Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 18, 2015
Lice in at least 25 states show resistance to common treatments
The start of the school year means new classes, new friends, homework and sports.

NASA's GPM sees Typhoon Atsani intensifying
Typhoon Atsani was an intensifying tropical storm moving over the open waters of the Pacific Ocean on Aug.

Light/moderate drinking linked to increased risk of some cancers in women & male smokers
Even light and moderate drinking (up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men) is associated with an increased risk of certain alcohol related cancers in women and male smokers, suggests a large study published by The BMJ today.

Tool boosts accuracy in assessing breast cancer risk
A national risk model that gauges a woman's chance of developing breast cancer has been refined to give a more accurate assessment.

A newly discovered molecular feedback process may protect the brain against Alzheimer's
Researchers have identified within neurons a series of molecular interactions -- known as a pathway -- that can dampen the production of the Alzheimer's protein amyloid-β.

Johns Hopkins researchers sound off on the dangers of hospital consolidation
In a commentary published in the Aug. 13 issue of JAMA, Johns Hopkins experts say consolidation of hospitals into massive chains threatens healthy competition, reduces patient choice and could drive up medical expenses.

Mothers give more than they receive when family struck by major illness
Mothers are often the caregiver when a child is sick, and that motherly instinct doesn't go away when the child is an adult.

High-precision control of nanoparticles for digital applications
For the first time ever, researchers have succeeded in creating arrangements of colloids -- tiny particles suspended in a solution -- and, importantly, they have managed to control their motion with high precision and speed.

Key genetic event underlying fin-to-limb evolution
A study of catsharks reveals how alterations in the expression and function of certain genes in limb buds underlie the evolution of fish fins to limbs.

Hot chilli may unlock a new treatment for obesity
University of Adelaide researchers have discovered a high-fat diet may impair important receptors located in the stomach that signal fullness.

Liver problems will likely increase in adults
A new study indicates that liver scarring (or fibrosis), which can ultimately lead to liver failure, is fairly common.

Researchers produce first demonstration of matter wave technique that could cool molecules
Researchers from the University of Southampton have demonstrated for the first time a new laser cooling method, based upon the interference of matter waves, that could be used to cool molecules.

Temple & Fox Chase Cancer Center testing drug for cancer & bone marrow disorders
Temple University Hospital and Fox Chase Cancer Center are the only two sites in Philadelphia that participated in an international phase I, randomized clinical trial which tested the drug guadecitabine (SGI-110) in Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).

Study finds nicotine changes marijuana's effect on the brain
How scientists study the effects of marijuana on the brain is changing.

Following maternal transmission, group B strep mutates to sicken infants
Group B streptococcus, a mostly benign inhabitant of healthy adults, is one of the world's leading causes of neonatal sepsis and meningitis.

MRI scanners can steer tumor busting viruses to specific target sites within the body
Scientists from the University of Sheffield have discovered MRI scanners, normally used to produce images, can steer cell-based, tumor busting therapies to specific target sites in the body.

Examining the fate of Fukushima contaminants
An international research team reports results of a three-year study of sediment samples collected offshore from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in a new paper published Aug.

Colorado State professor earns university's first female endowed chair
Ehrhart is the first woman at CSU appointed to a University Chair, endowed with $3 million in donations.

Pediatric training essential to improving out-of-hospital emergency care for children
Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University conducted a national survey of more than 750 EMS providers to identify airway management, personal anxiety and limited pediatric care proficiency among to top contributors for children in out-of-hospital emergent care situations.

Paper-based test can quickly diagnose Ebola in remote areas (video)
When a fever strikes in a developing area, the immediate concern may be: Is it the common flu or something much worse?

Healthy mood spreads through social contact, depression doesn't
New research has revealed that having mentally healthy friends can help someone recover from depression or even remain mentally healthy in the first place.

Five reasons why sugar is added to food
From a food science and technology perspective, sugar (sucrose) plays several roles when it comes to the functional properties in food.

IU School of Medicine researchers report biomarkers and apps that predict risk of suicide
People being treated for bipolar disorder and other psychiatric illnesses are at greater risk of attempting suicide, but physicians may now have tools to predict which of those individuals will attempt it and intervene early to prevent such tragedies from occurring.

How having racially diverse friends can help you on the job
Employees with a racially diverse group of friends outside of work may actually perform better at their jobs, a new study suggests.

Solar cell efficiency could double with novel 'green' antenna
The use of solar energy in the US is growing, but panels on rooftops are still a rare sight.

Pitt leads sepsis care guidance in preparation for nationwide hospital requirements
As hospitals nationwide brace for rigorous mandates for care of septic patients that will be adopted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in October, a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine review unveils research-based guidance to improve compliance when treating this common and deadly syndrome.

Breakthrough optics pave way for new class of intriguing technologies
A new class of fascinating technologies -- including optics in computing, telecommunications links and switches, and virtually any other optical component -- could be created simply by configuring a mesh of light-controlling devices known as interferometers.

Satellite sees the end of Tropical Depression 11E
Tropical Depression 11E came to an end early today, Tuesday, Aug.

Patients with immediate medical needs tend to perceive doctors as emotionless, study finds
A new study, published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, finds that the greater patients' need for medical care, the more likely patients will view their doctors as 'empty vessels,' devoid of emotions or personal lives of their own; at the same time, those patients expect their physicians to be able to contain the patients' emotions and experiences.

Anxious? Depressed? Blame it on your middle-management position
Individuals near the middle of the social hierarchy suffer higher rates of depression and anxiety than those at the top or bottom, according to researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

Diabetes drug metformin's primary effect is in the gut, not the bloodstream
Metformin was introduced as a type-2 diabetes treatment decades ago, but researchers still debate how the drug works.

UC Davis team finds early inflammatory response paralyzes T cells
In a discovery that is likely to rewrite immunology text books, researchers at UC Davis have found that early exposure to inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin 2, can 'paralyze' CD4 T cells, immune components that help orchestrate the body's response to pathogens and other invaders.

Scientist: Most complete human brain model to date is a 'brain changer'
Scientists at The Ohio State University have developed a nearly complete human brain in a dish that equals the brain maturity of a five-week-old fetus.

'Molecular tweezer' targets HIV and prevents semen from promoting infection
Semen can enhance HIV infectivity by up to 10,000 times so targeting the proteins responsible as well as the infection itself provides an 'unprecedented' dual protection.

Long-term brain changes persist years after drug abuse and recovery
It's known that brain changes are present in drug addicts even when they have been abstinent for a short period of time.

Setting ground rules for nanotechnology research
In two new studies, researchers from across the country spearheaded by Duke University faculty have begun to design the framework on which to build the emerging field of nanoinformatics -- the combination of nanoscale research and informatics.

Teens using e-cigarettes may be more likely to start smoking tobacco
Students who have used electronic cigarettes by the time they start ninth grade are more likely than others to start smoking traditional cigarettes and other combustible tobacco products within the next year, according to a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

'Nudging' consumers along: New book helps organizations solve the 'last mile' problem
Most organizations spend much of their effort on the start of the value creation process.

Accuracy of sexual assault testimonies not affected by alcohol intoxication, study finds
University of Leicester study suggests that victims of sexual assault who were intoxicated during the crime could still be interviewed by the police.

As US border enforcement increases, Mexican migration patterns shift, new research shows
When enforcement increases along the US-Mexican border, fewer Mexican immigrants cross into the United States, both legally and illegally.

Reports on US geoscience education published by AGI's Center for Geoscience & Society
The Center for Geoscience and Society is pleased to release two reports concerning geosciences education in the United States.

Women choose contraception based on relationships not just pregnancy desires
Women's contraceptive choices are more often driven by current relationships and sexual activity than by long-term pregnancy intentions, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Finding biomarkers for early lung cancer diagnosis
Despite decades of warnings about smoking, lung cancer is still the second-most common cancer and the leading cause of death from cancer in the US Researchers at the West Coast Metabolomics Center at UC Davis are trying to change that, by identifying biomarkers that could be the basis of early tests for lung cancer.

Drug helps patients with diabetes lose weight
Among overweight and obese patients with type 2 diabetes, daily injection of the diabetes drug liraglutide with a modified insulin pen device, in addition to diet and exercise, resulted in greater weight loss over 56 weeks compared with placebo, according to a study in the Aug.

Biophysics: Formation of swarms in nanosystems
One of the striking features of self-organization in biomolecular systems is the capacity of assemblies of filamentous particles for synchronous motion.

Chengjiang biota: Bringing fossils into focus
Researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich have used computed microtomography to identify to the species level an exceptionally well-preserved fossil arthropod from the famous Chengjiang Lagerstätte in China.

UCI, NASA researchers find link between Amazon fire risk, devastating hurricanes
Researchers from the University of California, Irvine and NASA have uncovered a remarkably strong link between high wildfire risk in the Amazon basin and the devastating hurricanes that ravage North Atlantic shorelines.

Research shows that comet impacts may have led to life on Earth -- and perhaps elsewhere
Comet impact on Earth are synonymous with great extinctions, but now research presented at the Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Prague shows that early comet impact would have become a driving force to cause substantial synthesis of peptides -- the first building blocks of life.

Conor Walsh named 1 of MIT Technology Review's 'Innovators under 35'
Conor Walsh, Ph.D., assistant professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at the Harvard John A.

AGU Fall Meeting: Press registration open, book hotel now
AGU Fall Meeting -- included in this advisory is information on: 1.

Christopher Pethick receives the Feenberg Award
Christopher Pethick, Professor at the Niels Bohr International Academy and Nordita has received the Feenberg Medal 2015.

Concussion experts meet at UPMC to standardize care
Nearly 30 leading, independent concussion experts will convene for first time with the goal of reaching agreement, writing a white paper on concussion treatment.

New internet routing method allows users to avoid sending data through undesired countries
University of Maryland computer scientists have developed a method for providing concrete proof to Internet users that their information did not cross through specified, undesired geographic areas.

Is nature mostly a tinkerer or an inventor?
By closely examining the genomes of 48 species, biologists from the University of Miami College of Arts & Sciences have revealed the timing and mechanisms underlying the expansion and diversification of the KLF/SP gene family, which is known to regulate the maintenance of stem cells.

Use of contact precautions should be customized based on local needs and resources
A group of epidemiologists and infection prevention specialists led by Daniel Morgan, M.D., M.S., an associate professor of Epidemiology & Public Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, reviewed current practice and existing literature on the use of contact precautions for MRSA and VRE to build a framework for decision-making based on all available evidence.

Nine-gene MPI can provide accurate survival stratification in patients with NSCLC
A nine-gene molecular prognostic index for patients with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer was able to provide accurate survival stratification and could potentially inform the use of adjuvant therapy in patients struggling with the disease, according to a study published Aug.

Harnessing the butterfly effect
Paper shows how to directly harness the atmosphere's elephantine memory to produce temperature forecasts that are somewhat more accurate than conventional numerical computer models.

Two-year-olds with larger oral vocabularies enter kindergarten better prepared
A new study has found that children with larger oral vocabularies by age 2 arrive at kindergarten better prepared academically and behaviorally than their peers.

New research backs belief that tomatoes can be a gout trigger
People who maintain that eating tomatoes can cause their gout to flare up are likely to welcome new research from New Zealand's University of Otago that has, for the first time, found a biological basis for this belief.

Global warming lethal to baby lizards: Nests become heat traps
The expected impact of climate change on North American lizards is much worse than first thought.

Frequency of family meals increased by a new school presentation
New research shows that teaching young adolescents practical cooking skills leads to positive changes for the entire family.

Cell phones help track of flu on campus
Personal health and lifestyle data captured through smartphone apps can help identify college students at risk of catching the flu.

Bacteria's secret weapon against pesticides and antibiotics revealed
Bacteria exhibit extreme adaptability, which makes them capable of surviving in the most inhospitable conditions.

Plant doctors get to the root of plant stress in rice
Rice plants stress in the heat and can't go indoors.

Oral contraceptives may impact aspects of arthritis in women
New research indicates that use of oral contraceptives may provide benefits for women with inflammatory arthritis.

Worsening wind forecasts signal stormy times ahead for seabirds
Stronger winds forecast as a result of climate change could impact on populations of wild animals, by affecting how well they can feed, a study of seabirds suggests.

Gut microbes linked to major autoimmune eye disease
One major cause of human blindness is autoimmune uveitis, which is triggered by the activation of T cells, but exactly how and where the T cells become activated in the first place has been a long-standing mystery.

Increased risk of depression for mothers undergoing fertility treatment
Women giving birth after undergoing fertility treatment face an increased risk of depression compared to women ending up not having a child following fertility treatment, according to new research from the University of Copenhagen.

Study compares heparin to warfarin for treatment of blood clots in patients with cancer
Among patients with active cancer and acute symptomatic venous thromboembolism (VTE; blood clots in the deep veins), the use of the low molecular-weight heparin tinzaparin daily for six months compared with warfarin did not significantly reduce recurrent VTE and was not associated with reductions in overall death or major bleeding, but was associated with a lower rate of clinically relevant nonmajor bleeding, according to a study in the Aug.

Shorter women have shorter pregnancies
Shorter mothers have shorter pregnancies, smaller babies, and higher risk for a preterm birth.

Possible test for liver cancer using technology for analysing rocks and minerals
Clinicians and geochemists are working to develop a test for the most common form of primary liver cancer, HCC (Hepatocellular Carcinoma), which kills over 600,000 people worldwide every year.

Edible coatings may increase quality and shelf life of strawberries
Strawberries are one of the most economically important fruits worldwide but are easily susceptible to bruising and are highly perishable.

Weight levels dropped in Greek children during the economic crisis
A new study indicates that for a two-and-one-half year period shortly before and during the early years of the Greek economic crisis, the prevalence of overweight and obesity decreased in Greek schoolchildren.

UTA latest college to join NASA group investigating best ways to design aerospace systems
The University of Texas at Arlington is the newest member of NASA's Systems Engineering Consortium, which is funded by Marshall Space Flight Center and Langley Research Center.

The Tree of Life may be a bush
New species evolve whenever a lineage splits off into several.

Scientists report success using zebrafish embryos to identify potential new diabetes drugs
In experiments with 500,000 genetically engineered zebrafish embryos, Johns Hopkins scientists report they have developed a potentially better and more accurate way to screen for useful drugs, and they have used it to identify 24 drug candidates that increase the number of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

Pregnant mothers influence fetal growth through genetics rather than maternal height
Transmitted genes, rather than growth limitations caused by actual differences in maternal height, are the key means by which a mother's height influences her baby's birth weight and length, according to a new study published in PLOS Medicine.

From fluids to flames, research on the space station is helping advance technology
Thanks to the reduced gravity environment of the space station, we have new insights into multiple scientific disciplines.

Suomi NPP satellite sees Typhoon Goni's strongest sides
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Typhoon Goni and gathered infraNASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Typhoon Goni and gathered infrared data that helped identify the strongest part of the storm as the south and eastern quadrants red data that helped identify the strongest part of the storm as the south and eastern quadrants.

UGA collaboration discovers toxic chemical in birds outside of Superfund site
Researchers at the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Laboratory have found that a contaminated mixture called Aroclor 1268 has spread beyond a former chemical plant, now a Superfund site, near Brunswick.

Liver damage in hepatitis C patients significantly underestimated, says Henry Ford study
The number of hepatitis C patients suffering from advanced liver damage may be grossly underestimated and underdiagnosed, according to a study led by researchers at Henry Ford Health System and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Complete resection of high-grade brain cancer yields better survival in children -- especially girls
For children with aggressive brain cancers called high-grade gliomas, the chances of survival are improved when surgery is successful in eliminating all visible cancer, reports a study in the September issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Stanford scientists say e-cigarettes could have health impacts in developing world
Two researchers are urging greater regulatory oversight of e-cigarettes in poorer countries, where sales of the devices are growing.

Patient satisfaction is a poor surrogate for quality of care in brain surgery
The current focus on patient safety has led to public quality-of-care comparisons between health care facilities.

Meteorite impacts can create DNA building blocks
A new study shown that meteorite impacts on ancient oceans may have created nucleobases and amino acids.

To what extent are condoms responsible for erection difficulties?
Research indicates that the use of condoms may cause some men to experience erection difficulties.

Massacres, torture and mutilation: Extreme violence in neolithic conflicts
Violent conflicts in Neolithic Europe were held more brutally than has been known so far.

Expression of a single gene lets scientists easily grow hepatitis C virus in the lab
In devising a method to readily grow hepatitis C in the laboratory, scientists might have overcome a major hurdle for basic research into the virus and the disease it causes.

How an emerging anti-resistance antibiotic targets the bacterial membrane
Scientists are planning for a future in which superbugs gain the upper hand against our current arsenal of antibiotics.

Work on barren soil may bear fruit
Australian and Chinese scientists have made significant progress in determining what causes soil acidification -- a discovery that could assist in turning back the clock on degraded croplands.

Engineers identify how to keep surfaces dry underwater
Imagine staying dry underwater for months. Northwestern University engineers have examined a variety of surfaces that can do just that -- and they know why.

Vision of immune cells rallying to destroy invaders captured for the first time
The intricate interplay between immune cells working to defeat infection has been seen and photographed for the first time.

Cascadia initiative to monitor Northwest Pacific seismic risks
Early data coming in from a massive, four-year deployment of seismometers onshore and offshore in the Pacific Northwest are giving scientists a clearer picture of the Cascadia subduction zone, a region with a past and potential future of devastating 'megathrust' earthquakes.

Fossil study: Dogs evolved with climate change
A cooling, drying climate over the last 40 million years turned North America from a warm and wooded place into the drier, open plains we know today.

Foresight food security: From hunger and poverty to food system approach
Long considered in relation to malnutrition and humanitarian aid, food security policy should be moving towards a much broader landscape and focusing on regular access to food for a population nearing nine billion towards 2030-2050, while addressing food insecurity for a fraction of communities, according to a JRC foresight report.

Reservation project to grow health with gardens
The Growing Resilience project leverages tribal assets of land, family, culture and community health organizations to develop and evaluate home food gardens as a family-based health promotion intervention to reduce disparities suffered by Native Americans in nearly every measure of health

Proof-of-concept study shows potential for ultrasound to detect signs of preterm labor
An international team of researchers has conducted a proof-of-concept study that raises the possibility of using ultrasound techniques to detect cervical stiffness changes that indicate an increased risk of preterm labor in pregnant women.

Linking molecules to microbes
Microbes are the oldest and most successful organisms on the planet, and they communicate and interact using chemistry as their language.

Targeting HIV in semen to shut down AIDS
There may be two new ways to fight AIDS -- using a heat shock protein or a small molecule -- to attack fibrils in semen associated with HIV during the initial phases of infection.

Quality counts in adolescents' and young adults' romantic relationships
According to a new longitudinal study, high quality romantic relationships are associated with fewer psychosocial difficulties across adolescence and into young adulthood.

$52M NIH grant advances clinical and translational research at UC San Diego
The Clinical and Translational Research Institute at University of California, San Diego has received a five-year Clinical and Translational Science Award for approximately $52 million from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Most comprehensive projections for West Antarctica's future revealed
A new international study is the first to use a high-resolution, large-scale computer model to estimate how much ice the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could lose over the next couple of centuries, and how much that could add to sea-level rise.

The dynamics of mercury toxins in the oceans' food web
Methylmercury, a toxic form of mercury that is readily absorbed from the gastro-intestinal tract and can cause in a variety of health issues, poses a significant threat to marine animals at the top of the food web.

Solar System formation don't mean a thing without that spin
New work from Carnegie's Alan Boss and Sandra Keiser provides surprising new details about the trigger that may have started the earliest phases of planet formation in our solar system.

Cave snail from South Korea suggests ancient subterranean diversity across Eurasia
A sensational find of subterranean biodiversity surfaces from the depths of Nodong cave, South Korea.

NASA's Terra satellite sees birth of Atlantic Tropical Depression 4
The fourth tropical depression of the Atlantic Ocean hurricane season formed today, Aug.

Powdered cranberry combats colon cancer in mice
Cranberries are often touted as a way to protect against urinary tract infections, but that may be just the beginning.

Hydrogen sulfide loses its electrical resistance under high pressure at minus 70° Celsius
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany observed that hydrogen sulfide becomes superconductive at minus 70 degree Celsius -- when the substance is placed under a pressure of 1.5 million bar.

Detection of gamma rays from a newly discovered dwarf galaxy may point to dark matter
A newly discovered dwarf galaxy orbiting our own Milky Way has offered up a surprise -- it appears to be radiating gamma rays, according to an analysis by physicists at Carnegie Mellon, Brown, and Cambridge universities.

In uveitis, bacteria in gut may instruct immune cells to attack the eye
The inflammatory eye disorder autoimmune uveitis occurs when a person's immune system goes awry, attacking proteins in the eye.

How UEA research could help build computers from DNA
New research from the University of East Anglia could one day help build computers from DNA.

Agricultural intervention improves HIV outcomes
A multifaceted farming intervention can reduce food insecurity while improving HIV outcomes in patients in Kenya, according to a randomized, controlled trial led by researchers at UC San Francisco.

Teens who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to begin smoking
Among high school students in Los Angeles, those who had ever used electronic cigarettes were more likely to report initiation of smokable ('combustible') tobacco (such as cigarettes, cigars, and hookah) use over the next year compared with nonusers, according to a study in the 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