells' make for high-capacity batteries.

Endoscopes still contaminated after cleaning, study shows
Potentially harmful bacteria can survive on endoscopes used to examine the interior of the digestive tract, despite a multi-step cleaning and disinfecting process, according to a study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Disney Research produces 3-D-printed objects with variable elasticity using single material
A 3-D-printed teddy bear can have a stiff head, a pliable tummy and bendable arms, even though all of it is made of the same relatively stiff material, using a new method developed by Disney Research.

Armored in concrete, hardened shorelines lose the soft protections of coastal wetlands
Highlights from the August 2015 issue of ESA's journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

6th International Barcode of Life Conference coming to Canada for first time
The scale, scope and reach of DNA barcoding can be measured by the 6th International Barcode of Life Conference, which is coming to Canada for the first time from August 18 to 21.

New survey on Americans' views on law enforcement, violence, and race
A new national survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research reveals a disparity among blacks' and whites' perception of violence against civilians by police.

NASA satellites analyze Typhoon Soudelor moving toward Taiwan
Heavy rain, towering thunderstorms, and a large area are things that NASA satellites observed as Typhoon Soudelor moves toward Taiwan on Aug. 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