Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 05, 2015
Scientists test new gene therapy for vision loss from a mitochondrial disease
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have developed a novel mouse model for the vision disorder Leber hereditary optic neuropathy, and found that they can use gene therapy to improve visual function in the mice.

Women with knee osteoarthritis experience greater pain sensitivity than men
Among patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, women experienced greater sensitivity to various pain modalities -- such as lower tolerance to heat, cold, and pressure -- and greater widespread pain than men.

Emissions targets out of reach without a massive technological shift in basic industries
The targets for lower emissions of carbon dioxide from Europe's basic industries are out of reach, without urgent introduction of innovative carbon dioxide mitigation technologies.

Satellite sees the short life of Tropical Depression 8C
ropical Depression 8C formed southwest of Hawaii on October 3 and by October 4 it was a post-tropical cyclone.

Georgia State researcher gets $1.35 million to study effects of common food additive on body
Andrew Gewirtz, a professor in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University, has received a four-year, $1.35 million federal grant to study how emulsifiers affect bacteria in the intestinal tract and cause chronic inflammatory diseases in the gut.

Dengue epidemics linked to high temperatures during strong El Nino season
An international research team led by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health has shown that epidemics of dengue, which is caused by a mosquito-borne virus, across southeast Asia appear to be linked to the abnormally high temperatures brought by the El Niño weather phenomenon.

True colors: Using molecular analysis to clarify dino color claims
How do we know that the melanosomes found in the fossils are actually melanosomes and not something else, like leftover impressions from the microbes (some of which also make melanin) that coated the feather during its decay and preservation?

Women with Alzheimer's-related gene lose weight more sharply after age 70
Researchers led by Deborah Gustafson, Ph.D., M.S., professor of neurology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, have shown that women with a gene variant (APOEe4 allele) associated with Alzheimer's disease experience a steeper decline in body mass index after age 70 than those women without the version of the gene, whether they go on to develop dementia or not.

Molecular nanoribbons as electronic highways
Physicists at Umeå University have, together with researchers at UC Berkeley, USA, developed a method to synthesise a unique and novel type of material which resembles a graphene nanoribbon but in molecular form.

Many women experience 'post-sex blues'
Very few studies on female sexual dysfunction have looked at postcoital dysphoria, or 'post-sex blues,' which is characterized by tearfulness, a sense of melancholy or depression, anxiety, agitation, or aggression following sexual intercourse.

Even surgery may not help patients with severe constipation
Current guidelines for treating severe constipation include surgical removal of part of the colon, a procedure called subtotal colectomy.

EU funding to support chronic lung disease research
Researchers from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry are part of an international consortium which has received funding of almost €3 million from the EU Horizon 2020 programme, to investigate methods to prevent, diagnose and treat non-communicable lung disease (such as asthma and chronic pulmonary obstructive disorder - COPD) in low and middle income countries.

BIDMC Cancer Center and The Jackson Laboratory launch pilot grant program
Scientific teams from the BIDMC Cancer Center and JAX embark on seven new projects as part of comprehensive relationship to advance cancer research and accelerate personalized genomic medicine.

Identifying cancer's food sensors may help to halt tumor growth
Oxford University researchers have identified a protein used by tumors to help them detect food supplies.

Developing a nanoscale 'clutch'
A model microscopic system to demonstrate the transmission of torque in the presence of thermal fluctuations -- necessary for the creation of a tiny 'clutch' operating at the nanoscale -- has been assembled at the University of Bristol as part of an international collaboration.

NSF-supported engineer and vision scientist nets Emmy for tool to predict perceived video quality
Sometimes it's not so much what you see as what you don't see that matters.

Dengue protein modulates human enzyme: Fuel for replication
A new study published in the Journal of Virology reveals that NS1, a nonstructural protein composing the replication machinery of the dengue virus, binds to a well-known human enzyme as a way to increase energy production to be used for viral replication.

How pee brought you the modern world (video)
You might not believe it, but there was a time when urine, yes urine, was prized by chemists.

A 2-dimensional microwave camera has been developed
The National Institutes of Natural Sciences National Institute for Fusion Science has developed a high-speed two-dimensional microwave camera for performing diagnostics of high-temperature plasma.

Cryptic invasions by ecological engineers conceal profound changes in nature
A new study reveals that the salt marsh plant Spartina alterniflora, which grows on more than 9,000 km of the Atlantic coastline of South America, is not native to the area and was in fact introduced 200 years ago.

What's in store 5 decades following childhood-onset epilepsy?
A 45-year study of 179 individuals with childhood-onset epilepsy indicates that patients' long-term health is excellent, with most attaining 10-year remission off medications, which is the definition of resolved epilepsy.

Immigrants play increasing role in US science and engineering workforce
From 2003 to 2013, the number of scientists and engineers residing in the US rose from 21.6 million to 29 million.

Study shows the effects of rare autoimmune diseases on the health of pregnant women and their babies
In a recent analysis of 2001 to 2011 data from Australia, pregnant women with rare autoimmune diseases had a higher likelihood of developing conditions such as hypertensive and bleeding disorders and required longer hospitalization at delivery than other pregnant women.

Institute focuses on leadership development and improved outcomes in health care workforce
The Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Arizona State University's College of Nursing & Health Innovation have joined forces to create the Workforce Outcomes Research and Leadership Development Institute, also known as the WORLD-Institute.

Animal species in today's oceans most diverse than ever
A new analysis of the fossil record by paleontologists at the University of Connecticut and the Smithsonian Institute demonstrates that the number of animal species in the world's oceans has skyrocketed during the past 200 million years, despite mass extinctions like the one at the end of the Cretaceous Period (66 million years ago).

Scientists use holography to peer into clouds
Watching clouds go by, swirls of white puff up and melt away.

'Religions resemble each other in their diversity'
Scholar of Religion Perry Schmidt-Leukel is the first German in 30 years to give the renowned Gifford Lectures -- he will present new theory on religious diversity.

Phone app allows researchers to conduct concealed food safety observations
Smartphones are so ubiquitous, and text messaging and social media activities so common in public places, that no one questions what anyone does with their phone.

Ancient alga knew how to survive on land before it left water & evolved into first plant
A team of scientists from the John Innes Centre, the University of Wisconsin - Madison and other international collaborators, has discovered how an ancient alga was able to inhabit land, before it went on to evolve into the world's first plant and colonize the earth.

Study examines antibullying policies and bullying in 25 states
Students who lived in states with an antibullying law that includes at least one US Department of Education-recommended legislative component had lower odds of reporting bullying and cyberbullying compared with students in states whose laws had no such provisions, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

Handbook promoting good practice in child and adolescent mental health services launched
'What Good Looks Like in Psychological Services for Children, Young People and their Families' is a practical handbook providing guidance on the provision of good quality psychological services and the active roles that psychologists and other mental health practitioners can play.

Genetic differences among monkeys in Tanzania show troubling pattern
An endangered monkey species in Tanzania is living in geographical pockets that are becoming isolated from one another.

Scientists to hear latest Alzheimer's drug discovery, preclinical & clinical study results
Leading Alzheimer's drug researchers will hear the latest developments in the discovery and testing of promising drugs, detection technologies, biomarkers and therapeutic targets for preventing, treating and curing Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

Are fish the greatest athletes on the planet?
Scientists have discovered that fish are far more effective at delivering oxygen throughout their body than almost any other animal, giving them the athletic edge over other species.

Ethnic, racial & socioeconomic disparities in retinoblastoma in children
Ethnic, racial and socioeconomic disparities appear to exist among children with retinoblastoma, a once uniformly fatal but now treatable eye cancer, and those disparities are associated with greater risks for advanced disease and undergoing enucleation (removal of the eye), according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

Africa faces rising rates of traumatic brain injury
New research reveals that the projected estimates of traumatic brain injury in Africa are high, with a burden of anywhere between approximately 6 to 14 million new cases in 2050.

Researchers identify new gene linked to amyloid beta plaque buildup in Alzheimer's disease
A multi-institutional team led by scientists at the Indiana University School of Medicine have discovered an immune system gene associated with higher rates of amyloid plaque buildup in the brains of Alzheimer's patients and older adults at risk for the disease.

NYU research: Severe liver damage in mid/late-adulthood among PWID with chronic HCV
Given their findings, the researchers note the health-related benefits of early engagement, especially since the new HCV treatments feature shorter drug regimens that are very likely to result in cure.

Disparities in time spent seeking medical care in the United States
Racial/ethnic minorities and unemployed individuals had a longer total time burden (time spent traveling to, waiting for and receiving ambulatory medical care) in a nationally representative study, although patients' face-to-face time with physicians tended not to vary, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Gut bacteria population, diversity linked to anorexia nervosa
Studying the 'gut-brain axis,' UNC researchers find evidence of an association between the gut microbiota and the eating disorder.

G-I-N principles address financial, intellectual, and personal conflicts of interest
The Guidelines International Network issued nine principles for disclosing interests and managing conflicts of interest during the clinical practice guideline development process.

When care turns costly, patients leave private Medicare
A new study finds that when elderly patients use more costly services such as nursing home, at-home, or acute hospital care they become more likely to find that private Medicare Advantage plans no longer serve their needs, driving them to transfer their coverage -- and their costs -- to traditional public Medicare.

Type 1 diabetes prevention: Insulin vaccine undergoes second trial
The Pre-POINTearly vaccination study will involve children between the ages of six months and two years from across Germany who have a first-degree relative with T1D.

Paper: Civic participation can bridge social-class segregation
Good news for the Leslie Knopes, Lisa Simpsons and other civic-minded strivers of the world: new research from a University of Illinois expert in social network analysis indicates that people who participate in voluntary civic organizations such as school PTAs, religious or leisure groups strengthen their ties to high-status people and accrue significantly better social cachet than their less-outgoing peers.

Nanoparticulate carbon black particles tiny culprits that start emphysema
When pathologists perform autopsies on smokers who died with severe emphysema, they find that lungs are black in appearance.

Global studies in October Health Affairs
The October issue of Health Affairs includes several articles about global health, including lessons United States consumers and policymakers can glean from other countries' past experiences with their own health exchanges.

Media registration opens for 2016 American College of Cardiology Meeting
Media registration is open for the American College of Cardiology 2016 Annual Scientific Session in Chicago April 2-4.

Antihypertensive β-blockers may increase cardiovascular risks in surgical patients
A two-drug antihypertensive treatment that included a beta-blocker was associated with increased risk for major adverse cardiovascular events and death in a study of Danish patients who underwent noncardiac surgery, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

NIH establishes 4-D nucleome research centers and organizational hub at UC San Diego
Under its new 4D Nucleome Program, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund has awarded three grants totaling more than $30 million over five years to multidisciplinary teams of researchers at University of California, San Diego.

Stress in adolescence prepares rats for future challenges
Rats exposed to frequent physical, social, and predatory stress during adolescence solved problems and foraged more efficiently under high-threat conditions in adulthood compared with rats that developed without stress, according to Penn State researchers.

Where to look for life? University of Washington astronomers devise 'habitability index' to guide future search
Astronomers with the University of Washington's Virtual Planetary Laboratory have created the 'habitility index for transiting planets' to rank exoplanets to help prioritize which warrant close inspection in the search for life beyond Earth.

OU engineering professor leads NSF grant on infrastructure resilience
Whether it is malicious or an act of Mother Nature, an infrastructure attack could cripple the nation as more people depend on the interconnected services such as water, electricity, communication, transportation and health care.

NSF, NIST launch new consortium to support advanced manufacturing
The National Science Foundation and the US Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology announced today the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor will lead a consortium to identify new, emerging areas of advanced manufacturing that would benefit from shared public-private investment in research and development, education, and training.

Horse sickness shares signs of human brain disorders, study finds
Horses with a rare nerve condition have similar signs of disease as people with conditions such as Alzheimer's, a University of Edinburgh study has found.

Paper on electric vehicle range anxiety awarded 2015 Human Factors Prize
The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society congratulates Thomas Franke, Nadine Rauh, Madlen Günther, Maria Trantow, and Josef F.

Flipping molecular attachments amps up activity of CO2 catalyst
New research by chemists at Brookhaven Lab offers clues that could help scientists design more effective catalysts for transforming carbon dioxide to useful products.

Illegal trade contributes to placing cacti among world's most threatened species
Thirty-one percent of cactus species are threatened with extinction, according to the first comprehensive, global assessment of the species group by IUCN and partners, published today in the journal Nature Plants.

Magnetic contraption tricks migrating songbirds into changing direction
When researchers captured Eurasian reed warblers along the Russian coast during their spring migrations and flew them 1,000 kilometers east to Zvenigorod, the birds weren't fazed; they simply re-oriented themselves toward their original destination.

The warmer the higher: Sea-level rise from Filchner-Ronne ice in Antarctica
The more ice is melted of the Antarctic Filchner-Ronne shelf, the more ice flows into the ocean, and the more the region contributes to global sea-level rise.

UC Davis researchers receive grant to study K-12 student readiness
University of California, Davis, researchers have been awarded nearly $5 million to find out how well the state prepares K-12 students for college and careers.

Artificial scents have no place in hospitals
Artificial scents such as perfumes and after-shave have no place in our hospitals because they can aggravate asthma and other allergies, argues an editorial in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Compulsive texting associated with poorer school performance among adolescent girls, study finds
Teenage girls who compulsively text are more likely than their male counterparts to do worse academically, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

One new fly species, zero dead bodies: First insect description solely from photographs
The importance of collecting dead specimens when verifying a new species has been a hot discussion for quite a while now.

Saucer-like shields protect 2 new 'door head' ant species from Africa and their nests
Shaped like saucers and covered with camouflaging layers of debris, the heads of two 'door head' ant species are found to differentiate them as new taxa.

UT Dallas awarded $6.4 million grant to study PTSD treatment
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded a four-year grant that could result in funding of up to $6.4 million to the Texas Biomedical Device Center at the University of Texas at Dallas to study a potential new therapy for individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Surprise: Your visual cortex is making decisions
The part of the brain responsible for seeing is more powerful than previously believed.

Training by repetition actually prevents learning for those with autism
A new study published in Nature Neuroscience shows that training individuals with ASD to acquire new information by repeating the information actually harms their ability to apply that learned knowledge to other situations.

Optogenetic research shows which neurons flip fertility master switch
New Zealand scientists have achieved another milestone in their world-leading efforts to understand the neural mechanisms underlying the brain's master control of fertility.

Nanoscale photodetector shows promise to improve the capacity of photonic circuits
researchers at the University of Rochester have demonstrated a key achievement in shrinking photonic devices below the diffraction limit -- a necessary step on the road to making photonic circuits competitive with today's technology.

Researchers discover role of microglia during early progression of Alzheimer's disease
For the first time, researchers have determined how toxic tau fibrils spread by the help of brain immune cells called microglia during the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

Physical activity: More is better for heart failure prevention
A review of 12 large studies found when exercise and physical activity was doubled or quadrupled heart failure risk was reduced by about 20 to 35 percent, respectively.

NSF PIRE grant to translate science of language learning to education
Speaking two or more languages makes minds more open to learning and more flexible, and a $5 million dollar grant over five years from the National Science Foundation's Partnerships in International Research and Education aims to translate the science of language learning for education and the classroom.

How health professionals help and hinder eradication of female genital mutilation
A new article highlights how health professionals -- including nurses and midwives -- both help and hinder eradication and management of female genital mutilation.

A simpler way to estimate the feedback between permafrost carbon and climate
Researchers led by a scientist from Berkeley Lab have developed a simple model of permafrost carbon based on direct observations.

UV-light enabled catheter fixes holes in the heart without invasive surgery
Researchers from Boston Children's Hospital, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Harvard John A.

Benzodiazepines ineffective in treating anxiety disorders and may increase dementia risk
Patients taking benzodiazepines to treat psychiatric conditions should consider transitioning to other therapies because of heightened risks for dementia and death.

Crucial hurdle overcome in quantum computing
A team of Australian engineers has built a quantum logic gate in silicon for the first time, making calculations between two qubits of information possible -- and thereby clearing the final hurdle to making silicon quantum computers a reality.

Should women have an annual pelvic exam? Depends on who you ask
Below is a summary of articles being featured in the next issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Pinpointing gene that regulates repair and regeneration in adult lungs
The whimsically named sonic hedgehog gene, best known for controlling embryonic development, also maintains the normal physiological state and repair process of an adult healthy lung, if damaged, according to new research.

Early concept projects explore Internet-enabled manufacturing
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has provided more than $6.5 million in awards for research exploring ways to expand and ease access to manufacturing services.

Study finds high HPV prevalence in subset of Peruvian men
A few years ago, Brandon Brown of UC Riverside assembled a team of researchers in Lima, Peru.

Antibiotics after knee and hip surgery: Are they effective?
Prescribing antibiotics after joint surgery to prevent infection is common, although there is little evidence to support it, argues a commentary published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

New on-chip optical sensing technique used to detect multiple flu strains
New chip-based optical sensing technologies enable the rapid detection and identification of multiple biomarkers.

UTMB study shows testosterone therapy does not increase aggressive prostate cancer risk
A new population-based study from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston showed for the first time that exposure to testosterone therapy over a five-year period was not associated with an increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

Electron tomography with 3,487 images in 3.5 seconds
Scientists from the Ernst Ruska-Centre used a transmission electron microscope to record almost 3,500 images in 3.5 seconds for the reconstruction of a 3-D electron tomogram.

Blood clots may complicate aortic valve replacements
Heart valve replacements made from tissue (bioprosthetic valves) have long been thought to be spared the complication of blood clot formation.

Adult rashes with fever call for emergency treatment, can signal life-threatening illness
Adults with skin rashes accompanied by a fever of 100.5 or higher warrant a trip to the emergency room because the combination of symptoms can be associated with several life-threatening conditions.

Indiana University study: Sexual activity causes immune system changes that increase chances of conception
Research from Indiana University has found that sexual activity triggers physiological changes in the body that increase a woman's chances of getting pregnant, even outside the window of ovulation.

Superconductivity trained to promote magnetization
Scientist from the Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics at the Lomonosov Moscow State University and her foreign colleagues discovered the superconductivity effect, which will help to create future supercomputers.

Precision med, big data, and gene editing at Penn's 10th Annual Translational Med Meeting
Penn's Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics' 10th Annual meeting covers translational science in academic medical centers and biotech along with the impact of innovative technologies such as super-resolution imaging, optogenetics, and the new gene editing tool CRISPR-Cas9.

Big range of behaviors for tiny graphene pores
Researchers at MIT have created tiny pores in single sheets of graphene that have an array of preferences and characteristics similar to those of ion channels in living cells.

Cornell University prison education program to expand with Mellon grant
The Cornell Prison Education Program plans to expand to provide classes and degree programs in four regional prisons, establish a consortium of regional colleges and universities participating in prison education, and create a model college-in-prison network in the region with support from a $1 million, three-year grant from The Andrew W.

Pitt awarded federal grant to facilitate massive pulmonary clinical trials program
The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and School of Medicine investigators will be leading a $15 million, five-year federal initiative to manage national clinical trials aimed at developing new treatments for breathing disorders.

Turning T cell immunology on its head
New research from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging challenges the assumption that the receptors on the T cells must bind to MHC in a specific orientation in order to trigger a signal to the immune system is not correct.

Research improves efficiency from larger perovskite solar cells
Perovskite solar cells are cheaper to make than traditional silicon cells and their electricity conversion efficiency is improving rapidly.

Good communication in the operating room prevents patient complications
In a recent study by psychologists and surgeons concerning elective, open abdominal surgeries conducted in 167 patients, communication by the surgical team that was relevant to the procedure was linked with a reduced risk of the development of surgical site infections.

Study examines incidence of serious, highly drug-resistant group of bacteria
The overall incidence in 2012-2013 was relatively low of a serious, highly drug-resistant group of bacteria (Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae that are an important cause for health-care associated infections, according to a study published online by JAMA.

New kind of plant movement discovered in a carnivorous pitcher plant
The traps of Nepenthes gracilis use heavy rain as a power source to drive a fast prey capture motion, new research from the University of Bristol has found.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Choi-Wan strengthening over open ocean
Tropical storm Choi-wan was spinning over open waters of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean when NASA's Aqua satellite saw the strengthening storm.

Why hasn't he/she replied yet?
A study probes how factors that affect how quickly people respond to email.

Spay, neuter, or shot? How an injection could be the future of animal control
A single shot into the muscle is enough to stop egg and sperm production in mice, report California Institute of Technology scientists on Oct.

Patients with flu-associated pneumonia less likely to have received flu vaccine
Among children and adults hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia, those with influenza-associated pneumonia, compared with those with pneumonia not associated with influenza, had lower odds of having received an influenza vaccination, according to a study published online by JAMA.

New TSRI metabolomic platform reveals fundamental flaw in common lab technology
A new study led by scientists at the Scripps Research Institute shows that a technology used in thousands of laboratories, called gas chromatography mass spectrometry, fundamentally alters the samples it analyzes.

Finches offer researchers a new tool with which to study Huntington's disease
The most common lab animals, rats and mice, can't tell scientists much about speech disorders.

Using -- and sharing -- new technologies is key for conservation
Scientists estimate that we are losing species at 1,000 times the natural background rate.

Face-to-face socializing more powerful than phone calls, emails in guarding against depression
In a slight knock on digital and telephone communications, a new study points to the unsurpassed mental health benefits of regular face-to-face social interactions among older adults.

Professor Nanfang Yu wins DARPA Young Faculty Award for optoelectronics research
Columbia Engineering applied physics professor Nanfang Yu has won the prestigious DARPA Young Faculty Award, which will support his work on metasurface-based flat optical modulators, using strong interactions between light and 2-D-structured materials to control light at will.

If relationships are good -- positive, negative humor by leaders improves job satisfaction
Past research about the use of humor by leaders suggests that positive humor should result in happier subordinates who are satisfied with their jobs.

We Robot 2016 April 1-2 at University of Miami
We Robot 2016 is a conference at the intersection of the law, policy, and technology of robotics, to be held in Coral Gables, Florida on April 1-2, 2016.

Ohio State research helps optimize safety of child car seat installation
Many parents roll up towels and blankets and use pool noodles just to get their child's car seat to fit better in their car.

Green walls: A red card for office worker health?
New research by University of York academics reveals that living 'green' walls may have adverse health effects on office workers living in hot, polluted climates.

International research team finds thriving wildlife populations in Chernobyl
A team of international researchers, including James Beasley, assistant professor of wildlife ecology at the University of Georgia Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and the Warnell School Forestry and Natural Resources, has discovered abundant populations of wildlife at Chernobyl, the site of the 1986 nuclear accident that released radioactive particles into the environment and forced a massive evacuation of the human population.

The long anticipated structure of an ion channel reveals how excited neurons settle down
The channel, Slo2.2, helps restore neurons' internal electrical state, and so prevents them from firing at too high a frequency for too long, which has the potential to damage the cells.

ORNL researchers find 'greener' way to assemble materials for solar applications
The efficiency of solar cells depends on precise engineering of polymers that assemble into films 1,000 times thinner than a human hair.

European funding grant boosts liberal arts at Warwick
The University of Warwick has been awarded a prestigious grant to develop the teaching of liberal arts degrees in partnership with a number of other European universities.

NSF, NBC Learn and The Weather Channel showcase research to protect against nature's fury
The National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Geosciences, The Weather Channel and NBC Learn today released an original video series that explores the science of natural disasters to avert their human and economic toll.

Mixed up cell transportation key piece of ALS and dementia puzzle
It's the most common cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia, but until now scientists weren't sure how a specific gene caused these devastating diseases.

MS experts link neuroophthalmic syndromes with visual neuropsychological task performance
US and Portuguese scientists found that individuals with multiple sclerosis who had a history of neuro-ophthalmic syndromes performed poorly on visual neuropsychological tasks based on processing speed.

The psychology behind religious belief
Throughout history, scholars and researchers have tried to identify the one key reason that people are attracted to religion.

Happy head, happy heart: Positive emotions may promote heart-healthy behaviors
People with heart disease may benefit from maintaining positive emotions, according to health researchers.

Three new chigger mite species discovered in Taiwan
Three new species of trombiculid mites, also known as 'chiggers,' have been discovered in Taiwan, according to a new paper published in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

How the brain recognizes objects
Neuroscientists have found evidence that the brain's inferotemporal cortex can identify objects.

Observing the unobservable: Researchers measure electron orbitals of molecules in 3-D
Electron orbitals provide information on the whereabouts of the electrons in atoms and molecules.

Night calls reveal 2 new rainforest arboreal frog species from western New Guinea
Tracked by their calls at night, two species of narrow-mouthed frogs have been recorded as new in a research that took place in the Raja Ampat Islands, western New Guinea.

Brightness-equalized quantum dots improve biological imaging
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have introduced a new class of light-emitting quantum dots (QDs) with tunable and equalized fluorescence brightness across a broad range of colors.

In-person contact is critical to seniors' mental well-being
In a study of adults aged 50 years and older, the probability of experiencing depressive symptoms steadily increased as the frequency of in-person -- but not phone or written/email contact -- decreased.

New study finds zipline-related injuries are rapidly increasing
The popularity of ziplining has skyrocketed rapidly in recent years.

NASA tracking Tropical Storm Oho, south of Hawaii
NASA's RapidScat instrument that flies aboard the International Space Station saw that newly formed Central Pacific Ocean Tropical Storm Oho's strongest side was east of its center.

Expectant dads get depressed too
Transition to parenthood can be a difficult life event. It can have an impact on both parents and on the long-term development of the child.

Testosterone levels improve in obese men following a common weight-loss operation
A common weight-loss operation called sleeve gastrectomy can make testosterone levels normal in obese men, according to new findings presented at the 2015 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons.

Volcanic eruptions affect flow of world's major rivers, study finds
Major volcanic eruptions can have a significant effect on the flow of the biggest rivers around the world, research shows.

Self-regulating corals protect their skeletons against ocean acidification
Scientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies have found a species of coral living in a dynamic reef system, which is able to protect itself from the impact of ocean acidification.

Disparities in outcomes for rare pediatric cancer suggest unequal access to primary care
Disparities in outcomes for children with retinoblastoma -- a rare eye tumor usually discovered in routine pediatric check-ups -- suggest unequal access to primary care, researchers from Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center report in a study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Laser-wielding physicists seize control of atoms' behavior
Physicists have wondered in recent years if they could control how atoms interact using light.

Study reveals key structure in telomerase enzyme, a target for cancer drugs
Researchers at UC Santa Cruz have determined the structure of a key part of the enzyme telomerase, which is active in most cancers and enables cancer cells to proliferate indefinitely.

OMED 15 to highlight physician-patient relationship's role in improving outcomes
Osteopathic physicians, researchers and aligned medical professionals will present clinical and research updates in 15 specialties at OMED 15 in Orlando Oct.

Peeking into our galaxy's stellar nursery
Astronomers have long turned their telescopes to the wide swaths of interstellar medium to get a look at the formation and birth of stars.

New Quantum Cats game launches for better understanding of quantum concepts
A new Angry Birds-style game is set to help launch a new understanding of quantum science.

NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites analyze Hurricane Joaquin near Bermuda
Hurricane Joaquin maintained its comma shape as it brought heavy rains, strong winds and ocean swells to Bermuda on October 5 when NASA satellites passed overhead.

History shows more big wildfires likely as climate warms
If the warming trend continues as projected in the Northern Rockies of the American West, the large wildfires of recent years could be just the start of more extensive and devastating blazes.

Bacteria in the world's oceans produce millions of tonnes of hydrocarbons each year
Scientists have calculated that millions of tonnes of hydrocarbons are produced annually by photosynthetic bacteria in the world's oceans.

Graphene teams up with two-dimensional crystals for faster data communications
In the recent work published today in Nature Nanotechnology, the research group led by professor at ICFO Frank Koppens has shown that a two-dimensional crystal, combined with graphene, has the capability to detect optical pulses with a response faster than 10 picoseconds, while maintaining a high efficiency.

Southampton researchers find a new way to weigh a star
Researchers from the University of Southampton have developed a new method for measuring the mass of pulsars - highly magnetised rotating neutron stars formed from the remains of massive stars after they explode into supernovae.

Hospital care patterns vary greatly for children with complex medical issues
Researchers at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine recently published a unique study in the Journal Pediatrics that examines nearly the entire population of children with medical complexity in three states -- Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Unconscious bias among physicians results in low quality care for LGBT, disabled patients
Physicians' unconscious attitudes toward LGBT and disabled populations may be partially responsible for poorer overall health observed in these communities.

Laws in 25 states put the brakes on high school bullying
In the most comprehensive study of the effectiveness of antibullying policies to date, researchers found that compliance with the US Department of Education guidelines in anti-bullying laws reduced rates of bullying and cyberbullying -- the most common forms of peer aggression.

Sharing of genetic data empowers discovery of new disorders in children
Four new genetic disorders have been identified by the team behind the Deciphering Developmental Disorders (DDD) Study, one of the world's largest nationwide rare disease genome-wide sequencing initiatives.

Schools are underprepared for pandemics and natural disasters: Study
Missouri schools are no more prepared to respond to pandemics, natural disasters, and bioterrorism attacks than they were in 2011, according to a study published in the October issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

New centers help health workers fight deadly infections
The University of Illinois at Chicago has been selected as one of six research centers in the US to help develop a comprehensive new strategy to control Ebola and other emerging infectious diseases in health facilities.

UTA Physicist wins American Physical Society instrumentation award
Leading UT Arlington physicist and member of the National Academy of Science David Nygren wins first American Physical Society instrumentation award for lifetime contributions to particle physics

Ancestors of land plants were wired to make the leap to shore
The genetic and developmental innovations plants used to make the leap to land have been enduring secrets of nature.

Packaged food purchases at non-grocery stores are up but nutritional quality is down
A new study conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has determined that consumers are increasingly making packaged food purchases at warehouse clubs, mass merchandisers, and convenience stores.

NUS researchers develop novel prosthetic heart valve
A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore has developed a novel prosthetic heart valve, known as VeloX, which can be implanted through a small incision for the treatment of a serious heart valve disorder called mitral regurgitation.

A genetic polymorphism associated with lung cancer progression
Researchers at the Hiroshima University and Saitama Medical University found that in patients with lung cancer, a single nucleotide polymorphism may regulate gene and protein expression and be associated with poor prognosis.

Risk profiling is key to managing pain in era of opioid abuse
Patients undergoing rehabilitation for physical injuries and their physicians can better understand who is most at risk of abusing opioids by reviewing their family history, lifestyle and environment for critical cues about susceptibility to addiction.

Flame retardant breakthrough is naturally derived and nontoxic
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have created a new flame retardant to replace commercial additives that are often toxic and can accumulate over time in the environment and living animals, including humans.

At site of world's worst nuclear disaster, the animals have returned
In 1986, after a fire and explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant released radioactive particles into the air, thousands of people left the area, never to return. 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