Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 07, 2015
Manipulating the brain to control maternal behavior in females & reduce aggression in males
Most female mammals give birth and care for their offspring, while the males often breed with multiple partners and play little role in parenting once the mating is over.

Johns Hopkins biologist leads research shedding light on stem cells
A research team reports progress in understanding the mysterious shape-shifting ways of stem cells, which have vast potential for medical research and disease treatment.

Cleaning hospital rooms with chemicals, UV rays cuts superbug transmissions
In a hospital, what you can't see could hurt you.

Medical diagnosis: Will brain palpation soon be possible?
By drawing on seismology, Inserm researchers led by Stéfan Catheline have just developed a noninvasive brain imaging method using MRI that provides the same information as physical palpation.

Smoking cessation drug proves initially more effective for women
The most effective prescription drug used to quit smoking initially helps women more than men, according to a Yale School of Medicine study.

Metabolic syndrome leads 1 in 3 Americans to need more vitamin E
New research shows that the estimated one-third of Americans who have a cluster of health problems that add up to metabolic syndrome don't absorb dietary vitamin E as effectively as healthy people.

Lab-grown 3-D intestine regenerates gut lining in dogs
Working with gut stem cells from humans and mice, scientists from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and the University of Pittsburgh have successfully grown healthy intestine atop a 3-D scaffold made of a substance used in surgical sutures.

Smart vehicles in the urban traffic of the future
Head-up display on the windshield, connected simulations, tactical behavior of bicyclists and phased traffic lights for trucks: These are among the technologies being presented by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) at the closing event of the joint research project 'UR:BAN' on Oct.

A yacht that pilots itself
Buffalo Automation Group, a robotics startup founded by three University at Buffalo undergraduate engineering students, is developing technology to create autonomous boats similar to Google's driverless cars.

NASA's GPM reveals very strong thunderstorms in Typhoon Choi-Wan
NASA's GPM satellite saw strong thunderstorms remained in Typhoon Choi-wan as the storm continued to weaken.

Sex is more likely on days college students use marijuana or binge drink
Undergraduate college students were more likely to have sex on days they used marijuana or binged on alcohol than on days they didn't, new research from Oregon State University has found.

Dan's House of Hope to receive ASTRO Survivor Circle grant
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has selected a Houston-based cancer patient support group, Dan's House of Hope, to receive ASTRO's 2015 Survivor Circle grant.

UC San Diego researchers team up with Illumina to speed-read your microbiome
University of California, San Diego School of Medicine's Rob Knight, PhD, and his team built a microbiome analysis platform called QIIME (pronounced 'chime' and short for 'Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology').

The Lancet: New heart attack test could identify two-thirds of patients at very low risk of heart attack in the emergency department
Using a high-sensitivity blood test, researchers have identified the optimal level of a protein called troponin that could rule out a diagnosis of heart attack for two-thirds of people attending the emergency department, according to new research published in The Lancet.

Study shows potential for sweetpotato production in Pacific Northwest
To determine if sweetpotato could be successfully produced in the Pacific Northwest, researchers studied four sweetpotato cultivars by subjecting them to four soil water tension (SWT) irrigation criteria treatments using drip irrigation.

Just 30 minutes a day: Regular exercise relieves asthma symptoms
Millions of people suffer from asthma. Many report having poor control of their symptoms.

Student collaboration leads to first results describing sick sea star immune response
A group of marine-disease researchers from around the country has contributed key information about sea stars' immune response when infected with a virus that is thought to cause a deadly wasting disease.

Mysterious ripples found racing through planet-forming disk
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile have discovered never-before-seen features within the dusty disk surrounding the young, nearby star AU Microscopii.

When Facebook use becomes a problem, could social anxiety be to blame?
A new study shows that the combination of social anxiety and the need for social assurance by feeling part of a group increases the risk for excessive and uncontrolled use of Facebook, which can negatively affect school performance, work, and one's health and well-being, as described in an article published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

Regular exercise before pregnancy may stave off pains that are common among moms-to-be
Exercising up to five times weekly before pregnancy may help to stave off pelvic girdle pain -- an umbrella term for any type of pain associated with the joint and ligament changes prompted by pregnancy -- finds research published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

New treatment extends shelf life of bananas
Scientists investigated the possibility of improving shelf life of bananas by using a postharvest dip of lysophosphatidylethanolamine (LPE).

Study shows babies born extremely premature may benefit from proactive, coordinated care
There are striking differences across US hospitals in the decision to initiate or withhold treatment at 23 weeks of gestation.

Parents influence children's play of violent video games, according to Iowa State study
Parents who are anxious and emotional can impact their children's violent video game play, according to new research from Iowa State University.

Mormon + Mormon = Higher home price
A unique study that combined real estate transaction data and Mormon congregation boundaries in Utah found home sellers made an average of about $4,000 more when they used a real estate agent from the same church congregation.

Many use prescription painkillers, most see abuse as major health concern
More than one in four Americans has taken prescription painkillers in the past year, even as a majority say that abuse of these medications is a very serious public health concern, according to new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research.

Frogs resolve computing issues
When male Japanese tree frogs sing at the same time, the females cannot differentiate between them in order to choose the best one.

'Bootstrap' math/computer science curriculum gets $1.5 million from NSF
Bootstrap is a curriculum that helps kids learn algebra as they program their own video games.

Climate change could benefit northern lizards
Higher temperatures result in Swedish sand lizards laying their eggs earlier, which leads to better fitness and survival in their offspring, according to research published in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology.

Expanding global access to radiotherapy
Queen's University researcher Timothy Hanna has co-authored a Lancet Oncology study that suggests as many as 90 per cent of people in low-income countries lack access to radiotherapy treatment.

Groundbreaking computer program diagnoses cancer in two days
In by far the majority of cancer cases, the doctor can quickly identify the source of the disease, for example cancer of the liver, lungs, etc.

Researchers aim to develop new techniques for creating high-temperature alloys
North Carolina State University is taking the lead in a new initiative aimed at addressing fundamental scientific questions that could lead to the development of so-called 'entropy-stabilized alloys' that can withstand extremely high temperatures.

Advanced device improves health and saves costs for patients with lymphedema
Lymphedema patients saw a nearly 80 percent reduction in their cellulitis episodes just by using an advanced pneumatic compression device at home, according to a study in JAMA Dermatology co-authored by Vanderbilt University School of Nursing Professor Sheila Ridner, Ph.D., MSHSA, FAAN, and University of Minnesota School of Public Health Associate Professor Pinar Karaca-Mandic, Ph.D.

Online peer networks can motivate people to exercise more
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication found that the influence of our social networks can be a powerful motivator to encourage more physical activity.

How the stick insect sticks (and unsticks) itself
New research shows the fluid found on insects' feet does not help them adhere to vertical and inverted surfaces, as previously thought, but may in fact help them to unstick their feet more easily to allow greater control over their sticking power.

Home is not always the best or preferred place to die, argues expert
The widely held belief that home is the best and preferred place of death is questioned by an expert writing in The BMJ this week.

CAMH survey shows over half of workers with depression do not recognize need for treatment
More than half of workers who reported symptoms of depression did not perceive a need for treatment, according to a study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.

Perfectly accurate clocks turn out to be impossible
Can the passage of time be measured precisely, always and everywhere?

'Psychic robot' will know what you really meant to do
Bioengineers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have developed a mathematical algorithm that can 'see' your intention while performing an ordinary action like reaching for a cup or driving straight up a road -- even if the action is interrupted.

Factors influencing patient satisfaction vary by care settings
The factors that determine the level of patient satisfaction with pediatric care vary significantly depending on which departmental setting patients receive treatment within a healthcare system, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Medical Quality.

A 'black'-sounding name makes people imagine a larger, more dangerous person
In a study exploring racial bias and how people use their mind's-eye image of an imagined person's size to represent someone as either threatening or high-status, UCLA researchers found that people envisioned men with stereotypically black names as bigger and more violent.

Young male chimpanzees play more with objects, but do not become better tool users
Research into differences between chimpanzees and bonobos in 'preparation' for tool use reveals intriguing sex bias in object manipulation in young chimpanzees -- one that is partly mirrored in human children.

This week from AGU: Declines in HCFC-133a, baseball and earthquakes & 5 research papers
This week from AGU includes declines in HCFC-133a, baseball and earthquakes & 5 new research papers

Berkeley's soda tax boosts retail prices of sugary drinks, study confirms
A new UC Berkeley study addresses questions about the efficacy of a voter-approved soda tax passed in 2014.

Preventive care drops when government cuts close women's health clinics, research says
When women's health clinics close because of government funding cuts aimed at abortion providers, fewer women seek lifesaving preventive care that can identify health threats such as cancer, research from the University of Kansas shows.

Ionic and covalent drug delivery
Researchers at Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences compared three different drug delivery models based on ionic liquids.

Theoretical computer science provides answers to data privacy problem
The promise of big data lies in researchers' ability to mine massive datasets for insights that can save lives, improve services and inform our understanding of the world.

UT alumnus recognized for leukemia research
The 2015 Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston is leukemia researcher Paul Liu, M.D., Ph.D.

Online advertising can deliver targeted cancer prevention messages, UCSF study finds
Online advertising based on Google search terms is a potentially effective way to deliver targeted cancer prevention education, according to a study led by Eleni Linos, M.D., Dr.P.H., an assistant professor of dermatology at UCSF.

Newly discovered 'design rule' brings nature-inspired nanostructures one step closer
Scientists aspire to build nanostructures that mimic the complexity and function of nature's proteins, but are made of durable and synthetic materials.

48-million-year-old horse-like fetus discovered in Germany
A 48-million-year-old horse-like equoid fetus has been discovered at the Messel pit near Frankfurt, Germany according to a study published Oct.

Purdue professor solves 140-year fluid mechanics enigma
A Purdue University researcher has solved a 140-year-old enigma in fluid mechanics: Why does a simple formula describe the seemingly complex physics for the behavior of elliptical particles moving through fluid?

'Chromosomal Chaos:' Complex array of mutations found in rare, aggressive leukemia
Sezary syndrome, an aggressive leukemia of mature T cells, is more complicated at a molecular level than ever suspected.

A village of bacteria to help frogs fight disease
The naturally occurring bacteria on a frog's skin could be the most important tool for helping the animal fight off a deadly skin disease, according to an experiment conducted by Virginia Tech researchers.

Two-hit therapy for breast tumors using approved drugs looks promising in animal study
Disabling a cancer-causing pathway and administering an immune-molecule-based mop-up therapy eradicated a specific type of breast tumor in mice.

Researchers isolate novel urinary biomarkers that may indicate adrenal cancer
A global analysis of metabolites and small molecules in urine samples from patients with adrenal cancer has identified four biochemicals that, when measured together, can distinguish malignant from benign adrenal tumors, according to study results presented at the 2015 Annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons.

Developing a gel that mimics human breast for cancer research
Scientists at the Universities of Manchester and Nottingham have been funded to develop a gel that will match many of the biological structures of human breast tissue, to advance cancer research and reduce animal testing.

Mad cow disease changed the diet of the Galician wolf
The Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease crisis in Europe was a turning point for the diet of the Galician wolf in Spain, which until the year 2000 had primarily fed on the carrion of domestic animals.

Risk of suicide appears to increase after bariatric surgery
A study of a large group of adults who underwent bariatric surgery finds that the risk for self-harm emergencies increased after the surgery, according to a study published online by JAMA Surgery.

Surprise: Narcissists are not always risk-takers
Maybe narcissists aren't always such big risk-takers after all, a new study suggests.

The perfect match might be the imperfect one
When it comes to treating blood cancers like leukemia and lymphomas, new research shows that a half-matched donor bone marrow transplant may be just as good as a full match, in the first apples to apples type comparison of its kind.

New study indicates Earth's inner core was formed 1-1.5 billion years ago
There have been many estimates for when the earth's inner core was formed, but scientists from the University of Liverpool have used new data which indicates that the Earth's inner core was formed 1-1.5 billion years ago as it 'froze' from the surrounding molten iron outer core.

UT Southwestern researchers develop classification model for cancers caused by most frequently mutated gene in cancer
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have developed a classification for cancers caused by KRAS, the most frequently mutated gene in cancer, that could eventually help oncologists choose more effective, customized cancer therapies.

Emergency department visit provides opportunity to reduce underage drinking
The results of a five-year trial from faculty at the University of Michigan Injury Center found giving youth in the emergency department a short intervention during their visit decreased their alcohol consumption and problems related to drinking over the following year.

Max Planck Florida scientist Ryohei Yasuda receives $4.8 million NIH Pioneer Award
Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI) Scientific Director, Ryohei Yasuda, has received the National Institute of Health's (NIH) Pioneer Award, which recognizes scientists who have demonstrated creativity and groundbreaking approaches in biomedical or behavioral science.

Cones, squirrels, and rusty blackbird nests
The bird that's experienced the steepest population declines in North America in recent decades is also one that few people have heard of: the rusty blackbird.

New study shows electronic tracking helps reduce blood transfusions & infection rates
An electronic system developed and implemented by Intermountain Healthcare that monitors how physicians give blood to patients after a surgical operation has enabled the healthcare system to significantly reduce the amount of blood transfusions patients receive, cutting costs by $2.5 million over two years and contributing to lower infection rates without harming patients, according to a new study presented Wednesday at the 2015 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons.

Shaking up the foundations of epigenetics
Researchers at the Centre for Genomic Regulation and the University of Barcelona published a study that challenges some of the current beliefs about epigenetics.

Who buys fresh flowers as gifts?
Researchers investigated characteristics associated with givers and receivers on the probability of buying fresh flowers as gifts.

CSIRO news release -- New Pilbara water study to guide sustainable development
A new study has delivered an unprecedented account of water resources in Western Australia's Pilbara region, providing an in-depth understanding of local water systems and the potential impacts of climate change on water availability.

Using Google online advertising as a public health tool for cancer prevention
Online advertising may be a feasible way to deliver targeted prevention messages related to indoor tanning and skin cancer, according to an article published online by JAMA Dermatology.

Remote sensing technology used to map habitat of monkey with hominid-like behavior
Scientists interested in the early-hominid-like behavior of capuchin monkeys in Brazil are concerned that the animals will lose critical habitat with the expansion of industrial agriculture in their region.

Distinguishing coincidence from causality: Connections in the climate system
Detecting how changes in one spot on Earth -- in temperature, rain, wind -- are linked to changes in another, far away area is key to assessing climate risks.

Wastewater treatment plants not responsible for spreading antimicrobial resistance
New research challenges the common perception that bacteria develop antimicrobial resistance in wastewater treatment plants.

Everyone has their own daily rhythm of digital activity, shows study
Researchers show that people tend to have distinctive, personal rhythms of digital communication that persist in time.

Brain cooling lessens chances of head injury recovery, study finds
Head injury patients do not benefit from a therapy that involves cooling their bodies to reduce brain swelling, research led by the University of Edinburgh has found.

New UW report paints sobering picture of urban education in the US
A report from the University of Washington's Center on Reinventing Public Education finds widespread inequities and poor performance at public schools in 50 American cities

Dirt-cheap catalyst may lower fuel costs for hydrogen-powered cars
Bringing closer a mass market for hydrogen-powered cars, Sandia researchers are upgrading $0.37/gram molybdenum disulfide, 'molly' for short, to take the place of $1,500/gram catalyst platinum.

Satellite sees the long arms of Hurricane Oho
Hurricane Oho appears to have extremely long arms in imagery from NOAA's GOES-West satellite on Oct.

Attention's place in the human cognitive architecture
Neuroscientists can't build a brain, so they have settled with reverse engineering -- learning a lot about each part in hopes that they can understand how all of the pieces fit together.

Six new research units, one new humanities center for advanced studies
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is to set up six new Research Units and one new Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies.

MS may start later for those who spend teenage summers in the sun
A study of people with multiple sclerosis found that those who spent time in the sun every day during the summer as teens developed the disease later than those reporting not spending time in the sun every day.

Satiety hormone leptin plays a direct role in cardiovascular disease in obesity
While high levels of the satiety hormone leptin don't help obese individuals lose weight, they do appear to directly contribute to their cardiovascular disease, researchers report.

Predictive policing substantially reduces crime in Los Angeles during months-long test
Crime in Los Angeles dropped dramatically when the Los Angeles Police Department deployed officers based on crime predictions made by a mathematical model, a team of scholars and police department colleagues reports today.

Treating aortic aneurysms through virtual reality
Virtual models can be created in the angiography room thanks to an approach developed by researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) and the university's departments of radiology, radiation oncology, and nuclear medicine.

Web design plays a role in how much we reveal online
How many people read online privacy warnings? Few probably do.

Singapore scientists uncover genetic landscape of distinct breast tumors
A team from the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre, comprising scientists and clinicians from the National Cancer Centre Singapore, Singapore General Hospital and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, has uncovered the genetic landscape of a distinct breast tumor group called fibroepithelial tumors.

Demystifying statistical turbulence modelling for fluid dynamics
This book takes readers through the physical arguments underpinning exact concepts behind statistical turbulence modelling for fluid dynamics, the rationale of approximations of processes that cannot be retained in their exact form, and essential calibration steps to which the resulting models are subjected by reference to theoretically established behavior of, and experimental data for, key canonical flows.

Forward motion: Book suggests ways to limit reversals in health care
Medical reversal -- when accepted medical interventions are abandoned because they are found to be ineffective --is the 'most important problem in medicine today,' according to the authors of a new book: Ending Medical Reversal.

ThriveWell Cancer Foundation to receive ASTRO Survivor Circle grant
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has selected a San Antonio-based cancer patient support group, ThriveWell Cancer Foundation, to receive ASTRO's 2015 Survivor Circle grant.

NASA provides an infrared look at Hurricane Joaquin over time
A series of NASA infrared images of Hurricane Joaquin from Oct.

Immunovia, OHSU collaborating on early detection test for pancreatic cancer
Immunovia AB and the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University formed a collaboration to confirm, validate and commercialize a blood test for the early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

Experts recommend assessing individual benefits, risks of menopausal therapies
The Endocrine Society today issued a Clinical Practice Guideline on identifying women who are candidates for treatment of menopausal symptoms and selecting the best treatment options for each individual.

If you made money buying a first home in 2000s, you probably weren't black
In the tumultuous real estate market of the 2000s, some US homebuyers found wealth while others took big hits.

Indoor tanning and skin cancer among gay, bisexual men and women
Gay and bisexual men indoor tan more frequently and report higher rates of skin cancer than heterosexual men, according to an article published online by JAMA Dermatology.

CNIO researchers have discovered a new player in tumor suppression and aging
The study reveals the protective role played by a little-known protein complex, SMC 5/6, in cancer and aging; the results emphasize, once more, the relationship between these two pathological processes.

Therapy reduces the risk of fragility fractures by 40 percent
Osteoporosis, a disease of progressive bone loss, affects 70 percent of the US population older than age 50: one in two women -- and one in five men.

Could candle soot power electric vehicles?
Burning a candle could be all it takes to make an inexpensive but powerful electric car battery, according to new research published in Electrochimica Acta.

UK doctors and nurses routinely using own smartphones for patient care
UK doctors and nurses are routinely using their own smartphones -- including apps and messaging systems -- for patient care, reveals a survey of frontline staff, published in the online journal BMJ Innovations.

Mysterious ripples found racing through planet-forming disc
Using images from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have discovered never-before-seen structures within a dusty disc surrounding a nearby star.

Exposure to common flame retardants may contribute to attention problems in children
Prenatal exposure to some flame retardants that have been widely-used in consumer products is associated with attention problems in young children.

End to contaminated drinking water
As things stand, a suspected contamination of drinking water requires that a technician first be sent out to take samples from the water supply.

Predicting change in the Alzheimer's brain
MIT researchers are developing a computer system that uses genetic, demographic, and clinical data to help predict the effects of disease on brain anatomy.

Ravens cooperate -- but not with just anyone
Ravens spontaneously solve a task that requires both coordination and cooperation -- an ability that so far only a handful of species like chimpanzees and elephants have proved to master.

Researchers need to pay attention to differences in self-control
Whether it's resisting buying a candy bar in the checkout lane or purchasing an unneeded pair of shoes on sale at the mall, self-control varies from person to person. launches Metastatic Trial Search has teamed up with five breast cancer advocacy organizations to make finding out about clinical trial options for metastatic breast cancer easier, faster, and more precise than ever before.

Thyroidectomy complication rates are lower if surgeon performs 25 or more cases yearly
Patients undergoing a total thyroidectomy are 34 percent less likely to experience complications if their surgeon performs at least 25 cases per year of this operation to remove the entire thyroid gland, according to new study results presented at the 2015 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons.

MacGyver this! New dyi experiment shows students the physics of climate change
Fishing line, paper clips, glass marble, glue -- no, not the makings of a MacGyver episode but a new experiment that lets students precisely measure the effects of global warming on oceans.

NJII wins $49.6 million federal grant to improve clinical care practices in N.J.
Backed by a nearly $50 million grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services, the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII) will spend the next four years working with thousands of medical practices in the state to improve the quality and efficiency of the care they provide, while also lowering its cost.

NYIT researcher wins grant for implantable wireless system to measure gastric activity
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) Assistant Professor Aydin Farajidavar has received a $457,000 National Institutes of Health grant to develop an implantable wireless system to study the body's gastric and digestive systems.

Energy researchers discover new structure for bimetallic catalysts
Dion Vlachos, who directs the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation at the University of Delaware, uses computational techniques to predict how nanoscale materials will behave and recently made a surprising discovery about the structure of bimetallic catalysts.

Gay, bisexual men report higher rates of indoor tanning, skin cancer than heterosexual men
Gay and bisexual men were up to six times more likely than heterosexual men to take part in indoor tanning, and twice as likely to report a history of skin cancer, according to a study led by UCSF researchers.

Review addresses value and waste in biomedical research
Some studies suggest that as much as 85 per cent of investment in biomedical research is wasted -- a review published in The Lancet with input from Plymouth University addresses the issues.

Study details prevalence of PTSD in Vietnam War women vets
Women who served in Vietnam have higher odds of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than women stationed during that era in the United States, and this effect appears to be associated with wartime exposures including sexual discrimination or harassment and job performance pressures, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

Research points to possible fungal control for leaf-cutter ants
Biologists from Rice University, the University of Texas at Austin and São Paulo State University in Brazil have found new types of specialized fungal parasites that attack the nests of leaf-cutter ants and their relatives.

NASA measuring the pulsating aurora
Thanks to a lucky conjunction of two satellites, a ground-based array of all-sky cameras, and some spectacular aurora borealis, researchers have uncovered evidence for an unexpected role that electrons have in creating the dancing auroras.

New protein found in immune cells
Researchers of the University of Freiburg have discovered Kidins220/ARMS in B cells.

Relative age in school and suicide among young individuals in Japan
Researchers from Osaka University, Japan, and Syracuse University, USA, found for the first time that those who were born right before the school cutoff day and thus youngest in their cohort have 30 percent higher mortality rates by suicide, compared to their peer who were born right after the cutoff date and thus older. 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