Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 06, 2015
Domestic violence coalitions can reduce intimate partner violence
The Society for Public Health Education announces the publication of a Health Education & Behavior theme section devoted to the latest research on domestic violence prevention and the effectiveness of community coalitions in 19 states to prevent and reduce intimate partner violence.

Genders differ dramatically in evolved mate preferences
Men's and women's ideas of the perfect mate differ significantly due to evolutionary pressures, according to a cross-cultural study on multiple mate preferences by psychologists at The University of Texas at Austin.

Study finds association between blood levels of trace metals and risk of glaucoma
In an analysis that included a representative sample of the South Korean population, a lower blood manganese level and higher blood mercury level were associated with greater odds of a glaucoma diagnosis, according to a study published online by JAMA Ophthalmology.

Mutant cells that can't copy DNA keep dividing when they shouldn't
Scientists have created a yeast model for studying an unusual gene mutation that is associated with cancer.

Innovative components for an imaging system in the terahertz range
Terahertz frequencies offer the unique feature of displaying things that in other frequency ranges, such as the visible, microwave or X-ray ones, would be impossible.

Flexible dielectric polymer can stand the heat
Easily manufactured, low cost, lightweight, flexible dielectric polymers that can operate at high temperatures may be the solution to energy storage and power conversion in electric vehicles and other high temperature applications, according to a team of Penn State engineers.

Animal-eye view of the world revealed with new visual software
New camera technology that reveals the world through the eyes of animals has been developed by University of Exeter researchers.

Hypofractionation vs. Conventional fractionation in breast cancer radiotherapy
JAMA Oncology will publish two studies, a commentary and an author audio interview examining outcomes in women with breast cancer who had breast-conserving surgery and were treated with hypofractionated radiation therapy (shorter courses of radiation treatment administered in larger daily fraction sizes) compared with longer courses of conventionally fractionated radiation therapy.

Psychologists develop first adult self-assessment for repetitive behaviors in autism
Psychologists from Cardiff University have developed the first self-assessment test designed to help clinicians diagnose autism in adults.

Rapid aging of the thymus linked to decline in free radical defenses
A critical immune organ called the thymus shrinks rapidly with age, putting older individuals at greater risk for life-threatening infections.

Falling off the wagon with Facebook
Despite the growing use of online support groups such as those on Facebook to help curb substance abuse, attending traditional face-to-face meetings may continue to be more effective for people trying to maintain sobriety, according to research presented at the American Psychological Association's 123rd Annual Convention.

Pesticides: More toxic than previously thought?
Insecticides that are sprayed in orchards and fields across North America may be more toxic to spiders than scientists previously believed.

New research tool tracks real-time DNA-protein binding in cells
Researchers have developed a new technology that precisely marks where groups of regulatory proteins called transcription factors bind DNA in the nuclei of live cells.

NASA's Hubble finds evidence of galaxy star birth regulated by black-hole fountain
Astronomers have uncovered a unique process for how the universe's largest elliptical galaxies continue making stars long after their peak years of star birth.

Siblings of children with schizophrenia show resilience to the condition as they grow up
Fundamental differences between how the brain forms during adolescence have been discovered in children with schizophrenia and their siblings, a new study shows.

Scientists report explanation for protein clumps in brain cells of patients with ALS
Autopsies of nearly every patient with the lethal neurodegenerative disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and many with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), show pathologists telltale clumps of a protein called TDP-43.

Chemical-only cell reprogramming transforms human and mouse skin cells into neurons
Two labs in China have independently succeeded in transforming skin cells into neurons using only a cocktail of chemicals, with one group using human cells from healthy individuals and Alzheimer's patients, and the other group using cells from mice.

Caltech-led team looks in detail at the April 2015 earthquake in Nepal
An international team of scientists led by Caltech has pieced together the first complete account of what physically happened during the Gorkha earthquake -- a picture that explains how the large temblor wound up leaving the majority of low-story buildings in Kathmandu unscathed while devastating some treasured taller structures.

Ben-Gurion U. researchers to develop community energy usage system
The 'Zero Plus' system will be composed of innovative solutions used in buildings that preserve energy generation and management in the building envelope, the interface between the building interior and the outdoor environment including the walls, roof and foundation.

Kidney impairment decreases blood flow to the brain, boosting risk of brain disorders
In a population-based study, poor kidney function was strongly related to decreased blood flow to the brain.

Even if severe allergic reaction is in doubt, epinephrine should be used
An expert panel assembled by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology agrees that even when emergency physicians aren't 100 percent sure a person is suffering from a severe allergic reaction, epinephrine should be used.

Diabetes drug modulates cholesterol levels
Besides affecting the blood sugar levels, the substance Metformin, also has an impact on blood fat levels.

BMC, RIH and CVS to address pharmacy-based naloxone to combat opioid addiction, overdose
Boston Medical Center has received a $1.3 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to support a demonstration project of pharmacy-based naloxone rescue kits to help reduce opioid addiction and overdose death in two New England States: Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Study: Women hurt more by breakups but recover more fully
Women experience more emotional pain following a breakup, but they also more fully recover, according to new research from Binghamton University.

It takes a lot of nerve: Scientists make cells to aid peripheral nerve repair
Peripheral nerve injuries, such as those resulting from neuropathies, physical trauma or surgery, are common and can cause partial or complete loss of nerve function and a reduced quality of life.

Paleo diet: Big brains needed carbs
Understanding how and why we evolved such large brains is one of the most puzzling issues in the study of human evolution.

Award-winning UMass Amherst mentor to lead new minority faculty support project
University of Massachusetts Amherst professor Sandra Petersen, recently honored at the White House for mentoring minority graduate students in the sciences, has received a $50,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to lead a pilot mentoring network for minority faculty women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics at 15 Northeast institutions plus the Five Colleges.

Ground Zero 1945: Hiroshima Archive to relay the experience to future generations
With the 70th-year commemoration of the end of World War II, the Hiroshima Archive is being launched globally.

Abusive men put female partners at greater sexual risk, study finds
New University of Washington research finds that men who were physically and sexually abusive to women were more likely than non-abusive men to engage in behaviors that exposed them and their partners to sexually transmitted infections.

Satellite sees formation of Eastern Pacific's Tropical Storm Hilda
The GOES-West satellite captured images of Tropical Storm Hilda as it developed early on Aug.

World-largest petawatt laser completed, delivering 2,000 trillion watts output
The Institute of Laser Engineering, Osaka University, has succeeded to reinforce the Petawatt 3 laser 'LFEX' to deliver up to 2,000 trillion watts in the duration of one-trillionth of one second.

Gene deletions and duplications reveal our genetic storyline
By looking closely at DNA variation across a vast number of populations, researchers now have a better idea of how selection affects the human genome around the globe.

EARTH: Oceans revealed on icy moons
It now appears that, of the many moons of Jupiter and Saturn, two of them may have oceans beneath their icy exteriors.

Neutrophil and cancer cell 'crosstalk' underlies oral cancer metastasis
An abnormal immune response or 'feedback loop' could very well be the underlying cause of metastases in oral cancers, according to Dr.

Punishing a child is effective if done correctly
While recently published parenting books have preached the effectiveness of positive parenting and 'no drama' discipline, psychologists presenting at the American Psychological Association's 123rd Annual Convention said don't put timeout in timeout yet.

The Lancet: Internet program to encourage handwashing reduces spread of cold and flu viruses
A web-based program to encourage more frequent handwashing reduces the risk of catching and passing on respiratory tract infections to other household members, a randomized trial of more than 16,000 UK households published in The Lancet has found.

TSRI chemists report nicotine-chomping bacteria may hold key to anti-smoking therapy
A new study from scientists at The Scripps Research Institute explores a bacterial enzyme that might be used as a drug candidate to help people quit smoking.

Important regulation of cell invaginations discovered
Lack of microinvaginations in the cell membrane, caveolae, can cause serious diseases such as lipodystrophy and muscular dystrophy.

Bacteria that prevent type 1 diabetes
Researchers from Inserm, Paris Descartes University and the CNRS, through collaboration with teams from China and Sweden, have recently shown how microbiota protects against the development of type 1 diabetes.

Excessive workout supplement use: An emerging eating disorder in men?
In an effort to build better bodies, more men are turning not to illegal anabolic steroids, but to legal over-the-counter bodybuilding supplements to the point where it may qualify as an emerging eating disorder, according to research presented at the American Psychological Association's annual convention.

Patient-funded trials may do more harm than good, ethicists warn
Carnegie Mellon University's Danielle Wenner and Alex John London and McGill University's Jonathan Kimmelman co-wrote a column in Cell Stem Cell outlining how patient-funded trials may seem like a beneficial new way to involve more patients in research and establish new funding opportunities, but instead they threaten scientific rigor, relevance, efficiency and fairness.

Study finds Texas voter photo ID requirement discourages turnout
A new study conducted by the University of Houston Hobby Center for Public Policy and Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy examines the impact of the controversial Texas law in US Congressional District 23.

Some radiation okay for expectant mother and fetus
During pregnancy, approximately 5 to 8 percent of women sustain traumatic injuries, including fractures and muscle tears.

Why it's hard to make a bunny mad: Examining prion disease resistance in rabbits
Rabbits have long been considered immune to prion disease, but recently scientists have shown that they can -- under certain circumstances -- get transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (or TSE, the scientific term for the fatal brain disease caused by prions).

Vaccine protects against Ebola when administered 7 days ahead
In the face of the recent Ebola outbreak, some good news emerges: a preclinical study testing the efficacy of the Ebola vaccine VSV-EBOV against the newly emerged West African Ebola strain shows complete protection when administered seven days before infection in nonhuman primates, and partial protection when administered three days before infection.

Very little evidence for cutting out certain carbs to ease irritable bowel
There is very little evidence to recommend avoiding certain types of dietary carbohydrate, known as the FODMAP diet, to ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS for short, concludes a review of the available data in Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin.

A GPM satellite 'bullseye' in Typhoon Soudelor
The Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM core satellite passed directly over Typhoon Soudelor as it tracks through the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

New algorithm aimed at combating science's reproducibility problem
A research team that bridges academia and industry has developed a new tool that can help identify false discoveries made through adaptive analysis.

Dasabuvir and ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir: Hint of added benefit in further patients
Results of an indirect comparison subsequently submitted by the drug manufacturer show added benefit in one further group of hepatitis C patients.

Childhood physical and sexual abuse linked to ulcerative colitis
Adults who were exposed to childhood physical or sexual abuse were approximately twice as likely to have ulcerative colitis, according to a new nationally representative study from four researchers at the University of Toronto.

The heads of these Brazilian frogs are venomous weapons
It's no surprise that some frogs secrete poison from glands in their skin.

A sticky situation
Researchers study and improve a small molecule that possesses an impressive ability to adhere in wet environments

If you purchase an embarrassing product online, do you still blush? New study says yes
Published research and common knowledge suggest that embarrassment is something we experience only when we are around other people.

Predator from a tank: New water mite genus from bromeliad phytotelmata
During an extensive sampling of the water mite fauna across the Atlantic rainforests of Brazil, a new mite genus has been proposed and diagnosed.

Scientists show how aging cripples the immune system, suggesting benefits of antioxidants
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have shown how aging cripples the production of new immune cells, decreasing the immune system's response to vaccines and putting the elderly at risk of infection.

Single dose Ebola vaccine is safe and effective in monkeys against outbreak strain
NIH scientists report that a single dose of an experimental Ebola virus vaccine completely protects cynomolgus macaques against the current EBOV outbreak strain, EBOV-Makona, when given at least seven days before exposure, and partially protects them if given three days prior.

Observing live energy production by malignant cells
To be able to function, cell mitochondria import 'fuel' using a carrier, the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC).

High blood sugar of diabetes can cause immune system malfunction, triggering infection
Case Western Reserve scientists may have uncovered a molecular mechanism that sets into motion dangerous infection in the feet and hands often occurring with uncontrolled diabetes.

Protein may trigger cancer cell's metabolism
New research shows that a modified version of the protein Hsp90 that's known to trigger death in nervous system cells may actually help cancer cells.

SAGE to begin publishing Dose-Response
SAGE today announces that it has begun publishing Dose-Response, the official journal of the International Dose-Response Society.

Protein identified that favors neuroprotective glial cell formation from stem cells
An international team of researchers has shown that NFIX, a protein that regulates neuronal stem cell activity (NSC), also has a role in driving NSC differentiation toward oligodendrocytes, a type of glial cell.

Einstein receives $1.2 million from New York state for spinal cord injury research
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System have received a $1.2 million grant from New York State to advance their promising technology for treating paralysis and other effects of spinal cord injuries.

Gravitational constant appears universally constant, pulsar study suggests
Astronomers produced the best constraint ever of the gravitational constant measured outside of our Solar System.

Fish go deep to beat the heat
A James Cook University study shows fish retreating to deeper water to escape the heat, a finding that throws light on what to expect if predictions of ocean warming come to pass.

Sorting through thickets of stars in elliptical galaxies far, far away
Two studies, one led by Yale's Grant Tremblay and other led by Michigan State University researcher Megan Donahue, are providing new information about why the universe's largest elliptical galaxies ratchet down their star production despite having plenty of available star-making material.

Science journal letter highlights salmon vulnerability
Simon Fraser University scientist Jonathan Moore has authored new research suggesting that a proposed controversial terminal to load fossil fuels in the Skeena River estuary has more far-reaching risks than previously recognized.

How do optical illusions work? (video)
Optical illusions are deceptive and mind-boggling. What's going on inside our heads when we see things that appear to be moving but aren't, and when we view other, similar visual tricks?

LA BioMed researcher to examine why some patients ignore doctors' orders
Why do some patients ignore their doctors' orders on medication?

Five ways to improve health information exchange in ERs
An emergency physician-led workgroup has published five primary and seven secondary recommendations about how to maximize the value of health information exchange in emergency departments.

Brain's ability to dispose of key Alzheimer's protein drops dramatically with age
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified some of the key changes in the aging brain that lead to the increased risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Dark and marked: Strikingly colored new fleshbelly frog from the Andean cloud forest
Carrying itself with a dark mask on its face and a broad shapeless white mark on its chest, a frog had been jumping across the Peruvian cloud forests of the Andes unrecognized by the scientific world.

To beat cancer at its own game
The National Institutes of Health has awarded $747,000 to Worcester Polytechnic Institute professor Amity Manning for a three-year research project to explore the molecular mechanisms associated with the genetic mutations and chromosome instability observed in all cancer cells.

One size does not fit all when it comes to marrow fat, scientists say
While most of us worry about the fat cells building up on the fleshy parts of our bodies, scientists are paying serious attention to another kind of fat cell deep inside our bones, in the marrow.

DNA repair: Pincer attack
First the scaffold is cracked, then defective parts are removed: Cells repair damaged DNA by a different mechanism than so far assumed, as chemists from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich have shown.

Tiny, light-activated crystal sponges fail over time. Why?
Hole-filled crystals called MOFs could one day serve as high-tech sponges, sopping up spilled oil, greenhouse gases and other chemicals.

Shorter course of radiation improves quality of life for breast cancer patients
Women who receive a shorter course of whole breast radiation therapy for early stage disease experience less toxicity and improved quality of life compared to those who undergo a longer course of treatment, researchers report from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Increased use of renewables results in growing GHG emission savings in the EU
Greenhouse gasses emission savings due to final renewable energy consumption in electricity, cooling/heating and transport sectors rose at a compound annual growth rate of 8.8 percent from 2009 to 2012, confirming the renewables' great potential in climate change mitigation, according to a new JRC report.

When fat is the solution: Using adipose cells to attenuate chagasic cardiomyopathy
It could be a plot for a vampire story: In the middle of the night, blood-sucking creatures feed on peoples' faces and spread a deadly disease to the hearts of millions, who are then fated to endure a painful death.

Wealthy countries may feel flooding effects more in the future
Today, many wealthy countries are able to mitigate, to some degree, their risk of delta flooding through vulnerability-reducing investments, but a new model suggests that this mitigation may not be sustainable in the long-term.

UNC scientists pinpoint how a single genetic mutation causes autism
Last December, researchers identified more than 1,000 gene mutations in individuals with autism, but how these mutations increased risk for autism was unclear.

Fly model of motor neuron degeneration provides new avenues for exploration in humans
Researchers have developed a new model to study motor neuron degeneration and have used this to identify three genes involved in the neurodegeneration process.

Saturn's rings in a supercomputer
Researchers from the Lomonosov Moscow State University explained the structure of Saturn's rings and modeled them using a supercomputer.

Typhoon Haiyan's destructive tsunami-like waves generated by surf beat over a coral reef
The surf beat from storm waves during Typhoon Haiyan locally generated destructive tsunami-like waves in a town protected by a coral reef.

Safe motorcycle helmets -- made of carrot fibers?
Crackpot idea or recipe for success? This is a question entrepreneurs often face.

Pioneering air traffic management system aims for safer drone air traffic
Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno are now working on a new, low-altitude traffic management system to keep autonomous aerial vehicles safer as they cruise through increasingly crowded skies.

2015 AIP science writing award for articles goes to Andrew Grant/Science News
The American Institute of Physics has named Andrew Grant, a Washington, DC-based science reporter, as one of the winners of the 2015 AIP Science Communication Awards.

High-altitude climate change to kill cloud forest plants
Australian scientists have discovered many tropical, mountaintop plants won't survive global warming, even under the best-case climate scenario.

Researchers identify drug candidate for skin, hair regeneration in scarred burn and trauma victims
Johns Hopkins researchers have identified a novel cell signaling pathway in mice through which mammals -- presumably including people -- can regenerate hair follicles and skin while healing from wounds.

Topical gel proves safe, effective treatment for patients with skin T cell lymphoma
Results of a phase one trial show that an investigational topical drug, resiquimod gel, causes regression of both treated and untreated tumor lesions and may completely remove cancerous cells from both sites in patients with early stage cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) -- a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that affects the skin.

The secret to the success of insects
A new family of glycerol transporters may help to explain why insects are the most successful group of organisms in the history of life.

Artificially evolved robots that efficiently self-organize tasks
Darwinian selection can be used to evolve robot controllers able to efficiently self-organize their tasks.

Believing you are overweight may lead to further weight gain
People who recognize they are overweight or obese are more likely to put on weight than those who are unaware that they may be heavier than doctors would advise, according to research by the University of Liverpool.

New biomarker identified in breast and prostate cancers holds promise for treating disease
Cedars-Sinai researchers have identified a novel genetic biomarker responsible for the progression of many breast and prostate cancers.

Urban ERs see high rates of hepatitis C infection
An urban emergency department that set up a hepatitis C testing protocol saw high rates of infection among intravenous drug users and Baby Boomers, with three-quarters of those testing positive unaware they were infected.

Plenaries at American Chemical Society meeting will focus on innovation
Scientists will offer an inside look at moving new drugs, foods and materials from the lab to the marketplace in three plenary talks at the 250th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society, taking place Aug.

Tweeting responses to complaints on social media triggers new complaints, INFORMS study
Companies engaging with customers on Twitter beware: responding to complaints on social media has the side effect of triggering new complaints.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Guillermo's big stretch
When you look at Tropical Storm Guillermo on infrared NASA satellite imagery it looks stretched out with a 'tail' of clouds extending to the northeast.

BIDMC researchers identify new vitamin B3 pathway
Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have identified a new vitamin B3 pathway that regulates liver metabolism.

Adding price tag to medicine packs just 'headline grabbing gimmick' says dtb
Adding the price tag to prescription medicines worth more than £20 in England is just a 'headline grabbing gimmick,' which, among other things, could potentially mislead patients into believing that cheaper drugs are somehow less important, says an editorial in Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin.

CHOP-led clinical research network leverages big data with a family-friendly approach
PEDSnet, a national clinical research network co-led by a pediatric researcher at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, was approved for an $8.6 million, three-year funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

Scientists discover how key proteins segregate vital genetic information during mitosis
Chromosomes are responsible for carrying our genes and essentially protecting the information that helps ensure normal growth, with vital instructions being passed on by mitosis.

Chemists find new way to do light-driven reactions in solar energy quest
Chemists have discovered an unexpected way to use plasmonic metal, harvesting the high energy electrons excited by light in plasmon and then using this energy to do chemistry.

Data from Nepal reveals the nature of megathurst earthquakes
As a devastating earthquake ruptured Nepal on April 25, 2015, nearby GPS networks continuously recorded measurements at very close distances.

Many seniors overestimate their mobility
Many seniors who visit emergency departments require more assistance with physical tasks than they think they do, which may lead to hospital readmission later on.

Why the human heart cannot regenerate
Damage to the human heart causes cardiac muscle cells to die, which in turn leads to reduced heart function and death.

BMJ to publish Journal of Investigative Medicine from January next year
Global healthcare knowledge provider BMJ is to publish the Journal of Investigative Medicine, which is owned by the prestigious American Federation for Medical Research, the company has announced. 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