Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 23, 2015
New cathode material creates possibilities for sodium-ion batteries
John Goodenough, the inventor of the lithium-ion battery, and his team have identified a new cathode material made of the nontoxic and inexpensive mineral eldfellite for sodium-ion batteries.

Some forms of dizziness after getting up may signal bigger problems
People who get dizzy several minutes after standing up may be at risk of more serious conditions and even an increased risk of death, according to new research published in the Sept.

New textbook explores victimology
College students will be introduced to the causes and consequences of victimology in a new textbook authored by Lisa Muftic of Sam Houston State University and Leah E.

Message to Starbucks: Consumer idea generation is not one-size-fits-all
Listen up, Dell and Starbucks and all companies that turn to consumers for ideas about products and services.

Gender quotas in academia -- challenges and opportunities
Authors of a new report have examined the use of gender quotas to increase the number of women at the highest career levels in academia.

U-M releases final report on high-volume hydraulic fracturing in Michigan
University of Michigan researchers today released the final version of a report analyzing policy options for the state of Michigan regarding high-volume hydraulic fracturing, the natural gas and oil extraction process commonly known as fracking.

Southampton chemists create switchable gold catalyst
A gold catalyst whose behavior can be controlled by the addition of acid or metal ion cofactors has been designed by chemists from the University of Southampton.

Method could make hydrogen fuel cells more efficient
With the growth of wind and solar energy and the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, many people in the US may have forgotten about the promised 'hydrogen economy.' But in research labs around the world, progress continues.

Concerns over FDA's increasing use of expedited development and approval pathways
Two studies carried out by US researchers and published by The BMJ today raise questions about whether most new drugs are any more effective than existing products or whether they have been adequately assessed before approval.

Standard treatment better than proposed alternative for unexplained infertility
Treatment with clomiphene, a standard therapy for couples with unexplained infertility, results in more live births than treatment with a potential alternative, letrozole, according to a study of more than 900 couples conducted by a National Institutes of Health research network.

Kids are clumsy runners because they are small
When small children run they barely get off the ground.

Color-coding sensor: Nanostructures for contactless control
Chemists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Univeristaet in Munich have fabricated a novel nanosheet-based photonic crystal that changes color in response to moisture.

Marketing: How does business debt affect firm value and consumer satisfaction?
Feeling less satisfied with the businesses you patronize? It might be because those businesses are in a lot of debt.

Nearly half of US seafood supply is wasted
As much as 47 percent of the edible US seafood supply is lost each year, mainly from consumer waste, new research from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future suggests.

Taming hot flashes without hormones: What works, what doesn't
Some three-quarters of American women have menopausal hot flashes, but many cannot use hormones for medical reasons or choose not to.

How the brain encodes time and place
MIT neuroscientists have now identified a brain circuit that processes the 'when' and 'where' components of memory.

Adolescent brain may be especially sensitive to new memories, social stress, and drug use
Adolescence, like infancy, has been said to include distinct sensitive periods during which brain plasticity is heightened; but in a review of the neuroscience literature published on Sept.

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP peers into Tropical Storm Dujuan
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Tropical Storm Dujuan on Sept.

Man walks again after years of paralysis
The ability to walk has been restored following a spinal cord injury, using one's own brain power, according to research published in the open access Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation.

Metastatic breast cancer cells turn on stem cell genes
Scientists from UCSF describe capturing and studying individual metastatic cells from human breast cancer tumors implanted into mice as the cells escaped into the blood stream and began to form tumors elsewhere in the body.

Tiny carbon-capturing motors may help tackle rising carbon dioxide levels
Machines that are much smaller than the width of a human hair could one day help clean up carbon dioxide pollution in the oceans.

Early miscarriage guidelines should be improved, researchers say
Researchers are calling for improvements to the way early miscarriage is diagnosed following a new study published today in the BMJ.

PolyU develops novel eco high performance energy storage device
The Department of Applied Physics of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has developed a simple approach to synthesize novel environmentally friendly manganese dioxide ink by using glucose.

Digital textbook analytics can predict student outcomes, Iowa State study finds
College professors and instructors can learn a lot from the chapters of a digital textbook that they assign students to read.

Ultrafast lasers offer 3-D micropatterning of biocompatible hydrogels
Low-energy, ultrafast laser technology is able to make high-resolution, 3-D structures in transparent silk protein hydrogels to support cell growth and allow cells to penetrate deep within the material.

Researchers find potential source of insulin-producing cells in adult human pancreas
Cells that express neurogenin 3 may one day be harnessed to create a plentiful supply of insulin-producing beta cells for the treatment of diabetes, a study led by researchers at the University of South Florida suggests.

Drug disarms deadly C. difficile bacteria without destroying healthy gut flora
Stanford University School of Medicine scientists successfully defeated a dangerous intestinal pathogen, Clostridium difficile, with a drug targeting its toxins rather than its life.

Most states don't think ignition interlock is severe enough punishment
University of Kansas researchers in a new study found that rather being treated as an effective public safety tool that can prevent deaths, ignition interlock laws are typically viewed like normal regulatory policies or seen as too lenient a form of criminal punishment.

Babies time their smiles to make their moms smile in return
Why do babies smile when they interact with their parents?

Like a foreman, brain region keeps us on task
Evidence from experiments reported in the journal Neuron show that a specific region of the brain appears essential for resolving the uncertainty that can build up as we progress through an everyday sequence of tasks.

NIH researchers find role for soft palate in adaptation of transmissible influenza viruses
NIH scientists and their colleagues identified a previously unappreciated role for the soft palate during research to better understand how flu viruses acquire the ability to move efficiently between people.

Scripps Florida scientists awarded $6 million to develop alternative HIV/AIDS vaccine
Scientists from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have been awarded up to nearly $6 million dollars from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a revolutionary HIV/AIDS alternative vaccine that has demonstrated great potential in animal models.

Molecular 'feedback loop' may explain tamoxifen resistance in patients with breast cancer
For reasons unknown, many patients with breast cancer treated with the estrogen receptor-blocking drug tamoxifen eventually become resistant to the treatment despite the fact that their cancer cells still have the estrogen receptor proteins that the drug normally targets.

Wayne State to train social workers and nurses new approaches in substance abuse screening
Wayne State University was awarded a three-year, $945,000 grant from the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to train 100 undergraduate and graduate students each year in Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment.

ASCB announces third annual Kaluza Prizes for 10 outstanding young scientists
The American Society for Cell Biology, in collaboration with Beckman Coulter Life Sciences, today announced the winners of the 2015 Kaluza Prizes for academic excellence in graduate student research.

Frustrated magnets point towards new memory
Theoretical physicists from the University of Groningen, supported by the FOM Foundation, have discovered that so-called 'frustrated magnets' can produce skyrmions, tiny magnetic vortices that may be used in memory storage.

Almost one-third of families of children with cancer have unmet basic needs during treatment
Almost one-third of families whose children were being treated for cancer faced food, housing or energy insecurity and one-quarter lost more than 40 percent of household income, according to a new study from Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.

Exergaming improves physical and mental fitness in children with autism spectrum disorders
A study conducted by the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston says games used for exercising can improve physical and mental fitness in children with autism spectrum disorders.

Neuroscientists uncover brain abnormalities responsible for tinnitus and chronic pain
Neuroscientists at Georgetown University Medical Center and Germany's Technische Universität München have uncovered the brain malady responsible for tinnitus and for chronic pain -- the uncomfortable, sometimes agonizing sensations that persist long after an initial injury.

Improving aid effectiveness in global health
Springer has released a new book entitled 'Improving Aid Effectiveness in Global Health,' edited and co-authored by Dr.

BMJ investigation questions expert advice underpinning new US dietary guidelines
The expert report underpinning the latest dietary guidelines for Americans fails to reflect much relevant scientific literature in its reviews of crucial topics and therefore risks giving a misleading picture, an investigation by The BMJ has found.

Twisting neutrons
Neutrons, normally thought of as particles, can also be utilized as waves.

New cancer genes identified, opening door to targeted treatments
Researchers have identified two new cancer-causing gene mutations -- mutations that may be particularly susceptible to cancer-fighting drugs already approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration.

PARSORTIX cell separation system effectively isolates CTCs indicating metastatic cancer
A new study released in PLOS ONE, demonstrates a method that allows Parsortix to capture more CTCs at comparable speeds to the existing clinical system while also overcoming the limitations of EpCAM-based approaches for detecting metastatic cancer.

Giant killer lizard fossil shines new light on early Australians
As if life wasn't hard enough during the last Ice Age, research led by the University of Queensland has found Australia's first human inhabitants had to contend with giant killer lizards.

This week from AGU: Saturn's moon Titan, Kepler telescope & 5 new research papers
This week from AGU includes Saturn's moon Titan, Kepler telescope and 5 new research papers.

Stillbirth should be given greater priority on the global health agenda, argue experts
Clear targets to prevent stillbirths should be included in national and global health plans, argue experts in The BMJ this week.

Nanoparticles could boost effectiveness and reduce side effects of allergy shots
Whether triggered by cats, bees, pollen or mites, allergies are on the rise.

The Micronesia Challenge: Sustainable coral reefs and fisheries
The University of Guam Marine Laboratory leads the way in research to demonstrate how scientists help managers measure the effectiveness of marine conservation efforts.

A cosmic rose with many names
This new image of the rose-colored star forming region Messier 17 was captured by the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile.

In terminally ill patients, some types of delirium are a sign of 'imminent death'
In cancer patients nearing the end of life, certain subtypes of delirium -- specifically, hypoactive and 'mixed' delirium -- are a strong indicator that death will come soon, reports a study in Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine, the official journal of the American Psychosomatic Society.

Hot, dense material surrounds O-type star with largest magnetic field known
Observations using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory revealed that the unusually large magnetosphere around an O-type star called NGC 1624-2 contains a raging storm of extreme stellar winds and dense plasma that gobbles up X-rays before they can escape into space.

Physicists find new explanation for key experiment
An experiment at Tohoku University in 2008 laid the foundations for research on 'spin caloritronics' -- a field that aims to develop more effective and energy-saving data processing in information technology.

Liquid crystals show potential for detection of neuro-degenerative disease
Liquid crystals are familiar to most of us as the somewhat humdrum stuff used to make computer displays and TVs.

Overlooked winter bird communities are unexpectedly diverse
Every fall, many of the songbirds that breed in the US clear out for the winter, heading for tropical climates, but the habitat they're vacating won't be empty during the winter months.

Discovery of potential gravitational lenses shows citizen science value
Citizen scientists have helped an international team of researchers to discover 29 new gravitational lens candidates in faraway galaxies.

Professor Patrizio Antici welcomed as a Fellow of the Institute of Physics
Professor Patrizio Antici of Centre Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications at INRS has once again garnered international recognition for his work, having just been elected a Fellow of the Institute of Physics for his outstanding scientific achievements in physics, particularly in the field of laser-generated particle sources.

UT Southwestern physiologists uncover a new code at the heart of biology
UT Southwestern physiologists trying to understand the genetic code have found a previously unknown code that helps explain which protein should be created to form a particular type of cell.

New study questions clinical trial data for kidney cancer drugs
A study published in the Journal of Oncology Practice showed that for certain cancer drugs, participants in clinical trials are often not representative of the patients that ultimately take the drugs, raising questions about the direct applicability of trial data.

Many patients prefer online postoperative care to in-person care
The majority of patients who undergo routine, uncomplicated operations prefer online postoperative consultations to in-person visits, according to results from a new study published online as an 'article in press' on the Journal of the American College of Surgeons website.

New study highlights valuable tool for studying living and extinct animals
Findings could support a number of fields from animal poaching to paleoecology.

Oceans in the brain: How we remember different contexts
When we misplace something, retracing our steps often helps us remember where we put it because environmental contexts are strongly linked to memory formation.

Antimicrobial film for future implants
The implantation of medical devices is not without risks. Bacterial or fungal infections can occur and the body's strong immune response may lead to the rejection of the implant.

How to find out about the human mind through stone
According to Eder Domínguez-Ballesteros, co-author of the article 'Flint knapping and determination of human handedness.

Enamel evolved in the skin and colonized the teeth much later
When did the enamel that covers our teeth evolve? And where in the body did this tissue first appear?

Guidelines for miscarriage should be updated to avoid misdiagnosis, say experts
Current national guidelines on the diagnosis of miscarriage may still be associated with misdiagnoses, and should be reviewed in light of new evidence, suggests a study published in The BMJ today.

Frontline treatments show best results for unexplained infertility
A breast cancer drug with promise for improving the chance that couples with unexplained infertility can have a baby without increasing their risk of multiple births apparently does not deliver, according to a comparative study.

UW team links 2 human brains for question-and-answer experiment
University of Washington researchers used a brain-to-brain interface they developed to allow pairs of participants to play a '20 question' style game by transmitting signals from one brain to another over the Internet.

Marketing partnerships: Stock prices don't always run with the bulls
When two companies form a marketing alliance, investors always herald that as good news and send the companies' stock prices sky high, right?

Earth's oceans show decline in microscopic plant life
The world's oceans have seen significant declines in certain types of microscopic plant-life at the base of the marine food chain, according to a new NASA study.

Early testing can predict the stroke patients who will develop upper limb spasticity
Many stroke patients suffer from spasticity of the arm that cause pain and impaired sensorimotor function.

Surgeon helps pioneer new approach to breast cancer treatment
A surgeon with the Breast Health Center at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is among the first in New England to adopt an innovative new device that improves the treatment of breast cancer by more precisely targeting radiation treatment and providing for better follow-up exams.

Team develops strategy to determine how non-coding variants contribute to disease risk
A paper receiving advance online release in Nature Medicine describes a strategy for meeting one of today's most significant challenges in genomic medicine - determining whether a specific DNA variant in the non-protein-coding genome is the actual cause of an associated disease risk.

The final word on STAP
Tremendous controversy erupted in early 2014 when two papers published in Nature described how a technique called 'stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency,' or STAP, could quickly and efficiently turn ordinary cells into pluripotent stem cells, that is, stem cells capable of developing into all the tissues in the body.

Seeking a better way to design drugs
With a three-year, $346,000 award from the National Institutes of Health, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Horse owners can manage flies with wasps instead of pesticides
A new article in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management offers horse owners advice on how to manage stable flies and house flies, including how to use parasitoid wasps as an alternative to pesticides.

Small Business Innovation Research grants for aquaculture
NOAA is announcing today the funding of three aquaculture projects through the Small Business Innovation Research grants program.

ORNL integrated energy demo connects 3-D printed building, vehicle
A research demonstration unveiled today at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory combines clean energy technologies into a 3-D printed building and vehicle to showcase a new approach to energy use, storage and consumption.

Springer and Politecnico di Torino launch new book series
Springer, part of the newly formed publishing group Springer Nature, and Politecnico di Torino, Italy's oldest technical university, will partner to publish a new book series called PoliTO Springer Series.

Ringing in the ears and chronic pain enter by the same gate
Tinnitus and chronic pain have more in common than their ability to afflict millions with the very real experience of 'phantom' sensations.

Taking blood pressure drugs at bedtime lowers diabetes risk
New research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) shows that taking blood pressure medications at bedtime, rather than in the morning, reduces blood pressure (BP) whilst asleep and also halves the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Titanium and gold based compound fights kidney cancer cells
The findings may provide a new way of treating kidney cancer, opening the potential for more potent and less toxic therapies that would give cancer patients a better quality of life.

Cold rush: Bird diversity higher in winter than summer in Central Valley
In California's Central Valley, just as many bird species use riparian habitats in the winter as in the summer, and genetic diversity is actually higher in the winter than during summer months.

Understanding self-control: Eating and spending are different public policy issues
You can resist buying candy while you're waiting in the checkout line, but you'll buy any pair of shoes that are on sale.

What motivates 'Facebook stalking' after a romantic breakup?
Social networking makes it easy to monitor the status and activities of a former romantic partner, an often unhealthy use of social media known as interpersonal electronic surveillance or, more commonly, 'Facebook stalking.' Psychological and relationship factors and how individuals cope with the termination of a romantic relationship can help predict their use of online surveillance, according to a study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

NASA to fly parallel science campaigns at both poles
For the first time in its seven years of flights, NASA's Operation IceBridge, an airborne survey of changes in Earth's polar ice, is conducting overlapping campaigns in Antarctica and the Arctic.

The world's nitrogen fixation, explained
Yale University scientists may have cracked a part of the chemical code for one of the most basic, yet mysterious, processes in the natural world -- nature's ability to transform nitrogen from the air into usable nitrogen compounds.

New York State approves Columbia University's 467-gene cancer panel
The Laboratory of Personalized Genomic Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center has been granted full approval by the New York State Department of Health for the Columbia Combined Cancer Panel.

9,000-year-old ritualized decapitation found in Brazil
A 9,000-year-old case of human decapitation has been found in the rock shelter of Lapa do Santo in Brazil.

Challenges mount for common herbicide Roundup
When the herbicide Roundup hit the market in the mid-'90s along with crop seeds designed to resist its effects, it quickly became the dominant weed-killer for farmers.

If you're sitting down, don't sit still, new research suggests
New research suggests that the movements involved in fidgeting may counteract the adverse health impacts of sitting for long periods.

Toward tires that repair themselves (video)
A cut or torn tire usually means one thing -- you have to buy a new one.

Calorie consumption: Do numbers or graphics encourage diners to eat less?
To encourage consumers to lower their caloric intake, the US Food and Drug Administration now requires most chain restaurants to state the number of calories that each menu item contains.

How flu viruses gain the ability to spread
A new study from MIT and NIAID reveals the soft palate is a key site for evolution of airborne transmissibility.

New synthesis method imitates the way molecules were formed at the dawn of life on Earth
Researchers from CSIC, with support from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, have developed a method for synthesising organic molecules very selectively.

Enterprise education needed to boost young Aussie entrepreneurs
Young Australians are lagging behind their US counterparts in entrepreneurship activity with a lack of enterprise education at school an important contributor to the poor performance.

Study shows potential benefit of telehealth visits for postoperative care
Most veterans undergoing general surgical operations of low complexity preferred telehealth (video or telephone) follow-up than visiting a clinic, and data suggested that telehealth visits may help identify veterans requiring in-person assessment or further care, according to a study published online by JAMA Surgery.

NASA, NOAA satellites show wind shear affecting Tropical Storm Ida
On Sept. 22 at 12:17 p.m. EDT the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, or AIRS, instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite provided an infrared look at Ida.

'Demarketing': What makes consumers more or less materialistic?
If you read a report whose message was that people consume too much, would you then be likely to curb your own consumption?

Towards a cure for type 1 diabetes: Major funding boost for Garvan researcher
Garvan immunologist Associate Professor Shane Grey and collaborators from other institutions have been awarded $3.3 million to extend their innovative research towards a cure for type I diabetes.

A new study predicts a quantum Goldilocks effect
By studying a system that couples matter and light together, like the universe itself, researchers have now found that crossing a quantum phase transition at intermediate speeds generates the richest, most complex structure.

CERN and the JRC to scale up production of alpha-emitters against cancer
A novel, accelerator-driven method could produce nuclides for targeted alpha therapy of cancer in practically unlimited amounts, overcoming current obstacles for its wider use due to a limited production of alpha-emitters.

Viruses join fight against harmful bacteria
MIT biological engineers have devised a new mix-and-match system to genetically engineer viruses that target specific bacteria. 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