Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 10, 2015
Big data analysis of state of the union remarks changes view of American History
Researchers used computational techniques to map recurring words and their relation to each other in 224-years of State of the Union remarks by American presidents.

Common class of 'channel blocking' drugs may find a role in cancer therapy
Research findings in fruit flies and mice by UC San Francisco scientists that led to unconventional treatment of a case of metastatic brain cancer.

Women having a baby by IVF are at increased risk of reflux disease after birth
Women who give birth to babies conceived by in-vitro fertilization are at increased risk of experiencing long-term symptoms of gastro-esophageal reflux disease, according to the results of a study published in the UEG Journal.

UBC scientists discover possible 'obesity gene'
Scientists at the University of British Columbia have discovered a gene that could be an important cause of obesity.

Math boosts brain research
Human memory is the result of different mental processes, such as learning, remembering and forgetting.

Camera for the nano-cosmos
To gain even deeper insights into the smallest of worlds, the thresholds of microscopy must be expanded further.

Research pours cold water on ice bath recovery theory
Research pours cold water on ice bath recovery theory.

Parents' math anxiety can undermine children's math achievement
A team of researchers led by UChicago psychologists Sian Beilock and Susan Levine found that children of math-anxious parents learned less math over the school year and were more likely to be math-anxious themselves -- but only when these parents provided frequent help on the child's math homework.

Seventeen ASTRO members awarded Fellows designation
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has selected 17 distinguished members to receive the ASTRO Fellows designation.

New ORNL hybrid microscope offers unparalleled capabilities
A microscope being developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory will allow scientists studying biological and synthetic materials to simultaneously observe chemical and physical properties on and beneath the surface.

Keeping beef in the center of the plate
Drs. Daniel Thomson, Clint Krehbiel and Chris Calkins offer thought-provoking information surrounding our modern beef industry and how to keep it thriving.

Study examines how and why states adopt drunk driving laws
A study by researchers at NYU Steinhardt finds that the severity of drunk driving within a state is not the most important predictor of whether states adopt new laws to restrict drunk driving -- nor is the political makeup of the state government.

Drug candidate kills cancer cells through overstimulation
A drug candidate that overstimulates proteins crucial for tumor growth shows promise as a new strategy to treat a wide range of cancers.

Atomic-level defense secrets revealed
New research in the current issue of Nature, however, has revealed the molecular secrets of plants' defense mechanisms at the atomic level.

Depressed teens at risk of heart disease, early monitoring urged
Teens with major depression or bipolar disorder are at high risk of early heart and blood vessel disease.

$10M federal grant to JAX will launch Center for Precision Genetics
A five-year, $9,971,936 grant from the National Institutes of Health will establish a new Center for Precision Genomics at The Jackson Laboratory, a major initiative involving several collaborating institutions, with the goal of finding solutions for life-threatening and genetically complex human diseases through new approaches to developing precision models of disease.

NASA stares Hurricane Hilda in the eye
NASA's Terra satellite passed over Hurricane Hilda and captured an image that clearly showed the storm's eye.

Astronomers discover new planet orbiting two stars
Researchers on Friday will announce the discovery of a new planet orbiting in the 'habitable zone' of two stars, the 10th 'circumbinary' located by NASA's Kepler Mission.

Seniors at high risk for readmission after ambulatory surgery
Patients 65 and older who have ambulatory surgery are 54 percent more likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days than younger patients, regardless of their health before surgery, reports a large national study.

Mass. General-led team identifies first gene that causes mitral valve prolapse
An international research collaboration led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has identified the first gene in which mutations cause the common form of mitral valve prolapse, a heart valve disorder that affects almost 2.5 percent of the population.

Charting the slow death of the Universe
An international team of astronomers studying more than 200,000 galaxies has measured the energy generated within a large portion of space more precisely than ever before.

Researcher uses vibrations to identify materials' composition
A hybrid version of atomic force microscopy identifies materials and maps out their chemical composition at much greater resolution, with implications in a number of fields.

Developing a better flu vaccine
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers say they have developed a method that could make a nasal spray flu vaccine effective for those under two and over 49 -- two groups for which the vaccine is not approved.

Stepchildren who view former stepparents as family maintain relationships after divorce
When stepfamilies dissolve after a divorce, little is known about the relationships between former stepparents and stepchildren.

Fires near Lake Baikul, Russia
The area of forest fires in Russia's Siberian Federal District has grown over three times over the last 24 hours to 108,300 hectares (267,615 acres) for a total of 146 fires.

Study of 83,000 veterans finds cardiovascular benefits to testosterone replacement
A Veterans Affairs database study of more than 83,000 patients found that men whose low testosterone was restored to normal through gels, patches, or injections had a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, or death from any cause, versus similar men who were not treated.

Southern diet could raise your risk of heart attack
Regularly eating a typical Southern-style diet may significantly raise your risk of heart attack or heart-related death.

New mathematics advances the frontier of macromolecular imaging
To see proteins in their native environment, scientists can blast powerful X-rays at tiny volumes of proteins in solution.

Statistical model uses transaction attributes to better target marketing resources
A new statistical model that businesses can use to approximate an upper limit on the appropriate amount of marketing dollars they should invest in retaining their most important customers was presented today at a session of the 2015 Joint Statistical Meetings in Seattle.

Link between hunger and health care costs
Low-income people who struggle to put food on the table also use the health care system more, which means higher health care costs, according to new research published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Places with more marijuana dispensaries have more marijuana-related hospitalizations
People who live in areas of California with a higher density of marijuana dispensaries experience a greater number of hospitalizations involving marijuana abuse and dependence, a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health analysis discovered.

As California wildfires burn, southern plant species are shifting northward
After wildfire, Northern California forests are beginning to look more like those seen in Mexico and Southern California.

Non-native marine species' spread, impact explained by time since introduction
The time since the introduction of a non-native marine species best explains its global range, according to new research by an international team of scientists led by University of Georgia ecologist James E.

Rice U. discovery may boost memory technology
Scientists at Rice University have created a solid-state memory technology that allows for high-density storage with a minimum of errors.

Worn-out warriors? ONR looks at importance of sleep to warfighters
To discuss the impact of sleep deprivation on warfighters -- and share ideas on how to make sleep more revitalizing -- the Office of Naval Research and the Department of Defense's Human Performance Optimization Advisory Committee last week held a workshop titled the 'Restorative Effects of Sleep.'

Terra captures Alaskan wildfires
The 2015 Alaska fire season reached another milestone Friday by surpassing the 5-million-mark in the number of acres burned so far this season.

Work, pedal, and be healthy
By providing workers with a portable pedaling device, Lucas Carr, an assistant professor in the Department of Health and Human Physiology and member of the Obesity Research and Education Initiative at the University of Iowa, discovered people who were once sitting all day were now moving at work without even getting up.

Swimming without a trace -- Building a machine to mimic what sea lions naturally do
A GW professor is observing sea lions at the Smithsonian's National Zoo to build a robotic foreflipper that can move through the water without leaving a wake.

Underground gourmet: Selected terrestrial cave invertebrates and their meal preferences
Doubting whether cave invertebrates feed on just anything they can find in the harsh food-wise environment underground, Dr.

Patients at risk for blood clots are not receiving recommended treatment
Venous thromboembolism, encompassing blood clots in leg veins or clots that travel to the lungs, is the most common cause of preventable death in hospital settings.

Brushing off the dust: New snail species found lying in a museum since the 19th century
Having been collected back in the 19th century during an expedition in South America, a rather small snail species has been sitting around on the shelves of Madrid's National Museum of Natural Sciences ever since.

More evidence needed to identify best methods to clean hospital rooms, prevent infections
While a new Penn Medicine study in this week's Annals of Internal Medicine points to several promising cleaning tactics of 'high-touch surfaces,' there's a lack of evidence as to which is the most effective at reducing healthcare-associated infections.

Slowing down muscle loss in heart failure patients
Whenever cardiac insufficiency or serious heart defects worsen, such deterioration is often associated with a loss of muscular mass and muscular strength.

New research sheds light on the molecular origins of Parkinson's disease
Scientists have identified two proteins that appear to have a protective effect in the set of neurons most affected by this degenerative disease.

Movie theaters in developing economies should consider the big screen
In emerging economies, where real estate is expensive and space is limited, there has been a boom in multiplex movie theater construction fueled by the conviction that small screens with many show times will increase ticket sales.

Mussels inspire development of waterproof adhesives
Nature provides spectacular examples of adhesives that work extraordinarily well in wet and harsh conditions.

Scientists pioneer method to track water flowing through glaciers
Researchers for the first time have used seismic sensors to track meltwater flowing through glaciers and into the ocean, a critical step to understanding glaciers as climate changes.

Study finds price of wind energy in US at an all-time low, averaging under 2.5¢/kWh
Wind energy pricing is at an all-time low, according to a new report released by the US Department of Energy and prepared by Berkeley Lab.

ASU taking reins of new national geotechnical engineering research center
Arizona State University will lead a new national geotechnical engineering research center aimed at developing ways to make our built environment more sustainable.

Brazilian antibody will be used to create new cancer drug
A Brazilian company has signed a licensing agreement with an American laboratory, under which the US-based company's technology will be used to produce a monoclonal antibody (mAb), developed in Brazil, that can be deployed for the purposes of cancer treatment.

Novel material design for undistorted light waves
Material which have the ability to locally amplify or absorb light waves are being developed.

Statisticians develop new 2-cycle dose-finding method for personalized cancer treatments
A new technique developed by statisticians that is helping doctors optimize the dose of a new cancer treatment patients receive in phase I/ II clinical trials was presented today by Juhee Lee, assistant professor of applied mathematics and statistics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, during a session at the 2015 Joint Statistical Meetings in Seattle.

Bringing the Tasmanian devil back to mainland Australia would restore ecosystem health
UNSW Australia researchers have conducted the first study assessing the ecological impact of returning Tasmanian devils to mainland Australia, as a way to replace culled dingoes as apex predators.

FSG to donate to World Cancer Research Fund for every new member of Oncology Central
Oncology Central, Future Science Group's key online resource for the oncology community, today announced that they will be supporting World Cancer Research Fund this month by donating £1 to the charity for every new member of Oncology Central.

Charting the slow death of the Universe
Astronomers studying over 200,000 galaxies have measured the energy generated within a large portion of space more precisely than ever.

Life is but a DREAM
Can we use computers to predict whether a compound will have a toxic effect on people?

Study finds steroid therapy benefits patients with pneumonia
Patients with community-acquired pneumonia who received corticosteroids were discharged from hospital sooner, and results showed a reduction in the need for mechanical ventilation and the likelihood of life-threatening complications.

Dartmouth team uses smart light, shadows to track human posture
A Dartmouth College team has created the first light-sensing system that reconstructs human postures continuously and unobtrusively, furthering efforts to create smart spaces in which people control their environment with simple gestures.

Meals ready to eat: Expedition 44 crew members sample leafy greens grown on space station
Fresh food grown in the microgravity environment of space officially is on the menu for the first time for NASA astronauts on the International Space Station.

Scientists measure slow death of the Universe
An international team of astronomers studying 200,000 galaxies has measured the energy generated within a large portion of space more precisely than ever before, discovering that it's only half what it was two billion years ago and fading -- the Universe is slowly dying.

Research shows catastrophic invertebrate extinction in Hawai'i and globally
A team of researchers recently published the first rigorous assessment of extinction of invertebrates in Hawai`i.

Stem cells help researchers study the effects of pollution on human health
A recent study published in the Journal of Environmental Sciences shows that embryonic stem cells could serve as a model to evaluate the physiological effects of environmental pollutants efficiently and cost-effectively.

Analysis identifies disparities in pediatric primary care accessibility in multiple states
An analysis of pediatric primary health care accessibility and availability in multiple states that uncovered systematic disparities between and within states was presented today at a session of the 2015 Joint Statistical Meetings in Seattle.

Carnivorous dinosaurs strolled around in Germany
142 million years ago two carnivorous dinosaurs strolled along the beach in what is now Germany.

Natural campus areas in spotlight at Ecological Society of America sessions
A series of presentations will center on how universities can preserve their natural areas.

Scripps Florida scientists determine how antibiotic gains cancer-killing sulfur atoms
In a discovery with implications for future drug design, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have shown an unprecedented mechanism for how a natural antibiotic with antitumor properties incorporates sulfur into its molecular structure, an essential ingredient of its antitumor activity.

Researchers identify nerve-guiding protein that aids pancreatic cancer spread
Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have identified a molecular partnership in pancreatic cancer cells that might help to explain how the disease spreads -- metastasizes -- in some cases.

Sexting and internet safety climb top 10 list of child health concerns
Adults rank childhood obesity, bullying, and drug abuse as top three child health concerns.

Ranier Blatt wins Bell Prize for trailblazing quantum research
On Aug. 20th, 2015, world-renowned quantum physicist Rainer Blatt will be awarded a prestigious prize for his contributions to the development of quantum information technologies, during the Conference on Quantum Information and Quantum Control being held at the Fields Institute at the University of Toronto.

More precise colon cancer screening?
A clinical scoring system for colon cancer risk could help physicians identify which average-risk patients could potentially skip a colonoscopy and instead be screened with a less-invasive method.

New computational method predicts genes likely to be causal in disease
A new computational method improves the detection of genes that are likely to be causal for complex diseases and biological traits.

Scientists present review of liposomes: A basis for drugs of the future
An international group of scientists, including Vladimir Chupin, head of the Biophysics Section at MIPT, and Vladimir Torchilin (Northeastern University, the USA), one of the world's leading experts in pharmacology, recently presented a review of liposomes, microscopic capsules widely used all over the world in the development of new drugs.

World population likely to surpass 11 billion in 2100
The world's population will increase from today's 7.3 billion people to 9.7 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion at century's end, John R.

Bioengineers identify the key genes and functions for sustaining microbial life
A new study led by bioengineers at the University of California, San Diego defines the core set of genes and functions that a bacterial cell needs to sustain life.

Rice, ASU, Yale, UTEP win NSF engineering research center
A Rice University-led consortium has won $18.5 million from the National Science Foundation to establish a national research center in Houston to develop mobile, off-grid water-treatment systems that can provide clean water to millions of people who lack it and make US energy production more sustainable and cost-effective.

Traitors in our midst: Bacteria use toxins to turn our own bodies against us
Researchers who have revealed a highly efficient way that bacteria use toxins to interrupt the immune response say that until now, the trickery of these toxins has been underappreciated in science.

Portable ultra-broadband lasers could be key to next-generation sensors
Northwestern University professor Manijeh Razeghi and her team created a custom-tailored, compact laser diode by integrating multiple wavelength emitters into a single device.

Engineering a permanent solution to genetic diseases
New research from the University of Alberta, and published in the journal Nature Methods, demonstrates a new technology advancing the field of genome engineering.

How a female X chromosome is inactivated
In female mammals, one of the two X chromosomes is inactivated.

Survey reveals best practices that lead to high patient ratings of hospital care
Based on responses to questionnaires and letters sent to CEOs and medical personnel from a nationwide sample of 53 hospitals, Johns Hopkins investigators have identified a handful of best practices they say are most likely to give patients a positive hospital experience, a sense of satisfaction and the feeling they come first.

Researchers resurrect ancient viruses in hopes of improving gene therapy
Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear have reconstructed an ancient virus that is highly effective at delivering gene therapies to the liver, muscle, and retina.

Markey's D'Orazio receives funding to further skin cancer research
It's well-known that excessive UV exposure can lead to skin cancer -- but Dr.

Dartmouth researcher discovers 'brain signature' that predicts human emotions
A Dartmouth researcher and his colleagues have discovered a way to predict human emotions based on brain activity.

miR-7 suppresses stomach cancer
Researchers reveal that the microRNA miR-7 suppresses stomach cancer by inhibiting a key signaling pathway, and that this protective mechanism is compromised by the cancer-causing bacterium H. pylori.

Depth-sensing camera gleans 3-D information in bright sunlight as well as darkness
Depth-sensing cameras, such as Microsoft's Kinect controller for video games, have become widely used 3-D sensors.

Analytics for resilience
Statistical models are playing an increasingly important role in risk analysis and helping the United States and other countries around the globe mitigate the effects of natural and man-made disasters, said Siddhartha (Sid) Dalal during a presentation at the 2015 Joint Statistical Meetings yesterday in Seattle.

New digital seafloor map provides answers and more questions
Ocean sediments cover 70 percent of our planet's surface, forming the substrate for the largest ecosystem on Earth and its largest carbon reservoir -- but the most recent map of seafloor geology was drawn by hand more than 40 years ago.

Scientists identify a mechanism of epidemic bacterial disease
Through identification of increased toxin production by epidemic forms of group A streptococcus (the 'flesh-eating' bacterium), for the first time scientists are able to pinpoint the molecular events that contribute to large intercontinental epidemics of disease.

Entomological Society of America issues statement on tick-borne diseases
The Entomological Society of America (ESA) recently released a statement supporting the creation and implementation of a national strategy using Integrated Tick Management to better control tick populations and reduce the rapidly escalating impact of tick-borne diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and Lyme disease.

Tenth transiting 'Tatooine'
Astronomers from San Diego State University are announcing the discovery of a new transiting 'circumbinary' planet, bringing the number of such known planets into double digits.

Eliminating entanglements
A Harvard team of polymer physicists and chemists has developed a way to create an ultra-soft dry silicone rubber.

Super-small needle technology for the brain
A research team at Toyohashi University of Technology has developed a methodology for brain penetration using sub-5 μm diameter flexible needles.

NASA sees Tropical Depression Molave spinning down
NASA's Terra satellite and the RapidScat instrument both captured data on Tropical Depression Molave as it was spinning down in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

Trust me: Dartmouth researcher sheds light on why people trust
Trust matters whether it's love, money or another part of our everyday lives that requires risk, and a new study by a Dartmouth brain researcher and his collaborators sheds light on what motivates people to make that leap of faith.

Stepping up the sexy
What makes humans attractive to other humans? Queen's University professor Nikolaus Troje (Psychology, Biology, School of Computing) believes that it is the consistency of the whole appearance rather than the attractiveness of the parts.

Researchers develop advanced cell screening technology for cancer immunotherapy
Researchers have created a new method for screening cells used in immunotherapy cancer treatments, allowing high-performing immune system cells to be studied in isolation and potentially expanding the number of patients for whom the breakthrough treatment proves successful.

Knee replacement is effective treatment for degeneration caused by Blount disease
A first-of-its kind study has found that total knee replacements can effectively treat degeneration caused by a bone deformity called Blount disease.

Guam research aids native trees
A research team studies Guam's native trees to improve production for reforestation.

Parents' math anxiety can undermine children's math achievement
If the thought of a math test makes you break out in a cold sweat, Mom or Dad may be partly to blame, according to new research published in Psychological Science.

JDR articles discuss diet, dental caries and health policy
Today, IADR/AADR published two reports including a critical review titled 'Diet and Dental Caries -- the Pivotal Role of Free Sugars Reemphasized.' In this critical review, the authors reviewed the literature on the role of sucrose in the cariogenic process and conclude there is extensive scientific evidence that free sugars are the primary necessary factor in the development of dental caries.

Municipal utilities drive sustainability in smaller cities
Small cities and rural areas lag behind in environmental protection policymaking because they often lack the financial or technical resources needed.

KCI/WSU among lead centers in nationwide NCI MATCH trial
The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, in partnership with Wayne State University School of Medicine, is one of the lead academic centers participating in the National Cancer Institute's MATCH Trial in the United States, set to begin in the next few weeks.

Carbon dioxide-spewing volcano drives reef from coral to algae
Scientists from NOAA and the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science have documented a dramatic shift from vibrant coral communities to carpets of algae in remote Pacific Ocean waters where an underwater volcano spews carbon dioxide.

Why does coffee make you...'go'? (video)
It's Monday, and most of us need to reach for a cup of joe to get through the day.

Education intervention with residents improves understanding of transgender issues
The term 'transgender' has made its way into mainstream media, but for many physicians, or physicians-in-training, who do not typically treat transgender patients, transgender medicine is still a mystery.

Big data analytical advances from academia, business are enhancing exploration of universe
Statisticians have combined state-of-the-art analytical techniques from the academic and business worlds to tackle the Big Data challenges confronting astrophysicists and astronomers as they explore the mysteries of our universe, Lars K.S.

Elsevier announces publishing agreement with the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Canada
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, has announced that it has been selected by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada to publish its journal, Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, as of January 2016.

Study suggests altered brain development among former NFL players
Former National Football League players who started playing tackle football before the age of 12 were found to have a higher risk of altered brain development compared to those who started playing at a later age.

Case Western Reserve receives $2.3 million NIH grant to fund nutritious food access study
The National Institutes of Health has awarded $2.3 million to Case Western Reserve to lead a collaborative study of how changes in food options affect residents' nutritional choices and health over time.

Receptor that helps protect brain cells has important role in support cells for the retina
A receptor that is already a target for treating neurodegenerative disease also appears to play a key role in supporting the retina, scientists report.

New hydrogel stretches and contracts like a heat-driven muscle
A team led by scientists from the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science in Japan has developed a new hydrogel that works like an artificial muscle -- quickly stretching and contracting in response to changing temperature.

Poor survival among colorectal cancer patients tied to biomarker CSN6
A protein called CSN6 has been found to be correlated with poor survival among patients with colorectal cancer, according to a study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Newly identified tadpole disease found across the globe
Scientists have found that a newly identified and highly infectious tadpole disease is found in a diverse range of frog populations across the world.

Kids, teens win when mental health providers team with pediatricians, family doctors
Amid growing interest in the value of teaming mental health providers with family doctors, the first meta-analysis of research on so-called 'integrated care' finds that children and adolescents were 66 percent more likely to have a positive outcome with the approach than with more traditional primary care.

How spiritual beliefs relate to cancer patients' physical, mental, and social well-being
Research reveals that most individuals with cancer have religious and spiritual beliefs, or derive comfort from religious and spiritual experiences.

Critical Materials Institute rare-earth recycling invention licensed to US Rare Earths
A new technology that aids in the recycling, recovery and extraction of rare earth minerals has been licensed to US Rare Earths, Inc.

LA BioMed researcher to receive Young Investigator Award
Dr. Nagendra Mishra will be honored by the American Society of Microbiology with at its 2015 Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy Sept.

Clearing habitat surrounding farm fields fails to reduce pathogens
The effort to improve food safety by clearing wild vegetation surrounding crops is not helping, and in some cases may even backfire, according to a new study led by UC Berkeley researchers.

Severe droughts could lead to widespread losses of butterflies by 2050
Widespread drought-sensitive butterfly population extinctions could occur in the UK as early as 2050 according to a new study published today in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change.

Package of articles, podcast focus on end-of-life, physician-assisted suicide
JAMA Internal Medicine will publish a package of articles, along with an author interview podcast, focused on end-of-life, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.

Volcanic vents preview future ocean habitats
A world-first underwater study of fish in their natural environment by University of Adelaide marine ecologists has shown how predicted ocean acidification from climate change will devastate temperate marine habitats and biodiversity.

A small, modular, efficient fusion plant
Small, modular, efficient plant design could make fusion practical.
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