Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 11, 2015
Computer assisted CBT provides little or no benefits for depression
Computer assisted cognitive behavioral therapy is likely to be ineffective in the treatment of depression because of low patient adherence and engagement, suggests the largest study of its kind published in The BMJ this week.

'Sorry' doesn't heal children's hurt, but it mends relations
A new study, published this week in the journal Social Development, shows that apologies are important to children who are 6 or 7 years old, an age when they are undergoing dramatic and important changes in cognitive development.

Evaluating science
What works in science and what doesn't and how do we know?

Researchers call for investment in cancer control in low- and middle-income countries
Investments in cancer control -- prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and palliative care -- are increasingly needed in low- and, particularly, middle-income countries, where most of the world's cancer deaths occur, a paper published today in The Lancet recommends.

The Lancet: Progress against cancer in low-income and middle-income countries possible with package of targeted priority interventions
In low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), where 5.5 million of the world's 8 million cancer deaths occur each year, most people with cancer have little or no access to treatment and many die in severe pain for lack of inexpensive opioid pain medicine.

Penn study: Adults with OCD can benefit from exposure therapy when common drug treatment options fail
Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder can improve their symptoms significantly by adding exposure and response prevention therapy to their treatment regimen when common drug treatment options have failed, according to new research from psychiatrists at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

New Super H-mode regime could greatly increase fusion power
A newly discovered state of tokamak plasma could sharply boost the performance of future fusion reactors.

What's the best time to launch a video game?
Research from the Robert H. Smith School of Business, at the University of Maryland, offers new insight into the strategies companies should use to maximize sales of their games.

Daring move for first US-China fusion team
Increasing the power and efficiency of magnetic fusion energy may require the risk of running the hot plasma closer than ever to the wall.

Nanopores could take the salt out of seawater
University of Illinois engineers have found an energy-efficient material for removing salt from seawater that could provide a rebuttal to poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge's lament, 'Water, water, every where, nor any drop to drink.'

A protein-RNA structure hints at how viruses commandeer human proteins
Researchers have produced the first image of an important human protein as it binds with ribonucleic acid (RNA), a discovery that could offer clues to how some viruses, including HIV, control expression of their genetic material.

Brain scans may help predict recovery from coma
Brain scans of people in a coma may help predict who will regain consciousness, according to a study published in the Nov.

Oldest stars found near Milky Way center
Astronomers have discovered the oldest known stars, dating from before the Milky Way Galaxy formed, when the Universe was just 300 million years old.

Quantum dots made from fool's gold boost battery performance
Vanderbilt engineers have discovered that adding quantum dots made from fool's gold to the electrodes of standard lithium batteries can substantially boost their performance.

More young adults are failing to launch or 'boomerang' home: Study
More children in the Western world are staying at home longer, but their parents often pay the price as tensions flare and conflict damages relationships, an international literature review shows.

Dr. Electra Paskett honored with AACR lecture on the science of cancer health disparities
The American Association for Cancer Research congratulates Electra D. Paskett, PhD, MPH, on receiving the 2015 AACR Distinguished Lecture on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities, funded by Susan G.

Gene therapy makes advances against a lethal childhood disorder
Researchers have taken a significant step forward in developing gene therapy against a fatal neurodegenerative disease that strikes children.

Parents of first-born sons and only-child daughters give more, WPI study finds
Parents' charitable giving is affected by the sex of their first child, according to a new report released today by the Women's Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, located on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus.

The glowing halo of a zombie star
The remains of a fatal interaction between a dead star and its asteroid supper have been studied in detail for the first time by an international team of astronomers using the Very Large Telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile.

Southern right whale calf wounding by kelp gulls increased to nearly all over 4 decades
Wounding of southern right whale calves and mothers by kelp gulls has increased from 2 percent to 99 percent over four decades, according to a study published Oct.

Newfound Earth-size exoplanet may be an important milestone in search for alien life
Researchers have discovered an exoplanet just slightly bigger than Earth and located much closer to our Solar System than any other terrestrial, alien world.

Workers are not being protected from occupational diseases and deaths, argues expert
British workers are not being protected from occupational diseases and deaths, argues an expert in The BMJ this week.

Mechanical heart valve prosthesis superior to biological
A mechanical valve prosthesis has a better survival record than a biological valve prosthesis, according to a large registry study from Sweden's Karolinska Institutet.

Ancient stars at the center of the galaxy contain 'fingerprints' from the early universe
Astronomers have discovered some of the oldest stars in the galaxy, whose chemical composition and movements could tell us what the universe was like soon after the Big Bang.

He was left with no scars after they reconstructed his face
In an eight-hour operation on an adult patient, Dr. Daniel Borsuk carried out facial reconstruction using virtual surgery and 3-D models, removing a vascularized piece of pelvic bone and reshaping it to adapt it to the rest of the face before transplanting it through the inside of the mouth, with no scars left at all.

A network of artificial neurons learns to use human language
A group of researchers from the University of Sassari (Italy) and the University of Plymouth (UK) has developed a cognitive model, made up of two million interconnected artificial neurons, able to learn to communicate using human language starting from a state of 'tabula rasa', only through communication with a human interlocutor.

Titan takes on the big one
A team led by Thomas Jordan of the Southern California Earthquake Center, headquartered at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, is using the Titan supercomputer to develop physics-based earthquake simulations to better understand earthquake systems, including the potential seismic hazards from known faults and the impact of strong ground motions on urban areas.

Blood test detects when hormone treatment for breast cancer stops working
Scientists have developed a highly sensitive blood test that can spot when breast cancers become resistant to standard hormone treatment, and have demonstrated that this test could guide further treatment.

How antibiotics may worsen drug-resistant bacterial infections
In recent decades, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, has evolved from a controllable nuisance into a serious public health concern.

Study: Too much foot traffic in and out of operating rooms
A 'secret shopper' style study by researchers at Johns Hopkins analyzing foot traffic in and out of operating rooms suggests that for the sake of patient safety, OR teams may want to stay put more often.

Diagnosis before disease breaks out
Many patients with serious diseases are not helped by their medications because treatment is started too late.

A mouse model offers new insights into a rare lung disease
New research from an investigative team at the University of Cincinnati has identified biomarkers and potential therapeutic approaches that may unlock the key to treating pulmonary alveolar microlithiasis, a rare lung disease.

Snake venom could make surgery safer for patients on blood thinners
Preventing blood clots with drugs such as heparin has become a common practice for fighting some heart and lung conditions, and for certain surgeries.

First-in-class investigational therapeutic shows early promise for lymphoma patients
Results from a phase I clinical trial showed that the first-in-class, investigational, anticancer therapeutic pevonedistat was safe, tolerable, and had some anticancer activity in heavily pretreated patients with relapsed/refractory lymphoma.

Hospital readmission common after emergency general surgery
A study of patients who underwent an emergency general surgery procedure found that hospital readmission was common and varied widely depending on patient factors and diagnosis, according to a study published online by JAMA Surgery.

New risk tools spot patients at high risk of diabetes complications
People with diabetes who are at high risk of blindness and amputation because of their condition could get better preventative treatment thanks to two new risk prediction tools created by University of Nottingham researchers and medical software company Clinrisk Ltd.

$4.2 million NSF grant helps biologist gather large-scale river measurements
Walter Dodds, university distinguished professor of biology, is part of a collaborative five-year, $4.2 million National Science Foundation project to better understand how climate change affects river systems.

Study finds sexually transmitted infection affecting up to 1 percent of the population aged 16-44 in the UK
A new study strengthens growing evidence that Mycoplasma genitalium is a sexually transmitted infection.

Sausages with antioxidants from berries to prevent cancer
An EU-funded research project is to make sausages, patties and other meat products healthier in the future.

Focusing on user habits key to preventing email phishing, according to UB research
The cumulative number of successful phishing cyberattacks has risen sharply over the last decade, and in 2014 that figure surged past the total US population.

Study cites gap between theory and practice in natural resource management
Natural resource agencies have embraced an approach known as adaptive management to adjust and refine their management plans in the face of uncertainties.

New nebuliser set to replace the need for jabs
A revolutionary nebuliser developed by RMIT University in researchers in Melbourne, could one day deliver life-saving cancer drugs and vaccines traditionally given by injection.

Smart but shy: What women want in a sperm donor
A study of men who donate sperm via informal online websites and forums has found those who are intelligent but not extroverted are more desirable to women when choosing a donor.

Dark matter research earns doctoral student a fellowship at Fermilab
South African Fulbright scholar Gopolang Mohlabeng has earned a yearlong Fermilab Graduate Student Fellowship in Theoretical Physics beginning in Aug.

New risk tools spot patients at high risk of diabetes complications
Two new risk prediction tools can identify patients with diabetes who are at high risk of blindness and amputation -- two serious complications of diabetes, finds a study published in The BMJ this week.

Machine learning could solve riddles of galaxy formation
A new machine-learning simulation system developed at the University of Illinois promises cosmologists an expanded suite of galaxy models -- a necessary first step to developing more accurate and relevant insights into the formation of the universe.

The owls beyond the Andes: Divergence between distant populations suggests new species
They might be looking quite identical, but each of the populations of two owl species, living in the opposite hemispheres, might actually turn out to be yet another kind.

Dendrimer technology gets a grip on cell proteins, could improve cancer treatment
Purdue researchers have devised a way to capture the finer details of complex cell processes by using tiny synthetic particles known as dendrimers, a technology that could lead to more targeted treatment for cancer.

Scientists ID genetic factors that influence body weight and neurological disorders
A new study by Berkeley Lab scientists has identified genetic factors that influence motor performance and body weight in a genetically diverse group of mice.

Power up: Cockroaches employ a 'force boost' to chew through tough materials
New research indicates that cockroaches use a combination of fast and slow twitch muscle fibers to give their mandibles a 'force boost' that allows them to chew through tough materials.

Shrubs on warming North Slope attract moose, hares
Snowshoe hares and moose, which are both relative newcomers to Alaska's North Slope, may have become established in the area with the help of warming temperatures and thicker vegetation.

Ant colony responds to predation simulation as a 'superorganism'
Ants may respond to disturbances in their nest as one highly organized 'superorganism', according to a study published Nov.

Astronomers eager to get a whiff of newfound Venus-like planet
The collection of rocky planets orbiting distant stars has just grown by one, and the latest discovery is the most intriguing one to date.

Discovery of a new confinement state for plasma
The National Institute for Fusion Science applied the 'Momentary Heating Propagation Method' to the DIII-D tokamak device operated by the General Atomics and made the important discovery of a new plasma confinement state.

Advance directives: Doctors and relatives often see patients' wishes differently
If a patient is no longer able to communicate personally how he or she would like to be treated, doctors and relatives consult an advance directive, if one is available.

New research raises questions about using certain antibiotics to treat 'superbug' MRSA
A new study sheds light on how treatment of the 'superbug' known as MRSA with certain antibiotics can potentially make patients sicker.

Early farmers exploited beehive products at least 8,500 years ago
Humans have been exploiting bees as far back as the Stone Age, according to new research from the University of Bristol published in Nature today.

Bacterial defense systems have numerous clinical and research applications
A new review highlights the diverse ways in which genetic-based defense systems found in bacteria can be harnessed to manipulate the microbes for various clinical and research applications.

New online tool created to tackle complications of pregnancy and child birth
An interdisciplinary team of biologists and medical researchers have created a new platform, which they call GEneSTATION specifically designed to leverage the growing knowledge of human genomics and evolution to advance scientific understanding of human pregnancy and translate it into new treatments for the problems that occur when this complex process goes awry.

This week from AGU: The Fundao Dam, cyanobacteria, and three new research papers
This week from AGU are papers on the Fundao Dam, cyanobacteria, and three new research papers.

CWRU researchers building digital pathology tools to predict cancer outcomes
Case Western Reserve University researchers have been awarded two grants totaling $3.16 million from the National Institutes of Health to create analytic software for managing, annotating, sharing and analyzing digital pathology imaging data.

Self-calibration enhances BrainGate ease, reliability
Innovations in the decoders of the investigational BrainGate brain-computer interface now allow the system to recalibrate itself.

A 'nervous system' for ant colonies?
Colonies of ants are incredibly complex, and at the same time intensely cooperative, so much so that they are often referred to as single 'superorganisms'.

A new countryside legacy from Roman Britain
New research from the University of Exeter has found that the Roman influence on our landscape extends beyond the legacy of our urban infrastructure to also shape the countryside and our rural surroundings.

Researchers aim to regenerate human knees and limbs by 2030
On Veteran's Day the University of Connecticut announced the launch of its new grand research challenge: regeneration of a human knee within seven years, and an entire limb within 15 years.

Going native -- for the soil?
Urbanization is known to degrade the quality of soil. Researchers compared the soil under residential prairie gardens to the soil under the adjacent lawns to see if there were any differences.

Imitating synapses of the human brain could lead to smarter electronics
Making a computer that learns and remembers like a human brain is a daunting challenge.

Human handouts could be spreading disease from birds to people
People feeding white ibises at public parks are turning the normally independent birds into beggars, and now researchers at the University of Georgia say it might also be helping spread disease.

Change in a single DNA base drives a childhood cancer
Pediatric oncology researchers have pinpointed a crucial change in a single DNA base that both predisposes children to an aggressive form of the childhood cancer neuroblastoma and makes the disease progress once tumors form.

Reducing misdiagnosis: Time for the next chapter in improving patient safety
An estimated 12 million people in the United States experience diagnostic errors annually, but it's time for a change, , said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, the Michael E.

Thermal sensitivity of marine communities reveals the most vulnerable to global warming
The sensitivity of marine communities to ocean warming rather than rising ocean temperatures will have strong short-term impacts on biodiversity changes associated with global warming, according to new research.

Researchers call for hospitals to establish bereavement programs
Backed by a growing body of research, investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute are calling for all hospitals to establish bereavement programs for families of deceased patients.

New 'short-crested lizard' found in Montana
The newly described Probrachylophosaurus bergei, a member of the Brachylophosaurini clade of dinosaurs, has a small flat triangular bony crest extending over the skull and may represent the transition between a non-crested ancestor, such as Acristavus, and the larger crests of adult Brachylophosaurus, according to a study published Nov.

Natural selection and inflammation may hold key to age-associated cancer risk
CU Cancer Center studies show how changes in the tissue ecosystem may allow cancer cells to out-compete their healthy rivals.

Computer assisted CBT provides little or no benefits for depression
Researchers at the University of York have revealed computerized cognitive behavioral therapy is likely to be ineffective in the treatment of depression.

So long, stethoscope? New device and iPhone alter exams
A recent study by Orlando Health found a smartphone-based device known as HeartBuds performed just as well as traditional stethoscopes and better than a disposable model in identifying heart murmurs and other vital sounds during patient exams.

Confessions of the Pricing Man -- How price affects everything
In his latest book Confessions of the Pricing Man, management thinker and pricing specialist Hermann Simon explains how innovative pricing strategies, tactics and tricks work.

Plate tectonics thanks to plumes?
It is common knowledge that the Earth's rigid upper layer called lithosphere is composed of moving plates.

World first blood cancer drug trial reveals life-changing results
Clinicians from the University of Leicester and Leicester's Hospitals lead an international clinical trial for patients with blood cancer.

Dartmouth scientists unravel brain circuits involved in cravings
Dartmouth researchers studying rats have discovered that activation of designer neural receptors can suppress cravings in a brain region involved in triggering those cravings.

A safer way to demonstrate the 'rainbow flame' in the classroom (video)
A chemistry demonstration commonly known as the 'rainbow flame' experiment has resulted in a number of serious injuries in classrooms in recent years.

Melanoma's genetic trajectories are charted in new study
An international team of scientists led by UCSF researchers has mapped out the genetic trajectories taken by melanoma as it evolves from early skin lesions, known as precursors, to malignant skin cancer.

Contact, connect and fuse: An ultra-structural view of the muscle formation process
This work describes the steps and processes governing myoblast fusion with muscle fibres during the formation of flight muscles in Drosophila.

Previous oral contraceptive use associated with better outcomes in patients with ovarian cancer
Patients who develop ovarian cancer appear to have better outcomes if they have a history of oral contraceptive use, according to a study by Mayo Clinic researchers published in the current issue of the journal BMC Cancer.

Batten disease may benefit from gene therapy
Scientists showed that a new way to deliver replacement genes may be effective at slowing the development of childhood Batten disease, a rare and fatal neurological disorder.

Worrying about work when you are not at work
In a study of people's ability to detach themselves from work, Dr.

Commercial sea salt samples purchased in China contaminated with microplastics
Tiny plastic bits, collectively known as called microplastics, are showing up in bodies of water around the world, and are accumulating in aquatic creatures, including fish and shellfish.

Men with Alzheimer's gene at risk of brain bleeding, study finds
This study provides additional evidence that Alzheimer's disease is unique to humans.

Researchers detail how to control shape, structure of DNA and RNA
Materials science researchers have used computational modelling to shed light on precisely how charged gold nanoparticles influence the structure of DNA and RNA -- which may lead to new techniques for manipulating these genetic materials.

Microbes map path toward renewable energy future
In the quest for renewable fuels, scientists are taking lessons from a humble bacterium that fills our oceans and covers moist surfaces the world over.

Global health team pioneers development of a new antimalarial drug screening model
A University of South Florida Center for Global Health & Infectious Diseases Research team has demonstrated a new screening model to classify antimalarial drugs and to identify drug targets for the most lethal strain of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum.

Canadian researchers improve safety, decrease risks of new blood thinners
By reversing the effects of the blood thinners apixaban and rivaroxaban within minutes, this new antidote may help to save the lives of patients taking blood thinners that experience major bleeding complications.

Zooplankton: Not-so-passive motion in turbulence
Imagine a species that is only one millimetre long and has only a limited swimming ability.

Study reveals why chemotherapy may be compromised in patients with pancreatic cancer
A study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center may explain why chemotherapy drugs such as gemcitabine are not effective for many pancreatic cancer patients, and perhaps point to new approaches to treatment including enhancing gemcitabine's ability to stop tumor growth.

Simple errors limit scientific scrutiny
Researchers have found more than half of the public datasets provided with scientific papers are incomplete, which prevents reproducibility tests and follow-up studies.

Chemical safety board could halt new investigations while it reboots
Under new leadership, the Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is hitting the reset button to put its embattled past behind it.

New exoplanet in our neighborhood
Scientists have discovered a new exoplanet that, in the language of 'Star Wars,' would be the polar opposite of frigid Hoth, and even more inhospitable than the deserts of Tatooine.

CCNY researchers open 'Golden Window' in deep brain imaging
The neuroscience community is saluting the creation of a 'Golden Window' for deep brain imaging by researchers at The City College of New York led by biomedical engineer Lingyan Shi.

Lakes resist the introduction of new fish
Research from UmeƄ University in Sweden presents a new method of establishing how freshwater fish can defend themselves against an invasion of a new fish species.

Social media offers neuroscientists a treasure trove of research material
Because social media is used so pervasively in modern society to tap into people's behaviors and thoughts, neuroscientists are finding Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms to be very useful tools in a broad range of research areas.

Sweet news for soda and coffee drinkers, stevia less bitter than before
Good news for consumers with a sweet tooth. Cornell food scientists have reduced the sweetener stevia's bitter aftertaste by physical -- rather than chemical -- means.

Asteroid ripped apart to form star's glowing ring system
The sight of an asteroid being ripped apart by a dead star and forming a glowing debris ring has been captured in an image for the first time.

No more brown apples?
The longer an apple retains its beautiful color, the better it is -- especially for the food industry.

Made to order: Researchers discover a new form of crystalline matter
The new Magnetized Dusty Plasma Experiment recently discovered a new form of crystalline-like matter in strongly magnetized dusty plasma.

PFOA exposure in utero linked to child adiposity and faster BMI gain
A study of more than 200 Cincinnati households finds that the children of mothers who experienced higher levels of exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) while pregnant had higher body fat and faster weight gain through age 8.

OU initiative focuses on measuring virtue and how virtue develops in humans
A $2.6 million three-year research initiative at the University of Oklahoma, titled The Self, Motivation and Virtue Project, is funding 10 interdisciplinary research projects on the moral self, with a special focus on new ways of measuring virtue and how it develops in human beings.

Light wave technique an advance for optical research
RMIT University researchers in Melbourne have developed artificial microflowers that self-assemble in water and mimic the natural blooming process, an important step for advances in frontier-edge electronics.

Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland, invents first 'porous liquid'
Scientists at Queen's University Belfast have made a major breakthrough by making a porous liquid -- with the potential for a massive range of new technologies including 'carbon capture.'

Digging deeper into DNA: An efficient method to sequence chloroplast genomes
A new bioinformatics strategy provides a time- and cost-efficient method to assemble a chloroplast genome using whole-genome sequencing.

European Medicines Agency signs four-year deal for AdisInsight
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has signed a four-year agreement with Adis, a leading global provider of drug information, for AdisInsight, a database for drug research and development, disease treatment and decision making.

Elderly with dementia, diabetes and kidney problems risk dehydration
One in five older people in care homes are dehydrated.

Mixing an icy cocktail to safely cool hot plasma
Researchers have 'chilled out' unwanted hot spots inside a plasma fusion vessel by injecting pellets of frozen neon and deuterium straight into the hot plasma.

Doctors and patients making decisions together could reduce the number of antibiotics prescribed foracute respiratory infections
A new Cochrane Review published today shows that when doctors and patients are encouraged to discuss the need for prescribing antibiotics for acute respiratory infections jointly, fewer are prescribed.

Death of a parent in childhood associated with increased suicide risk
The death of a parent in childhood was associated with a long-term risk of suicide in a study of children from three Scandinavian countries who were followed for up to 40 years, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

Idea of slow climate change in the Earth's past misleading
Climate change is progressing rapidly. It is not the first time in our planet's history that temperatures have been rising, but it is happening much faster now than it ever has before.

How did plate tectonics start on Earth?
Hot mantle plume rising to the lithosphere induced the first large-scale sinking of lithospheric plates.

Oregon study suggests some gut microbes may be keystones of health
University of Oregon scientists have found that strength in numbers doesn't hold true for microbes in the intestines. 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