Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 19, 2015
PNNL to tackle future grid challenges through new facility, capabilities
PNNL researchers and industry are now better equipped to tackle top challenges in grid modernization and buildings efficiency with the dedication today of the new Systems Engineering Building.

Hypertensive patients benefit from acupuncture treatments, UCI study finds
Patients with hypertension treated with acupuncture experienced drops in their blood pressure that lasted up to a month and a half, researchers with the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine have found.

International research institutes team up to build new schizophrenia collections
Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland at the University of Helsinki and The Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at Broad Institute, together with its international partners, are initiating major new sample collections in several regions and countries.

Supercomputers listen to the heart
New supercomputer models have come closer than ever to capturing the behavior of normal human heart valves and their replacements, according to recent studies.

Instant oatmeal for breakfast may help curb your appetite at lunch
Research in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition suggests that eating a hearty portion of instant oatmeal for breakfast -- versus a popular oat-based cold cereal -- leads to lower calorie intake at lunch.

New clinical standards for emergency nurse practitioners
Dr. Jane O'Connell, Australia's first endorsed nurse practitioner specializing in emergency care, is leading the way in re-defining the role specialty nurse practitioners play in the health system.

Study reveals new insights into how asthma 'pathways' could be blocked
University of Leicester researchers involved in study demonstrating how combining novel treatments currently in development may lead to better asthma control.

New report offers first nationwide look at the impact of the ACA on medically underserved
A new report examining newly-released data from the 2014 Uniform Data System, which collects patient and health care information from the nation's community health centers, shows how the Affordable Care Act is changing insurance coverage and health care in the nation's most medically underserved urban and rural communities.

Synthetic DNA vaccine against MERS induces immunity in animal study
A novel synthetic DNA vaccine can, for the first time, induce protective immunity against the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus in animal species.

Firefly protein enables visualization of roots in soil
Plants form a vast network of below-ground roots that search soil for needed resources.

NIH grant will fund IUPUI research into collagen's role in bone fracture resistance
A biomedical engineer researcher at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has received a $419,000 National Institutes of Health grant to uncover why mechanical loading of bones increases their resistance to fractures.

Exercise to prevent, manage diabetes is more effective for college graduates
Key prescriptions to prevent and manage diabetes -- physical activity and a healthy diet -- don't appear to be working as well for Americans who didn't graduate college, according to a University of Kansas researcher's new study.

Social media is transforming emergency communications -- Ben-Gurion U. study
Emergency organizations have only started using social media mainly as a response to the presence of the public in them.

Leave the family behind: Solo travelers are not who you think
Solo travelers don't go alone because they have to, they do it because they want to, a new Queensland University of Technology study has found.

The Sumatran rhino is extinct in the wild in Malaysia
Leading scientists and experts in the field of rhino conservation state in a new paper that it is safe to consider the Sumatran rhinoceros extinct in the wild in Malaysia.

World should heed lessons from Hurricane Katrina, economist says
Environmental economist Edward Barbier makes the case for coastal protection plans like those adopted by Louisiana for the world's most at-risk nations.

New clues to the genetic origins of obesity
A research team led by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has revealed the mechanism underlying the genomic region most strongly associated with obesity.

New technology can expand LED lighting, cutting energy use and greenhouse gas emissions
Highly efficient, light-emitting diodes could slash the world's electricity consumption.

Activity trackers not as accurate for some activities, ISU study finds
Activity trackers can provide a good overall estimate of calories burned, but an Iowa State University study finds they're less accurate when measuring certain activities, such as strength training.

Study finds racial disparity between what black and white borrowers pay for home mortgages
Racial disparity in mortgage rates is widespread between black and white borrowers, according to a newly published study which found more financially vulnerable black women suffer the most.

Penn researchers use nanoscopic pores to investigate protein structure
University of Pennsylvania researchers have made strides toward a new method of gene sequencing a strand of DNA's bases are read as they are threaded through a nanoscopic hole.

University of Queensland scientist warns against shark culling
A University of Queensland scientist has cautioned against culling sharks because the long term ecological impact cannot be predicted.

Forgotten sex signals
Sending signals to the opposite sex isn't always a trait that's passed on to animals' offspring, according to new research conducted at Michigan State University.

Better-tasting grocery store tomatoes could soon be on their way
Tomato lovers rejoice: Adding or rearranging a few simple steps in commercial processing could dramatically improve the flavor of this popular fruit sold in the grocery store, according to researchers.

The Lancet: Working long hours linked to higher risk of stroke
Working 55 hours or more per week is linked to a 33 percent greater risk of stroke and a more modest (13 percent) increased risk of developing coronary heart disease compared with working a standard 35 to 40 hour week, according to the largest study in this field so far involving over 600,000 individuals, published in The Lancet.

Systematic review shows 'smart drug' modafinil does enhance cognition
A new systematic review, in the peer-reviewed journal European Neuropsychopharmacology shows that modafinil does indeed confer significant cognitive benefits in certain groups and with certain tasks, including decision-making and planning.

Flow of data through forest service's online Waterviz tool helped by NSF grant
In addition to further developing Waterviz at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest as a teaching tool for middle- and high-school science students, the NSF's 2-year, $300,000 'Early-concept Grant for Exploratory Research (EAGER)' will also support the creation of a Waterviz for the H.J.

Home-based treatment is cost-effective alternative for heart patients
Post-discharge disease management provided in their own homes could be a cost-effective alternative for recently-hospitalized elderly patients with chronic heart failure.

How clean is your spinach?
Ever wonder what that the words triple-washed or pre-washed on a bag of baby spinach mean?

Contrary to previous studies, diabetes affects diaphragm, skeletal muscle cells differently
Previous studies have shown that diabetes adversely affects breathing and respiratory function.

UMass Amherst neuroscientist receives grant to study how brain regulates locomotion
Neurobiologist Gerald Downes, with chemist James Chambers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Amherst College neurobiologist Josef Trapani, have been awarded a three-year $824,025 collaborative research grant from the National Science Foundation to study the zebrafish brain to better understand how neurons regulate locomotion.

Drought implicated in slow death of trees in southeast's forests
Damage suffered by trees during a drought can reduce their long-term survival for up to a decade after the drought ends, a new study of tree mortality in southeastern forests finds.

Trade liberalization reduces countries' defense spending
Reducing trade barriers between countries reduces the likelihood of armed conflict and leads to a reduction in defense spending.

The pronoun I is becoming obsolete
Recent microbiological research has shown that plants and animals, including humans, are not autonomous individuals but are holobionts: biomolecular networks that consist of visible hosts plus millions of invisible microbes.

Elsevier announces the launch of open access journal: Reproductive Biomedicine & Society Online
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announces the launch of open access journal Reproductive Biomedicine & Society Online.

Seizures in neonates undergoing cardiac surgery underappreciated and dangerous
With mounting concerns about postoperative seizures, doctors at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia placed 161 neonates who had undergone cardiac surgery on continuous EEG monitoring.

Mystery of exploding stars yields to astrophysicists
By combining theory and observation, astrophysicists may have solved one of the ultimate mysteries about stars: what causes Type 1a supernovae, stellar explosions that can outshine whole galaxies.

'Quantum dot' technology may help light the future
Advances in manufacturing technology for 'quantum dots' may soon lead to a new generation of LED lighting that produces a more user-friendly white light, while using less toxic materials and low-cost manufacturing processes that take advantage of simple microwave heating.

Female fish genitalia evolve in response to predators, interbreeding
Female fish in the Bahamas have developed ways of showing males that 'No means no.'

Louisiana Tech University researchers to contribute to NSF-funded consortium
Through a $20 million National Science Foundation grant awarded to the Louisiana Board of Regents, Louisiana Tech University will play an important role in a new state-wide consortium that will focus on research and development of advanced manufacturing techniques based on metals and alloys.

The global cost of unsafe abortion
Seven million women a year in the developing world are treated in healthcare facilities for complications following unsafe abortion, finds a study published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

This week from AGU: California tsunami, air pollution, Indian Ocean & 4 papers
A new simulation of tsunamis generated by earthquake faults off the Santa Barbara coast demonstrates a greater potential for tsunami inundation in the cites of Ventura and Oxnard than previously thought, according to a new study in Geophysical Research Letters.

Earliest baboon found at Malapa
A team of international researchers has discovered a fossil monkey specimen representing the earliest baboon ever found.

'Diamonds from the sky' approach turns CO2 into valuable products
Finding a technology to shift carbon dioxide, the most abundant anthropogenic greenhouse gas, from a climate change problem to a valuable commodity has long been a dream.

Heart attack patients without obstructive coronary artery disease at high risk of residual angina
Patients without obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) are just as at risk of angina as those with obstructive CAD, according to new research published today in the European Heart Journal-Quality of Care and Clinical Outcomes.

Bridging the biomedical development gap
To date, the Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator has provided $12.5 million to support 68 research projects, approximately half of which have led to industry partnerships.

Introducing the single-cell maze runner
The findings of Virginia Tech's Biomedical and Engineering Mechanics Associate Professor Sunghwan 'Sunny' Jung and his students on somersaulting single-cell organisms could impact the study of how the containment affects the behavior of organisms, used in a wide variety of engineering and scientific applications.

Computer models show significant tsunami strength for Ventura and Oxnard, California
Ventura and Oxnard in California could be vulnerable to the effects of a local earthquake-generated tsunami, according to computer models used by research team, led by UC Riverside seismologists.

Sibling stars
Open star clusters like the one seen here are not just perfect subjects for pretty pictures.

Reducing resistance to chemotherapy in colorectal cancer by inhibition of PHD1
Scientists at VIB and KU Leuven have shown that blocking the PHD1 oxygen sensor hinders the activation of p53, a transcription factor that aids colorectal cancer (CRC) cells in repairing themselves and thus resisting chemotherapy.

Imaging software could speed up breast cancer diagnosis
New software could speed up breast cancer diagnosis with 90 percent accuracy without the need for a specialist, according to research published in the open access journal Breast Cancer Research.

From Genome Research: Genome-wide annotation of primary miRNAs reveals novel mechanisms
MicroRNAs are short noncoding RNAs that play critical roles in regulating gene expression in normal physiology and disease.

Saliva test for stress hormone levels may identify healthy older people with thinking problems
Testing the saliva of healthy older people for the level of the stress hormone cortisol may help identify individuals who should be screened for problems with thinking skills, according to a study published in the Aug.

Safinamide in Parkinson disease: No hint of added benefit
Since relevant study data were not considered, the analyses in the dossier were incomplete regarding serious side effects in the comparator therapy, long-term data and other aspects.

NASA's Aqua satellite analyzes Typhoon Goni
Some residents of the Philippines are under warnings as Typhoon Goni approaches from the east.

Toilet waste provides knowledge about diseases' global transmission routes
Analysis and genome sequencing of disease-causing microorganisms and antimicrobial resistance bacteria in toilet waste from international aircraft could be a first step towards global surveillance of infectious diseases and identification of how they are transmitted between countries.

New insights in pathological mechanism that causes dysfunctional synapses
Genetic analysis of human patients has shown that mutations in genes involved in synaptic communication can drive neuropsychiatric and neurological diseases such as autism spectrum disorder and Alzheimer's disease.

Queen's researcher finds new model of gas giant planet formation
Queen's University researcher Martin Duncan has co-authored a study that solves the mystery of how gas giants such as Jupiter and Saturn formed in the early solar system.

Change in process of disinfecting spinach, salad greens could reduce illness outbreaks
Cross contamination in commercial processing facilities that prepare spinach and other leafy greens for the market can make people sick.

Tall, masculine men aged around 35 years old perceived to be most dominant
The study, by scientists at the University of St. Andrews, shows that simple increases in a man's height and age automatically makes them appear more dominant.

Updated screening policies could detect more abdominal aortic aneurysms
Updating national screening policies could help detect more aortic aneurysms in older men and prevent deaths from this potentially life-threatening condition.

The unbearable lightness of helium may not be such a problem after all
Helium gas -- essential for MRI scanners, semiconductor manufacture (and according to some, party balloons) -- may not be on the verge of running out after all.

New research: Teen smokers struggle with body-related shame and guilt
Are teen smokers who pick up the habit doing so because they have a negative self-image?

Research reveals link between age and opinions about video games
The older the clinician, the more likely they are to think playing video games leads to violent behavior, according to new research published in Computers in Human Behavior.

NASA's Aqua satellite takes Tropical Storm Danny's temperature
Tropical Depression 4 strengthened into Tropical Storm Danny late on Aug.

Vomiting device offers direct evidence that vomit aerosolizes norovirus-like particles
Using a vomiting device of their creation, researchers at North Carolina State University and Wake Forest University are reporting the first direct evidence that vomiting can aerosolize virus particles similar to human norovirus.

New research shows that hummingbird tongue is really a tiny pump
Biologists have long believed that hummingbirds pick up floral nectar in the same way fluid rises in a capillary tube.

Bats wake up and smell the coffee
Intensive agriculture is taking a toll on bats in the Western Ghats of India, one of the world's most biodiverse regions, but shade-grown coffee, remnant rainforest patches and riverine vegetation strips may help struggling species hang on, researchers have found.

Warning to DIY enthusiasts & construction workers as dangerous dust emissions
New research published today in the Journal of Nanoparticle Research has warned of the dangers to construction workers and DIY enthusiasts of breathing in the harmful particles which are released during building refurbishment works.

Counterfeiting improves fashion quality, new INFORMS Marketing Science study finds
Counterfeit products have the power to stimulate innovation in the fashion industry and benefit consumers, according to a new study published in Marketing Science, a journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, INFORMS.

Honey bees rapidly evolve to overcome new disease
Scientists find bees can recover from destructive mites within a few years.

ACC, Apollo Hospitals partner to expand medical education offerings in India
The American College of Cardiology is collaborating with Apollo Hospitals in India to provide the College's guideline-driven educational content to physicians participating in Apollo's Medvarsity e-learning program, India's first medical e-learning venture.

Algorithm interprets breathing difficulties to aid in medical care
Researchers have developed an efficient algorithm that can interpret the wheezing of patients with breathing difficulties to give medical providers information about what's happening in the lungs.

Data mining DNA for polycystic ovary syndrome genes
A new Northwestern Medicine genome-wide association study of PCOS -- the first of its kind to focus on women of European ancestry -- has provided important new insights into the underlying biology of the disorder.

A metabolic master switch underlying human obesity
MIT researchers find pathway that controls metabolism by prompting fat cells to store or burn fat.

SwRI scientists think 'planetary pebbles' were the building blocks for the largest planets
Researchers at Southwest Research Institute and Queen's University in Canada have unraveled the mystery of how Jupiter and Saturn likely formed.

What are the health-related benefits of the marriage equality ruling for LGBT couples?
The US Supreme Court's recent landmark ruling on marriage equality has important, positive health implications for LGBT persons, including the impact of reducing stigmatization and discrimination on mental and physical health and improving access to health coverage.

Debate: Would judicial consent for assisted dying protect vulnerable people?
In The BMJ this week, two experts discuss whether the Assisted Dying Bill, to be debated at the House of Commons next month, would provide adequate protection for vulnerable people from harm.

Happiness spreads but depression doesn't
Having friends who suffer from depression doesn't affect the mental health of others, according to research led by the University of Warwick.

Krish Kizhatil of JAX wins NYAM's Lewis Rudin Glaucoma Prize
The New York Academy of Medicine has awarded the prestigious 2015 Lewis Rudin Glaucoma Prize to Krishnakumar Kizhatil, Ph.D., of The Jackson Laboratory and Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Aquatic hunger games: Archerfish spit the distance for food
New Wake Forest University research further investigates the archerfish and its sharp-shooting ability, showing for the first time that there is little difference in the amount of force of their water jets based on target distance.

Clamshell-shaped protein puts the 'jump' in 'jumping genes'
Scientists at Johns Hopkins report they have deciphered the structure and unusual shape of a bacterial protein that prepares segments of DNA for the insertion of so-called jumping genes.

Two views of Super Typhoon Atsani from NASA's Aqua Satellite
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Super Typhoon Atsani and captured visible and infrared data on the monster storm.

Educational expansion created more marriages by same educational level, race
Compulsory schooling laws instituted in the late 1800s and early 1900s caused more people in Northern states to marry people at their same education level and race, possibly contributing to economic inequality, according to a University of Kansas researcher's study.

New compounds could reduce alcoholics' impulse to drink
Alcoholism inflicts a heavy physical, emotional and financial toll on individuals and society.

Stem cells derived from amniotic membrane can benefit retinal diseases when transplanted
Mesenchymal stromal cells derived from human placenta amniotic membranes were successfully transplanted into laboratory mice modeled with oxygen-induced retinopathy.

New estimates show China's carbon emissions were less than previously thought
University of East Anglia research shows that China's carbon emissions have been substantially over-estimated by international agencies for more than 10 years.

Don't I know that guy?
You see a man at the grocery store. Is that the fellow you went to college with or just a guy who looks like him?

Molecular machine, not assembly line, assembles microtubules
When they think about how cells put together the molecules that make life work, biologists have tended to think of assembly lines: Add A to B, tack on C, and so on.

NIH scientists and colleagues successfully test MERS vaccine in monkeys and camels
NIH scientists and colleagues report that an experimental vaccine given six weeks before exposure to Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) fully protects rhesus macaques from disease.

Helium anomaly preceded Mount Ontake eruption
University of Tokyo researchers discovered an increase in a helium isotope during a 10-year period before the 2014 Mount Ontake eruption in central Japan.

Severe headache in pregnant women: When to worry
A new study conducted by researchers at Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine offer the first clinical recommendations for making diagnostic decisions about severe headaches in pregnant women, which can be an indication of pregnancy complications.

Study shows African Americans discriminated against in access to US local public services
Requests for information from local public services, like sheriffs' offices, school districts and libraries, across the United States are less likely to receive a reply if signed by 'black-sounding' names, according to new research conducted by economists at IZA and the University of Southampton. 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