Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 15, 2015
Electronic reminders keep TB patients on track with medication in China
Giving electronic reminders to tuberculosis patients in China can reduce the amount of medication doses they miss by half, according to new research from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the National Center for Tuberculosis Control and Prevention in China.

How much water does US fracking really use?
Energy companies used nearly 250 billion gallons of water to extract shale gas and oil from hydraulically fractured wells in the US between 2005 and 2014, a new Duke University study finds.

The black box at the beginning of life
Life begins with an egg and a sperm: that much is clear.

Nearby red dwarves could reveal planet secrets: ANU media release
An accidental find of a collection of young red dwarf stars close to our solar system could give us a rare glimpse of slow-motion planet formation.

NASA's LRO discovers Earth's pull is 'massaging' our moon
Earth's gravity has influenced the orientation of thousands of faults that form in the lunar surface as the moon shrinks, according to new results from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft.

Equity gap
Women are less likely than men of similar age, experience, specialty and research productivity to be full professors at US medical schools.

Scan may identify best candidates for fetal spina bifida surgery
Fetuses with enlarged ventricles -- the fluid-filled cavities inside the brain -- may be less likely than their counterparts to benefit from surgery in the womb to treat spina bifida, according to a study supported by the National Institutes of Health.

A small, inexpensive high frequency comb signal generator
Researchers from the Italian National Research Council and the National Enterprise for nanoScience and nanoTechnology in Italy have devised a novel, inexpensive way to turn low frequency signals into higher frequencies.

Researchers explore cocoa as novel dietary source for prevention of cognitive deterioration in AD
New research suggests that 'there is strong scientific evidence supporting the growing interest in developing cocoa extract, and potentially certain dietary chocolate preparations, as a natural source to maintain and promote brain health, and in particular to prevent age-related neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, which is the most common form of age-related dementia affecting an estimated 44 million people worldwide.'

Dealing with climate change and local beliefs in Africa
Experts should take note of local knowledge and beliefs when helping people in vulnerable regions cope with the impacts of climate change to ensure that such interventions are money well spent, and are not culturally insensitive.

Teen marijuana use down despite greater availability
Marijuana use among American high school students is significantly lower today than it was 15 years ago, despite the legalization in many states of marijuana for medical purposes, a move toward decriminalization of the drug and the approval of its recreational use in a handful of places, new research suggests.

Mayo Clinic receives federal grant to fund clinical test of breast cancer vaccine
Researchers on Mayo Clinic's Florida campus have been awarded a $13.3 million, five-year federal grant to test a vaccine designed to prevent the recurrence of triple-negative breast cancer, a subset of breast cancer for which there are no targeted therapies.

Biologists parse evolutionary 'arms race' between insects, predators and plants
Many scientists believe the very same dynamics that have shaped conflict between nations since the early 20th century also may govern how species evolve on Earth.

Additional time spent outdoors by children results in decreased rate of nearsightedness
The addition of a daily outdoor activity class at school for three years for children in Guangzhou, China, resulted in a reduction in the rate of myopia (nearsightedness, the ability to see close objects more clearly than distant objects), according to a study in the Sept.

One step closer to a new kind of computer
An international group of physicists, including Aleksandr Golubov, head of the MIPT Laboratory of Topological Quantum Phenomena in Superconductor Systems, recently presented results of experiments testing a new phenomenon in the journal Science.

5G Innovation Centre officially opens at the University of Surrey
The University of Surrey today opens its state-of-the-art 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC), securing the UK's role in leading the development of the next generation communications technology, 5G.

As wildland-urban interface grows, so does risk to people and habitats
Humans and habitat intersect in the wildland-urban interface, or WUI, a geography that now includes about one-third of homes in the United States within just 10 percent of the nation's land area.

Sweeping study of US farm data shows loss of crop diversity the past 34 years
Researchers say diverse agroecosystems are more resilient to variable weather from climate change.

Arctic sea ice summertime minimum is fourth lowest on record
According to a NASA analysis of satellite data, the 2015 Arctic sea ice minimum extent is the fourth lowest on record since observations from space began.

Study finds growing public support in the USA and Canada for smokefree outdoor laws
A new study has found increasing support in the United States and Canada for smokefree laws for outdoor areas, especially in playgrounds and school grounds.

ACP receives four-year federal award to increase adult immunization rates
The American College of Physicians was awarded a $1,002,884 Cooperative Agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to increase immunization rates in the United States.

Research breakthrough in fight against muscle wasting diseases
It is estimated that half of all cancer patients suffer from a muscle wasting syndrome called cachexia.

Arctic mosquitoes thriving under climate change, Dartmouth study finds
Warming temperatures are causing Arctic mosquitoes to grow faster and emerge earlier, significantly boosting their population and threatening the caribou they feast on, a Dartmouth College study finds.

New method could help nurses spot delirium quickly
Asking just two questions may be able to help nurses and doctors quickly and easily identify delirium in hospitalized older adults, according to health researchers.

Penn study demonstrates genes' major role in skin and organ development
Knocking out one or both crucial regulatory genes caused cleft lip, skin barrier defects, and a host of other developmental problems in mice, hinting that abnormalities in these molecular pathways could underlie many birth defects that are presently not well understood.

Sex differences in academic faculty rank, institutional support for biomedical research
Women are less likely than men to be full professors at US medical schools, and receive less start-up support from their institutions for biomedical research, according to two studies in the Sept.

New school-evaluation method fails to affect housing prices
The controversial new method of evaluating teachers and schools -- called 'value-added' -- does not appear to affect property values, finds research by economists at Michigan State University and Cornell University.

Link between air pollution and increased deaths from heart disease affirmed
In what is believed to be the largest, most detailed study of its kind in the United States, scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center and elsewhere have confirmed that tiny chemical particles in the air we breathe are linked to an overall increase in risk of death.

Women exposed to organic pollutants in early pregnancy have more than 4-times increased risk of gestational diabetes
New research presented at this year's annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Stockholm shows that a 10-times increased exposure to organic pollutants in early pregnancy is associated with a 4.4 times increased risk of a pregnant woman developing gestational diabetes.

A better look at religion's influence on political attitudes
University of Cincinnati political scientists have developed a new strategy for measuring how Biblical interpretation influences people's political behavior.

Determining optimal antidepressant drug doses during pregnancy
Northwestern has received a $3.9 million NIH grant to determine the optimal drug doses for treating pregnant women with depression across the changing physiological landscape of their pregnancies.

Immune cells may help fight against obesity
While a healthy lifestyle and 'good genes' are known to help prevent obesity, new research published on Sept.

Best candidates for fetal spina bifida surgery may be identified through brain scans
Fetuses with enlarged ventricles -- the fluid-filled cavities inside the brain -- may be less likely than other fetuses to benefit from surgery in the womb to treat spina bifida, according to a study co-authored by researchers at UCSF.

Experts question the evidence underpinning e-cigarette recommendations
Public Health England recently endorsed the use of electronic cigarettes as an aid to quitting smoking.

Are early childhood educators undervalued?
No one is looking at how we perceive and value those who provide the education and care to young children.

The reason why middle class people are more likely to play music, paint and act revealed
The reason why middle class people are more likely to play music, paint and act has been revealed in a major new study.

Acetic acid, found in vinegar, shown to be effective against bacteria found in burn wounds
Highly diluted acetic acid, an active ingredient of household vinegar, has been shown to be an effective alternative agent to prevent infection and kill bacteria found in burn wounds.

Diet, exercise, smoking habits and genes interact to affect AMD risk
People with a genetic predisposition for age-related macular degeneration significantly increased their odds of developing the blinding eye disorder if they had a history of heavy smoking and consistently did not exercise or eat enough fruits and vegetables, according to an observational study of women funded by the National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Analysis of 21 studies shows exposure to pesticides is associated with increased risk of developing diabetes
A meta-analysis of 21 studies presented at this year's annual meeting the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) shows that exposure to pesticides is associated with increased risk of developing diabetes by 61 percent, with different types of pesticides showing varying levels of risk.

Researchers develop 'instruction manual' for futuristic metallic glass
UNSW Australia researchers have created an 'instruction manual' for developing metallic glass -- described as the most significant materials science innovation since plastic.

Young chum salmon may get biggest nutrition boost from Elliott Bay restored beaches
University of Washington researchers have found the types of organisms in Seattle's Elliott Bay change depending on the shoreline nearby, either armored or restored beaches.

Skin microbiome influences common sexually transmitted disease
For years, researchers have known that the human skin is home to a diverse community of microorganisms, collectively known as the skin microbiome.

Dr. Jay Whitacre wins $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize for invention of a revolutionary battery
Jay Whitacre, Ph.D., a Materials Scientist and Professor at Carnegie Mellon University's College of Engineering, is the recipient of the 2015 $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize.

Virus in cattle linked to human breast cancer
A new study by UC Berkeley researchers establishes for the first time a link between infection with the bovine leukemia virus and human breast cancer.

Professor wins patent for recyclable building materials
A University of Colorado Denver professor and former graduate student have been awarded a patent for a new, eco-friendly construction system that turns 100 percent recycled fibers into high strength, easy-to-assemble building materials.

Elsevier's IGGC publishes special issue on CO2 capture and storage
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, and IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme (IEAGHG) announce the publication of a seminal special issue of the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control.

Beta-blockers promote heart muscle cell survival following a heart attack, York U study
A commonly prescribed drug for heart disease may do more good than previously thought.

Data-driven approach could help improve allocation of biomedical research resources
A new computational model developed by scientists from the University of Chicago could help improve the allocation of US biomedical research resources.

NASA gets infrared view of new Tropical Storm 20W
The twentieth tropical depression of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean formed early on Sept.

Previously unknown flea genus and species discovered in fossilized dominican amber
A strange flea that is believed to be 20-30 million years old has been found in amber from the Dominican Republic.

New DNA research reveals genetic heritage of elusive vaquita
A new method of teasing information from scarce and highly degraded genetic samples is helping NOAA Fisheries and Mexican scientists unravel the genetic heritage of the enigmatic vaquita, the most endangered marine mammal on Earth.

Banning trans fats in England could prevent 7,000 heart deaths over next 5 years
A total ban on trans fatty acids (trans fats) in processed foods in England could potentially prevent or postpone about 7,200 deaths from coronary heart disease over the next five years, suggest experts in The BMJ this week.

New drugs could stop the growth of drug-resistant childhood tumors
New drugs are needed to treat the most common type of childhood brain tumor and could also be effective against skin cancer.

Study from England shows no garden access for young children linked to childhood obesity later in childhood
A study of 6,467 children from England -- presented at this year's annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Stockholm -- shows that no access to a garden at age 3-5 years is linked to an increased risk developing obesity by age 7 years.

NYU researchers document self-reported use of new synthetic drugs by teens/young adults
This is the first study reporting on use of a variety of new drugs in a nationally representative US sample.

Hookah tobacco smoking seems to be increasing in both prevalence and frequency
Nearly one in five recently surveyed high school seniors report having smoked tobacco from a hookah in the past year, and more than a third of them reported smoking hookahs often enough to be considered regular users, an analysis led by the University of Pittsburgh Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health revealed.

Making a smart material smarter
A team of researchers, including some from Michigan State University, is making a smart material smarter.

Factors for higher risk of death following hip fracture surgery than hip replacement
Patients undergoing surgery for a hip fracture were older and had more medical conditions than patients who underwent an elective total hip replacement, factors that may contribute to the higher risk of in-hospital death and major postoperative complications experienced by hip fracture surgery patients, according to a study in the Sept.

Social media data could contribute to conservation science
Planning conservation actions requires up-to-date information on biodiversity, but also on human pressures.

Large-scale treatment of parasitic-worm disease cost-effective
Stanford University School of Medicine researchers and their colleagues are calling for an urgent re-evaluation of global guidelines for the treatment of parasitic-worm diseases in light of a new study showing that large-scale treatment programs are highly cost-effective.

MRI improves diagnosis of microbleeding after brain injury in military personnel
Imaging patients soon after traumatic brain injury occurs can lead to better (more accurate) detection of cerebral microhemorrhages, or microbleeding on the brain, according to a new study of military service members.

World loses trillions of dollars worth of nature's benefits each year due to land degradation
In a new report, experts estimate the value of ecosystem services worldwide forfeited due to land degradation at US $6.3-10.6 trillion annually, or the equivalent of 10-17 percent of global GDP.

Hungarian Osteoporosis Patient Society named winner of IOF Linda Edwards Memorial Award
The Hungarian Osteoporosis Prevention Society has been named winner of the 2015 IOF Linda Edwards Memorial Award.

Antibody network partners with celgene for cancer therapies
A new collaboration between Celgene Corp. and the Recombinant Antibody Network, a consortium comprising research groups from UC San Francisco, the University of Chicago and the University of Toronto, will support the development of next-generation, antibody-based cancer therapies.

Electronic reminders can help tuberculosis patients stay on medication
Reminders to take medication, delivered to patients via an electronic pillbox, may be able to improve adherence to tuberculosis treatment.

Scientists report earlier date of shift in human ancestors' diet
Pre-humans' shift toward a grass-based diet took place about 400,000 years earlier than experts previously thought, providing a clearer picture of a time of rapid change in conditions that shaped human evolution.

Popular hypertension drugs linked to worse heart health in blacks compared to whites
Drugs commonly used to treat high blood pressure, and prevent heart attacks and strokes, are associated with significantly worse cardiovascular outcomes in hypertensive African Americans compared to whites, according to a new comparative effectiveness research study led by researchers in the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Medical Center and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Scientists discover how cells overpower cancer drug
Cancer Research UK scientists have found how cells adapt to overcome cancer drugs designed to interfere with their genetic controls, according to a study published Wednesday in Epigenetics and Chromatin.

Students in credit crisis
US research suggests that college students are well aware that they should be personally responsible for their finances, including their card obligations, but this awareness rarely correlates with limiting the debts they accrue during their time in higher education.

New tool for studying magnetic, self-propelled bacteria that resemble compass needles
In the Marvel Comics universe, Professor Xavier and the X-Men are only able to fend off archrival Magneto, the magnetic mutant with the ability to control metals, once they understand the scope of his powers.

Whole-body PET scan with new imaging agent can locate hidden blood clots
A novel radiopharmaceutical probe developed at Massachusetts General Hospital has the potential of providing physicians with information that could save the lives of patients with ischemic stroke or pulmonary embolism -- conditions caused when important blood vessels are blocked by a clot that has traveled from another part of the body.

Yoga improves arthritis symptoms and mood, study finds
A randomized trial of people with two common forms of arthritis has found that yoga can be safe and effective for people with arthritis.

'Our chairs are killing us,' say researchers
Prolonged sitting time as well as reduced physical activity contribute to the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in a study of middle-aged Koreans.

Link between Alzheimer's and type 2 diabetes could lead to new treatment
Could a new treatment for Alzheimer's be found by studying type 2 diabetes?

Specific fatty acids may worsen Crohn's disease
Some research has suggested that omega-3 fatty acids, abundant in fish oils, can relieve inflammation in the digestive tracts of people with Crohn's disease.

RIT is part of consortium awarded NNMI grant for flexible electronics development
Rochester Institute of Technology is part of a consortium recently awarded a federal grant to establish a research center for employing flexible electronics in manufacturing, contributing expertise in high performance print systems and functionality, engineering processes and materials development.

A glimpse into the nanoworld of lymphocyte cell membranes
Antigen receptors on B lymphocytes sense foreign molecules and activate the B cells to produce antibodies that protect humans against many diseases.

A study of antidepressants reveals how treatment helps depression management
Researchers in Japan have shown that several different classes of antidepressants increase early growth responses in astrocytes, star-shaped glial cells, which could help develop new treatments.

Understanding nature's most striking colors
Researchers show how natural materials like plant cellulose can self-assemble into surfaces with stunning optical properties -- including shiny iridescence and colors that change depending on the humidity.

Cohort study explores association between SSRI use and violent crime
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) use is modestly associated with violent crime, according to a study published this week in PLOS Medicine.

New perspectives for long-term climate predictions?
The natural, 11-year cycle of solar activity is apparently influencing long-term climate fluctuations in the Northern Hemisphere.

New way to repair nerves: Using exosomes to hijack cell-to-cell communication
Biomedical engineers report a new way to induce human mesenchymal stem cells to differentiate into neuron-like cells: treating them with exosomes from rat-derived progenitor cells.

In first, Salk scientists use sound waves to control brain cells
New technique to selectively and noninvasively turn on groups of neurons in worms could be boon to science and medicine.

Forest-mapping instrument for space station passes major milestone
A laser-based instrument for mapping the 3-D structure of Earth's forests has passed a major milestone toward deployment on the International Space Station (ISS).

Tecnalia develops a Smart City Platform to manage the Cultural Heritage of Bogotá DC
The District Institute of Cultural Heritage of the Mayor's Office of Bogotá DC has implemented a new Smart City platform to manage the Cultural Heritage of Bogotá.

New synthetic route to potential medicines for type 2 diabetes
Toyohashi Tech researchers have found that the SN2 reaction of α-chloro-β-keto esters with phenols proceeded smoothly despite the fact that the reaction occurred at a tertiary carbon.

ESA/NASA Solar Observatory discovers its 3,000th comet
On Sept. 13, 2015, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory -- a joint project of the European Space Agency and NASA -- discovered its 3,000th comet, cementing its standing as the greatest comet finder of all time.

The saying 'It never rains but it pours' is truer than ever in Scotland
New research at the University of Warwick with colleagues from the London School of Economics has identified changes in the shape of rainfall across Europe; changes in the amount of drizzle compared with downpours and everything in-between.

MD Anderson, Cayman Chemical, and Fannin Innovation Studio form therapeutics company
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Cayman Chemical and Fannin Innovation Studio have formed ACF Pharmaceuticals, LLC.

Spleen may provide new target for treating stroke's debilitating chronic inflammation
Stroke injures the brain, but a new University of South Florida study indicates an abdominal organ that plays a vital role in immune function, the spleen, may be a target for treating stroke-induced chronic inflammation leading to further brain cell death.

Effects of prenatal myelomeningocele closure on the need for a CSF shunt
Investigators reaffirm the initial MOMS finding that prenatal repair of a myelomeningocele results in less need for a shunt at 12 months and introduce the new finding that prenatal repair reduces the need for shunt revision in those infants who do require shunt placement.

New mouse brain map may illuminate origins of mental illnesses
Scientists at Duke University have released a highly detailed model of connections in the mouse brain that could provide generations of neuroscientists new insights into brain circuits and origins of mental illness, such as depression and schizophrenia.

Number of people at high risk of fracture set to double by 2040
A study from the University of Southampton and Sheffield Medical School in the UK projects a dramatic increase in the burden of fragility fractures within the next three decades.

Warwick chosen to receive funding to involve public in research
The University of Warwick has been chosen to receive funding to help the public become more involved and informed in research.

Savoring a bitter bite: Japanese monkeys drop their guard to survive
Most poisons taste bitter: being able to tell typically leads to longer life.

UT Arlington research will lead to more efficient computer modeling
A group of UT Arlington engineers hopes to create a more rigorous, yet intuitive, design approach and eliminate the need to repeatedly rebuild models.

Bond gene in fruit flies controls fertility of rival males
New research from scientists at the University of Hawai'i - Mānoa identified a single gene in fruit flies (Drosophila) that controls male pheromone production, male fertility, and, surprisingly, the fertility of rival males.

Tracking slow nanolight in natural hyperbolic metamaterial slabs
Researchers at CIC nanoGUNE (Basque Country) in collaboration with colleagues at The Institute of Photonic Sciences (Catalunya) have imaged how light moves inside an exotic class of matter known as hyperbolic materials.

Doubt cast on recent study claiming to have unraveled the last mystery of electromagnetism
Scientists from ITMO University, Australian National University and Aalto University called into question the results of a study, published by the researchers from Cambridge University in Physical Review Letters.

Twenty-five years ago Professor Thomas Jentsch opened up a new field of research
A quarter of a century ago, the physicist, physician and cell biologist Professor Thomas Jentsch and his research team opened up an entirely new field of research in the field of ion transport.

'Deadly' maths program sees prime future for Indigenous students
QUT's YuMi Deadly Centre is behind a new program to deliver the mathematics element of an initiative to direct Indigenous students toward a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) career.

A technique dating back to 1935 is recovered for cancer research in flies
A study conducted by ICREA researcher Cayetano González, at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine, and published in Nature Protocols describes a forgotten technique used in the fly Drosophila melanogaster dating back 80 years.

Combining epigenetic therapies with immunotherapies likely to improve cancer patient outcomes
Recent data suggest that epigenetic therapies are likely to provide additional clinical benefit to cancer patients when rationally combined with immunotherapeutic drugs, according to a review published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

New efficiency record for solar hydrogen production is 14 percent
An international team has succeeded in considerably increasing the efficiency for direct solar water splitting with a tandem solar cell whose surfaces have been selectively modified.

Virginia Tech chemical engineers outline new approach to materials design
Virginia Tech chemical engineers have developed a new approach that will have a huge impact in future materials design.

Dew helps ground cloud computing
The most obvious disadvantage of putting your data in the cloud is losing access when you have no internet connection. 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