Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 17, 2015
Study examines Florida's pill mill law, prescription drug monitoring program
Legislative efforts by the state of Florida to reduce prescription drug abuse and diversion appear to be associated with modest decreases in opioid prescribing and use, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Study reveals effects of chemoradiation in brains of glioblastoma patients
A study from Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center researchers -- the first to examine the effects of combined radiation and chemotherapy on the healthy brain tissue of glioblastoma patients -- reveals not only specific structural changes within patients' brains but also that the effect of cancer therapy on the normal brain appears to be progressive and continues even after radiation therapy has ceased.

A brain-computer interface for controlling an exoskeleton
Scientists working at Korea University, Korea, and TU Berlin, Germany have developed a brain-computer control interface for a lower limb exoskeleton by decoding specific signals from within the user's brain.

MD Anderson study reveals new insight into tumor progression
Scientists know that activation of growth factor receptors like epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) promote tumor progression in many types of cancer.

Protective eyewear reduces field hockey eye injuries without increased concussion risk
A study conducted by researchers at Hasbro Children's Hospital, Boston Children's Hospital, Fairfax (VA) County Public Schools and the University of Colorado School of Medicine has found that nationally mandated protective eyewear results in a greater than three-fold reduced risk of eye and orbital injuries in high school (HS) girls' field hockey players without increasing rates of concussion.

Study finds where our brain stores the time and place of memories
For the first time, scientists have seen evidence of where the brain records the time and place of real-life memories.

In first year, 2 Florida laws reduce amount of opioids prescribed, study suggests
Two Florida laws, enacted to combat prescription drug abuse and misuse in that state, led to a small but significant decrease in the amount of opioids prescribed the first year the laws were in place, a new study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers suggests.

Kessler Foundation study shows poor sleep contributes to MS-related fatigue
Kessler Foundation's Lauren Strober, Ph.D., confirmed that sleep disturbances significantly contribute to MS-related fatigue, a common and often disabling symptom among individuals with MS.

How traumatic memories hide in the brain, and how to retrieve them
Some stressful experiences -- such as chronic childhood abuse -- are so traumatic, the memories hide like a shadow in the brain and can't be consciously accessed.

New approach could reduce human health impacts of electric power generation
By combining information about power plant operation with real-time air quality predictions, researchers have created a new capability to minimize the human health effects of air pollution resulting from electric power generating facilities.

Snake scales protect steel against friction
A snake moves without legs by the scales on its belly gripping the ground.

Danish breakthrough brings futuristic electronics a step nearer
First-year nanoscience students publish breakthrough in self-assembling molecular electronics.

What clinicians need to know about bilingual development in children
Bilingual children pose unique challenges for clinicians, and, until recently, there was little research on young bilinguals to guide clinical practice.

Racial attitudes of blacks in multiracial congregations resemble those of whites
Troubling questions about multiracial congregations' potential to address racial inequality are raised by a new national study done by researchers at the University of Southern California, Baylor University and the University of Chicago.

The nonagenarian athlete: Researchers study Olga Kotelko's brain
In the summer of 2012, Olga Kotelko, a 93-year-old Canadian track-and-field athlete with more than 30 world records in her age group, visited the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois and submitted to an in-depth analysis of her brain.

Up to 30 percent less precipitation in the Central Andes in future
Seasonal water shortages already occur in the Central Andes of Peru and Bolivia.

First-of-its-kind study finds music therapy lowers anxiety during surgical breast biopsies
A first-of-its-kind study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology finds that music therapy lessened anxiety for women undergoing surgical breast biopsies for cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Effect of presymptomatic BMI, dietary intake, alcohol on ALS
Presymptomatic patients with the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) consumed more daily calories but had lower body-mass index (BMI) than those individuals without ALS in a study in the Netherlands that also looked at risk for the disease and associations with food and alcohol intake, according to an article published online by JAMA Neurology.

Vanderbilt study shifts thinking on how bone fractures heal
A team of Vanderbilt investigators has discovered that fibrin, a protein that was thought to play a key role in fracture healing, is not required.

Major innovation in molecular imaging delivers spatial and spectral info simultaneously
Using physical chemistry methods to look at biology at the nanoscale, a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researcher has invented a new technology to image single molecules with unprecedented spectral and spatial resolution, thus leading to the first 'true-color' super-resolution microscope.

Return on investment slipping in biomedical research
As more money has been spent on biomedical research in the United States over the past 50 years, there has been diminished return on investment in terms of life expectancy gains and new drug approvals, two Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers say.

Study: Breastfeeding could reduce common infections among Indigenous infants
Promoting breastfeeding could lead to a substantial reduction in common infections and even deaths that are more common in Indigenous infants than non-Indigenous infants, a new study suggests.

Capturing clues to solar mysteries hurtling through space at the speed of light
Solar flare experts from around the world gathered at NJIT last week to share the latest research on the sudden, powerful blasts of electromagnetic radiation and charged particles that burst into space during the Sun's massive eruptions.

Flooding's impact on wetlands measurable via low-cost approach
Scientists designed a new, on-site method for studying potential impacts rising sea levels can have on vital wetlands, said a University of Alabama researcher who led a study publishing Aug.

Researchers study potential cures for congenital blindness
University of Akron assistant chemistry professor Dr. Adam W. Smith and his team received a grant for research that could have promising results for curing congenital blindness.

NASA's LADEE spacecraft finds neon in lunar atmosphere
The moon's thin atmosphere contains neon, a gas commonly used in electric signs on Earth because of its intense glow.

Fat mice bred to have more muscle give insight
Even without losing fat, more muscle appears to go a long way in fighting off the bad cardiovascular effects of obesity.

IU paleobotanist identifies what could be the mythical 'first flower'
Indiana University paleobotanist David Dilcher and colleagues in Europe have identified a 125 million- to 130 million-year-old freshwater plant as one of earliest flowering plants on Earth.

How to preserve fleeting digital information with DNA for future generations
Hand-written letters and old photos seem quaint in today's digital age.

Stanford engineers develop a wireless, implantable device to stimulate nerves in mice
A blue glowing device the size of a peppercorn can activate neurons of the brain, spinal cord or limbs in mice and is powered wirelessly using the mouse's own body to transfer energy.

OU receives $1M grant from the Mellon Foundation for development of digital Latin library
The University of Oklahoma is the recipient of a $1 million grant from the Andrew W.

How does Febreze work? (video)
Almost all of us have used some type of odor eliminator like Febreze to un-stink a room.

Genetic test could improve blood cancer treatment
Testing for genetic risk factors could improve treatment for myeloma -- a cancer of the blood and bone marrow -- by helping doctors identify patients at risk of developing more aggressive disease.

NO2 air pollution increases allergenicity in ragweed pollen
Pollen of the common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) has higher concentrations of allergen when the plant is exposed to NO2 exhaust gases, according to findings of scientists of Helmholtz Zentrum München.

Study: 2 major US aquifers contaminated by natural uranium
New study shows that nearly two million people in California and the Great Plains live above aquifers contaminated by uranium at concentrations up to 89 percent of the EPA standard.

Drinking coffee daily may improve survival in colon cancer patients
Regular consumption of caffeinated coffee may help prevent the return of colon cancer after treatment and improve the chances of a cure, according to a new, large study from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute that reported this striking association for the first time.

Overcoming ethnic divides key to fueling stock market growth in emerging economies
On the heels of President Barack Obama's trip to Kenya this summer, in which the US president called on Kenya to overcome ethnic divisions, a new study provides insights into the economic cost of segregation in developing countries and how to overcome it.

1,800 years of global ocean cooling halted by global warming
Prior to the advent of human-caused global warming in the 19th century, the surface layer of Earth's oceans had undergone 1,800 years of a steady cooling trend, according to a new study in the Aug.

New research could lead to better identification of human vulnerabilities
A researcher at the University of Missouri suggests that research in 'male vulnerability' should be expanded to include 'female vulnerability.' Using evolutionary theory, he proposes a method for identifying when specific traits, such as height or language abilities, are compromised in one sex or the other or at some ages but not others.

IRS rules to protect patients from health care financial burdens are inadequate, need legal reform
Recently issued new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules for tax-exempt, typically nonprofit, hospitals designed to help protect patients from health care financial burdens are inadequate and need further legal reform, Georgia State University Law Professor Erin C.

Fresh from the tree
Think you'd like the food on your plate more if it was moving?

Frequent volcanic eruptions likely cause of long-term ocean cooling
An international team of researchers found an 1800 year-long cooling trend in the surface layer of the Earth's oceans, and that volcanic eruptions were the likely cause of the cooling from 801 to 1800 AD.

Dark Energy Survey finds more celestial neighbors
Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey, using one of the world's most powerful digital cameras, have discovered eight more faint celestial objects hovering near our Milky Way galaxy.

Children of military parents, caregivers at greater risk for adverse outcomes
Children with parents or caregivers currently serving in the military had a higher prevalence of substance use, violence, harassment and weapon-carrying than their nonmilitary peers in a study of California school children, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

Whistled Turkish challenges notions about language and the brain
Generally speaking, language processing is a job for the brain's left hemisphere.

Securing data from tomorrow's supercomputers
For the powerful quantum computers that will be developed in the future, cracking online bank account details and credit cards number will be a synch.

Research from Harvard and Johns Hopkins shows surge in journal articles on yoga therapy
During the last 10 years, the number of articles in peer-reviewed journals worldwide about clinical trials of yoga therapy to alleviate disease-related symptoms increased three-fold.

Retinal changes may serve as measures of brain pathology in schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is associated with structural and functional alterations of the visual system, including specific structural changes in the eye.

NASA's GPM looks inside Typhoon Goni GPM image of Goni
The Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM mission core satellite passed over Typhoon Goni and gathered data about its rainfall rates and powerful thunderstorms.

NASA's Terra Satellite sees powerful storms ring Typhoon Atsani's eye
Typhoon Atsani's eye was 'ringed' or surrounded by powerful thunderstorms on Aug.

A thin ribbon of flexible electronics can monitor health, infrastructure
A new world of flexible, bendable, even stretchable electronics is emerging from research labs to address a wide range of potentially game-changing uses.

Maggots in medicine
Maggot, or larval, therapy has been around since ancient times as a way to heal wounds.

Carnegie Mellon BrainHub scientists visualize critical part of basal ganglia pathways
Certain diseases, like Parkinson's and Huntingdon's disease, are associated with damage to the pathways between the brain's basal ganglia regions.

Imaging study looks at brain effects of early adversity, mental health disorders
Adversity during the first six years of life was associated with higher levels of childhood internalizing symptoms, such as depression and anxiety, in a group of boys, as well as altered brain structure in late adolescence between the ages of 18 and 21, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

Economic assessment shows e-waste recycling is an industry worth billions
An economic assessment study published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews lays the groundwork to assist in decision-making around e-waste recycling programs designed to ensure that the valuable materials contained within electronic products will find a second life.

TGAC leads development to diminish threat to Vietnam's most important crop
As part of the Newton Fund, The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC) has been awarded over £50,000 by The British Council to develop advanced bioinformatics capabilities for next-generation rice genomics in Vietnam to aid precision breeding for improvement of this staple crop by exploring 48 local rice varieties.

Substantial glacier ice loss in Central Asia's largest mountain range
Along the Tien Shan, Central Asia's largest mountain range, glaciers have lost 27 percent of their mass and 18 percent of their area during the last 50 years.

UMass Amherst to commercialize math tutoring software
University of Massachusetts Amherst computer scientist Beverly Woolf, an international leader in intelligent tutoring systems and expert in science and mathematics learning, recently received a one-year, $199,944 grant from the National Science Foundation to commercialize the intelligent tutor known as MathSpring for e-learning in mathematics.

Self-directed, iterative learning dramatically improves critical thinking in STEM classes
A self-directed, iterative learning framework used in a first-year physics lab dramatically improved students' critical thinking skills, according to new University of British Columbia research.

DxNA LLC opens Valley Fever multicenter clinical trial
DxNA LLC today announced the start of a multi-center clinical study of DxNA's molecular diagnostic test for the detection of Valley Fever (coccidioidomycosis), using its proprietary diagnostic platform, The GeneSTAT® System.

How influential are peer reactions to posts on Facebook news channels?
An experiment to determine the effects of positive and negative user comments to items posted by media organizations on Facebook news channels showed, surprisingly, that the influence of user comments varied depending on the type and number of user comments.

Just 1 in 10 are referred for cardiac rehab after treatment for heart failure
Very few heart failure patients are referred to a cardiac rehabilitation program after being hospitalized, despite strong evidence that such exercise programs improve quality of life and reduce the likelihood of future hospitalizations.

'Jumping genes' unusually active in many gastrointestinal cancers, studies find
Results of a trio of studies done on human cancer tissue biopsies have added to growing evidence that a so-called jumping gene called LINE-1 is active during the development of many gastrointestinal cancers.

Health care must be key issue in Canada's federal election
Health care is a major responsibility of Canada's federal government and must be a key issue in the fall election, argues Dr.

New method could detect blood clots anywhere in the body with a single scan
A blood clot can potentially trigger heart attacks, strokes and other medical emergencies.

New Internet technology could aid police, courts and prisons
Technology that can improve criminal databases, remotely conducted criminal trials and help police officers stop autonomous cars can all aid the criminal justice system in the future.

New study finds equatorial regions prone to disruptive space weather
A new study finds disruptive space weather sweeps across the globe's equatorial regions, bearing currents that can disrupt power grids in locations where electricity distribution systems were previously considered safe.

Urban grime releases air pollutant when exposed to sunlight
In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers have determined that natural sunlight triggers the release of smog-forming nitrogen oxide compounds from the grime that typically coats buildings, statues and other outdoor surfaces in urban areas.

How others see our identity depends on moral traits, not memory
We may view our memory as being essential to who we are, but new findings suggest that others consider our moral traits to be the core component of our identity.

Genomic testing triggers a diabetes diagnosis revolution
Over a 10 year period, the time that babies receive genetic testing after being diagnosed with diabetes has fallen from over four years to under two months.

Smoking cessation drug not boosting number of smokers who quit
The introduction of a new prescription smoking-cessation aid, varenicline, in 2006 has had no significant impact on the rate at which Americans age 18 and older successfully quit smoking, according to a study led by researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

Discovery of a salamander in amber sheds light on evolution of Caribbean islands
A salamander found preserved in amber from the Dominican Republic is the first-ever fossil of its kind, and also shows that salamanders once lived in the Caribbean region, where they now are all extinct.

Drinking coffee daily may improve survival in colon cancer patients
Regular consumption of caffeinated coffee may help prevent the return of colon cancer after treatment and improve the chances of a cure, according to a new, large study from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute that reported this striking association for the first time.

Women's health, education, marital status pre-pregnancy affect birth weight of girls
A woman's weight at birth, education level and marital status pre-pregnancy can have repercussions for two generations, putting her children and grandchildren at higher risk of low birth weight, according to a new study by Jennifer B.

Controlling the uncontrollable
Soft machines and robots are capable of moving, jumping and gripping objects thanks to soft, inflatable segments called fluidic actuators.

Challenge to classic theory of 'organic' solar cells could improve efficiency
New research findings contradict a fundamental assumption about the functioning of 'organic' solar cells made of low-cost plastics, suggesting a new strategy for creating inexpensive solar technology.

Scientists and NASA astronauts developing near real-time osteoporosis and bone cancer test
A test in development offers the possibility of near real time monitoring of bone diseases, such as osteoporosis and multiple myeloma.

Opiate addiction spreading, becoming more complex
The growing availability of heroin, combined with programs aimed at curbing prescription painkiller abuse, may be changing the face of opiate addiction in the US, according to sociologists.

Biologist investigates how gene-swapping bacteria evade antibiotics
A scientific peek into bacteria boudoirs is revealing how 'sex' among disease-causing microbes can lead different species or strains to become resistant to antibiotic medications.

Bionic liver micro-organs explain off-target toxicity of acetaminophen (Tylenol)
Safety evaluation is a critical part of drug and cosmetic development, but experimental considerations and tighter regulations require alternatives to animal testing.

New environmental risk assessment of veterinary antibiotics applications
Sustainability Scientists at Leuphana University of Lueneburg have devised a simple screening-based predicting procedure for region-specific environmental risks caused by veterinary antibiotics.

Peripherally inserted central catheters can cause blood clots in lower limbs
Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) are frequently used by healthcare professionals to obtain long-term central venous access in hospitalized patients.

On warmer Earth, most of Arctic may remove, not add, methane
Research led by Princeton University researchers suggests that the majority of Arctic soil, thanks to methane-hungry bacteria, may actually be able to absorb methane from the atmosphere as temperatures rise.

Can I get some sleep? Hospital tests sound panels to reduce noise
Monitors. Alarms. Pagers. People. Hospital noise can keep patients from getting a good night's sleep.

Dancing droplets launch themselves from thin fibers
Researchers have observed droplets spontaneously fling themselves from thin fibers.

Study identifies cause of disruption in brain linked to psychiatric disorder
New research has identified the mechanisms that trigger disruption in the brain's communication channels linked to symptoms in psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia.

Energy in chemical bonds and the plant-pollution connection
Researchers from the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will be honored and present new work at the 250th American Chemical Society national meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, Aug.

Scientists discover atomic-resolution details of brain signaling
Scientists have revealed never-before-seen details of how our brain sends rapid-fire messages between its cells.

Plant growth requires teamwork between 2 hormones
Two growth-promoting groups of substances, or phytohormones, the gibberellins and the brassinosteroids, are used independently of each other for the breeding and production of crop plants.

ECOG-ACRIN opens NCI-MATCH precision medicine cancer trial
The phase II precision medicine trial, National Cancer Institute-Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice (NCI-MATCH or EAY131), is open through the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group to cancer centers and community hospitals nationwide.

The microbiome of a woman's reproductive tract may predict preterm birth
Investigators found that microbial communities in the reproductive tracts of women who delivered their babies too soon were different from those of women who delivered full term.

Anonymous essay exposes scandalous doctor behavior
This is a summary of articles being featured in the next issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

FSU research uncovers new pathways for diabetes research
A new Florida State University study is changing how researchers look at diabetes research and the drugs used to treat the disease.

Charge transport in hybrid silicon solar cells
An HZB team headed by Prof. Silke Christiansen has made a surprising discovery about hybrid organic/inorganic solar cells.

Aspirin reverses obesity cancer risk
Research has shown that a regular dose of aspirin reduces the long-term risk of cancer in those who are overweight in an international study of people with a family history of the disease.

Satellite sees short-lived Tropical Depression 11E
Tropical Depression 11-E appears to be short-lived as a result of strong vertical wind shear.

Health insurance websites show improved efforts to support patient decision making
Websites for national and state health insurance marketplaces show evidence of improved efforts to assist patients in choosing health insurance plans, such as providing decision support tools, experts from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have found.

Frogs exposed to road salt appear to benefit then suffer
A study by Case Western Reserve University biologists suggests exposure to road salt, as it runs off into ponds and wetlands where it can concentrate -- especially during March and early April, when frogs are breeding -- may increase the size of wood frogs, but also shorten their lives.

Scientists uncover nuclear process in the brain that may affect disease
Every brain cell has a nucleus, or a central command station.

New AUV plankton sampling system deployed
A group of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution researchers and engineers have developed and tested an innovative new system for sampling small planktonic larvae in coastal ocean waters and understanding their distribution.

Mosquito-repelling chemicals identified in traditional sweetgrass
Native North Americans have long adorned themselves and their homes with fragrant sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata), a native plant used in traditional medicine, to repel biting insects, and mosquitoes in particular.

Vitamin D supplements could help reduce falls in homebound elderly
Every year falls affect approximately one in three older adults living at home, with approximately one in 10 falls resulting in serious injury.

Habermas receives Kluge Prize
It is considered the Nobel Prize of Philosophy: Since 2003 the John W.

Turkish whistling makes asymmetries in the brain disappear
Researchers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have debunked the theory that the left brain hemisphere is dominant in the processing of all languages. 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