Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 24, 2015
Visual stress could be a symptom of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, research suggests
University of Leicester research team discovers vision-related abnormalities that could help in diagnosis of illness.

Stretch the new flex for programmable rubber keyboard
Scientists at the University of Auckland have developed a soft, flexible, stretchable keyboard using a type of rubber known as a dielectric elastomer.

Breast cancer clinic attributes increased uptake of double mastectomies to Angelina Jolie effect
Researchers at a breast cancer prevention clinic in Manchester, UK, have observed an increased uptake of preventative double mastectomies since May 2013, when Angelina Jolie announced that she had undergone the procedure.

Sniff and track or run and scan?
The work explores search strategies used by rats to identify specific targets through odor cues in a familiar environment with a known number of choices.

Physicists explain the unusual behavior of strongly disordered superconductors
Physicists Mikhail Feigel'man (the head of MIPT's theoretical nanophysics laboratory) and Lev Ioffe have explained the unusual effect in a number of promising superconductor materials.

The 1st UAE Symposium on Social Robotics (including 30 workshops) kicks off at the UAEU University
Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, witnessed the launch of Innovation Week.

Leatherback sea turtles choose nest sites carefully, study finds
The enormous, solitary leatherback sea turtle spends most of its long life at sea.

Scientists design a QKD-based quantum private query with no failure
QKD-based quantum private query has some important advantages such as being easy to realize and loss-tolerant.

Slower aging may protect cells in the brain from Parkinson's disease
Humans have long sought to reduce the effects of aging.

Dec. 2015 GSA Today covers imaging spectroscopy and demographic gaps in the geosciences
The December 2015 GSA Today is now online. The science article by Rebecca N.

UTA engineer to build device to capture lost heat energy
A University of Texas at Arlington engineer is co-leading a team that is seeking ways to harness heat energy lost from automobiles, buildings and other devices.

Cataract surgery lessens patients' dizziness
Older people with visual impairment can report feeling dizzy and falling.

Reducing the risk of CRC by tackling alcohol misuse: A call for action across Europe
With approximately one in 10 cases of colorectal cancer (CRC) associated with alcohol consumption, healthcare professionals across Europe are being urged to help reduce the risk of CRC by taking positive action against alcohol misuse and dependence.

Rice wins $2.4 million to study many-antenna wireless
Rice University researchers have won $2.4 million from the National Science Foundation to conduct the most extensive experimental research yet of wireless technology that uses 100 or more antennas per base station to send tightly focused beams of data to each user, even as they move.

BioArt Image and Video Competition 2015 winners announced
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology is pleased to showcase the artistic side of cutting-edge science through its fourth annual BioArt competition.

Men see lower gains in life expectancy than women in era of HIV treatment in South Africa
Improvements in availability of antiretroviral therapy for HIV in South Africa over the past decade coincide with an increased gap in female versus male life expectancy, according to a study published in PLOS Medicine this week.

AIAA honors UTA's Frank Lewis with 2016 Intelligent Systems Award
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics will honor professor Frank Lewis, head of the University of Texas at Arlington's Advanced Controls and Sensors Group, with the society's 2016 Intelligent Systems Award in recognition of his work to advance the capabilities of autonomous aircraft systems.

Mental health risk for new dads
Researchers have found anxiety around the arrival of a new baby is just as common as postnatal depression, and the risks for men are nearly as high as for women.

Chemical design made easier
Rice University scientists have developed a metal-free process for the rapid synthesis of elusive small-molecule catalysts that promise to speed the making of novel chemicals, including drugs.

Study identifies genetic risk for hyperinflammatory disorder from viral infection
A group of people with fatal H1N1 flu died after their viral infections triggered a deadly hyperinflammatory disorder in susceptible individuals with gene mutations linked to the overactive immune response, according to a study posted online by The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

An ounce of cancer prevention is worth a moment of your attention
What if you could visit the doctor for a blood test that predicted your personal cancer risk -- then got a simple prescription that reduced that risk?

NIH-sponsored clinical trial of chikungunya vaccine opens
An experimental vaccine to protect against the mosquito-borne illness chikungunya is being tested in a Phase 2 trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

Inkjet hologram printing now possible
Vivid holographic images and text can now be produced by means of an ordinary inkjet printer.

Investigational drug may prevent life-threatening muscle loss in advanced cancers
New data describes how an experimental drug can stop life-threatening muscle wasting (cachexia) associated with advanced cancers and restore muscle health.

Focal epileptic seizures linked to abnormalities in 3 main brain regions
A new study that used functional magnetic resonance imaging and computation pattern analysis to identify differences in regional brain activity between subjects with focal epilepsy and healthy individuals highlighted three common areas of abnormality.

NASA plans twin sounding rocket launches over Norway this winter
This winter, two sounding rockets will launch through the aurora borealis over Norway to study how particles move in a region near the North Pole where Earth's magnetic field is directly connected to the solar wind.

New treatment potential for heart attack sufferers
New hope in the fight against cardiovascular disease has arrived, following breakthrough research identifying a pigment in our bile which could protect us.

Identifying new sources of turbulence in spherical tokamaks
This article describes a paper that identifies two new sources of turbulence in a state-of-the-art simulation of a spherical tokamak.

Up to 90 percent of drinking water contaminants in ultrasonic humidifier aerosols are inhalable
A new study of five drinking water samples of different quality shows that ultrasonic humidifiers aerosolize and emit dissolved contaminants that can be inhaled, including minerals and metals.

Modeling the global HIV treatment funding gap for 2020 targets
With currently projected funding, countries around the world are unlikely to achieve the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS 90-90-90 treatment target (which includes 90 percent of people diagnosed as living with HIV being treated with anti-retroviral therapy by 2020), according to a modeling study publishing this week in PLOS Medicine.

Gut microbes signal to the brain when they're full
Don't have room for dessert? The bacteria in your gut may be telling you something.

MassGeneral Hospital for Children receives grant to pursue novel antibacterial strategy
MassGeneral Hospital for Children has been named a Grand Challenges Explorations winner through an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

NASA study suggests carbon content of temperate forests overestimated
Digital measurements of millions of trees indicate that previous studies likely overestimate the amount of carbon stored by temperate US forests, according to a new NASA study.

Reducing body temperature saves neurological functions in cardiac arrest patients
Survivors of cardiac arrest who remain in comas have better survival and neurological outcomes when their body temperatures are lowered, according to new research by Dr.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Annabelle dying bursts
Tropical Cyclone Annabelle ran into adverse atmospheric and oceanic conditions and was fading quickly on Nov.

Stored fat fights against the body's attempts to lose weight
The fatter we are, the more our body appears to produce a protein that inhibits our ability to burn fat, suggests new research published in the journal Nature Communication.

Three new technologies to make energy cleaner, more efficient
PNNL and its partners are developing three new technologies to improve the power grid, make biofuel from seaweed and produce hydrogen with grants from DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E.

3-D MRI shows early signs of stroke risk in diabetic patients
People with diabetes may be harboring advanced vascular disease that could increase their risk of stroke, according to new research.

Immune-disorder treatment in mice holds potential for multiple sclerosis patients
A University of Florida Health researcher has found a simple, rapid way to treat an immune-related disorder in mice, an approach that could eventually help multiple sclerosis patients after further research.

'Traditional authority' linked to rates of deforestation in Africa
New analysis reveals a strong correlation between precolonial institutions in Africa and current levels of deforestation.

Human nature's dark side helped us spread across the world
New research by an archaeologist at the University of York suggests that betrayals of trust were the missing link in understanding the rapid spread of our own species around the world.

Cheesy products
Online shopping is booming. Scientists from the Vetmeduni Vienna examined the microbiological safety, packaging and labeling of a variety of raw milk cheeses sold online.

Visual authoring tool helps non-experts build their own digital story worlds
Creating characters and situations that computers can use to generate stories for video games is a task that normally requires expert knowledge, but Disney Research is developing a new interface that can help more people build these digital story worlds.

Biologists induce flatworms to grow heads and brains of other species
Biologists at Tufts University have succeeded in inducing one species of flatworm to grow heads and brains characteristic of another species of flatworm without altering genomic sequence.

Earth's magnetic field is not about to flip
The intensity of earth's magnetic field has been weakening in the last couple of hundred years, leading some scientists to think that its polarity might be about to flip.

European folic acid policy is failing to prevent many neural tube defects, warn experts
The prevalence of neural tube defects in Europe has not declined substantially in the past 20 years, despite long-standing recommendations for women to take folic acid supplements if planning a pregnancy, finds a study in The BMJ today.

Can a bonobo keep the beat?
A recent paper published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology assessed spontaneous and synchronized drumming tempo in a female bonobo who self-selected to participate by regularly approaching a human drummer in a designated research area within a bonobo zoo enclosure (Large & Gray, 2015).

Canuckosaur! First Canadian 'dinosaur' becomes Dimetrodon borealis
A 'dinosaur' fossil originally discovered on Prince Edward Island has been shown to have steak knife-like teeth, and researchers from U of T Mississauga, Carleton University and the Royal Ontario Museum have changed its name to Dimetrodon borealis -- marking the first occurrence of a Dimetrodon fossil in Canada.

Virginia Tech's Verbridge and Davalos describe novel tumor treatment in Scientific Reports
In the first published results from a $386,000 National Cancer Institute grant awarded earlier this year, a paper by Scott Verbridge and Rafael Davalos in Scientific Reports has been published, describing the researchers' work on developing a new type of treatment for glioblastoma multiforme, the most common and deadly malignant primary brain tumor.

PMS as an early marker for future high blood pressure risk
In the first prospective study to consider premenstrual syndrome (PMS) as a possible sentinel for future risk of hypertension, epidemiologist Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson and colleagues in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Harvard School of Public Health report that women with moderate-to-severe PMS had a 40 percent higher risk of developing high blood pressure over the following 20 years compared to women experiencing few menstrual symptoms.

Iowa State astronomers say comet fragments best explanation of mysterious dimming star
A team of astronomers led by Iowa State's Massimo Marengo responded to the buzz about a mysterious dimming star by studying data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Neurological underpinnings of schizophrenia just as complex as the disorder itself
Schizophrenia is notoriously difficult to diagnose and treat, in large part because it manifests differently in different people.

Study links physical activity to better memory among older adults
Could staying physically active improve quality of life by delaying cognitive decline and prolonging an independent lifestyle?

MIT mathematicians identify limits to heat flow at the nanoscale
MIT mathematicians have derived a formula for determining the maximum amount of heat exchanged between two objects separated by distances shorter than the width of a single hair.

Safety last?
With the globalization of our food supply, food safety issues are a major concern for both public health and for the food industry.

Army ants' 'living' bridges span collective intelligence, 'swarm' robotics
Researchers from Princeton University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology report for the first time that the 'living' bridges army ants of the species Eciton hamatum build with their bodies are more sophisticated than scientists knew.

A sticky breakthrough
In an important step toward creating a practical underwater glue, researchers at UC Santa Barbara have designed a synthetic material that combines the key functionalities of interfacial mussel foot proteins, creating a single, low-molecular-weight, one-component adhesive.

The corn snake genome sequenced for the first time
Among the 5,000 existing species of mammals, more than 100 have their genome sequenced, whereas the genomes of only nine species of reptiles (among 10,000 species) are available to the scientific community.

Smartphones to battle crop disease
EPFL and Penn State University are releasing an unprecedented 50,000 open-access photos of plant diseases.

Conference on clinical nutrition addresses timely topics
The 2015 Advances and Controversies in Clinical Nutrition conference highlights the latest research, advances, and best practices in clinical nutrition.

Dr. Gail M. Ashley recognized for her Distinguished Service to the American Geosciences Institute
Under the guidance and leadership of Gail M. Ashley, the American Geosciences Institute has become much of what it is today.

Why do galaxies spin? York U researcher earns award for groundbreaking discovery
A York University researcher will receive an award Nov. 24 for furthering the understanding the universe, including the discovery of outer-lying groupings of galaxies similar to ours and the reason why they spin.

Liquid acoustics half way to the Earth's core
In research published in Nature Communications, scientists from the Materials Dynamics Laboratory at the RIKEN SPring-8 Center, along with collaborators from the Tokyo Institute of Technology's Earth-Life Science Institute and other institutes, have succeeded in measuring the speed of sound in mixtures of liquid iron and carbon in extreme conditions, allowing limits to be set on the composition of the Earth's core.

Coming out of their evolutionary shells
Corresponding author and Medical University of Vienna professor Leopold Eckhart and colleagues, in a study published in the advanced online edition of Molecular Biology and Evolution, performed the first comprehensive study of the genes that control the hard cutaneous layers of the shell in the North American painted turtle and other turtles.

Government relations manager at Sandia Labs honored by American Physical Society
Benn Tannenbaum, manager of Sandia National Laboratories' Washington, DC, office, has been elected a fellow of the American Physical Society.

Native Americans have decreased access to kidney transplants
Native Americans have decreased access to kidney transplants and are more likely to die while waiting for a kidney than whites according to new research.

University of Pittsburgh text message program effective at cutting binge drinking
A University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine-led trial to test a text message-based program aimed at reducing binge drinking is the first to show that such an intervention can successfully produce sustained reductions in alcohol consumption in young adults.

Decarbonizing tourism: Would you pay US$11 for a carbon-free holiday?
The damaging effects of CO2 emissions from tourism could eventually be eliminated if travelers paid just US$11 per trip, according to a new study published in the Journal of Sustainable Tourism.

A heavy metal balancing act: Studying copper to help cells battle bacterial invaders
Copper is an essential micronutrient, but unless it is bound to proteins, it is also toxic to cells.

Tracking down the 'missing' carbon from the Martian atmosphere
A team of scientists from Caltech and JPL suggests that 3.8 billion years ago, Mars might have had only a moderately dense atmosphere.

NASA's Operation IceBridge completes twin polar campaigns
NASA's Operation IceBridge, an airborne survey of polar ice, recently finalized two overlapping campaigns at both of Earth's poles.

Fat cells originating from bone marrow found in humans
Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have found that fat cells produced by stem cells from the bone marrow may be linked to chronic illnesses like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and some cancers.

New open-access data on paleofloods
Whether extreme river floods are becoming more frequent and/or severe in a warming world remains under debate, partly because instrumental measurements of river discharge are too restricted in length to detect shifts from natural variability.

Scientists identify promising new melanoma drug
The first-in-class compound halts tumor growth by disrupting protein production.

Kalsotra named prestigious CAS Fellow
Assistant Professor Auinash Kalsotra has been appointed, pending Board of Trustees approval, as one of the prestigious Fellow positions of the University of Illinois Center for Advanced Study for the academic year 2016-2017.

Republicans prefer politicians with deep voices
Masculine features are important assets for conservative politicians, while it is more important for their liberal counterparts to have gentle features, according to two recent scientific articles from Aarhus University.

Pre-travel advice does not reduce the risk of falling ill while traveling
Traveling abroad involves risk of illnesses and carriage of antibiotic resistant bacteria, especially among students.

The march of progress? Australian Defence Force working on flexibility
Flexible working practices have infiltrated the ranks of the Australian Defence Force, debunking the myth it is a rigid and regimented employer, according to QUT research.

Daniel Stram named AAAS Fellow
Daniel Stram of the Keck School of Medicine of USC is now a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Climate-friendly rice recognized as a top science development of 2015
The creation of a new kind of rice which gives off nearly zero greenhouse gas emissions during its growth has earned kudos for a team of scientists from three continents, including the lead investigator at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Want honesty? Make it the easiest choice, suggests Rotman research
New research has found that we're more likely to do the right thing in situations of moral conflict when it requires little to no effort.

Harnessing a peptide holds promise for increasing crop yields without more fertilizer
Molecular biologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who study nitrogen-fixing bacteria in plants have discovered a 'double agent' peptide in an alfalfa that may hold promise for improving crop yields without increasing fertilizer use.

Researchers discover how immune cells resist radiation treatment
Researchers at The Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have discovered a key mechanism by which radiation treatment (radiotherapy) fails to completely destroy tumors.

Complex humor is no laughing matter
Since the earliest times, laughter and humor have performed important functions in human interaction.

Gene variants involved in stress responses affect 'post-concussive' symptoms
Variations in a gene that affect the body's responses to stress influence the risk of developing so-called post-concussive symptoms after car crashes, reports a study in Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine, the official journal of the American Psychosomatic Society.

Study finds higher risks for babies born at the weekend
Babies born in English NHS hospitals at the weekend have a slightly greater risk of death within the first seven days, compared with those born during the week, finds a study in The BMJ today.

Study shows increase in infant deaths attributed to crib bumpers
A new study shows that the number of infant deaths and injuries attributed to crib bumpers has spiked significantly in recent years, prompting the researchers to call for a nationwide ban on the bedding accessory.

Highest safety rating awarded to cardiac catheterization laboratory
For 17 consecutive years Mount Sinai awarded highest 'two-star' rating by New York State Department of Health for percutaneous coronary interventions.

Millions of women severely undernourished in low- and middle-income countries
More than 18 million women in low- and middle-income countries around the world are severely undernourished, according to the first global estimate published in a new study from St.

Umbilical cells help eye's neurons connect
Cells isolated from the human umbilical cord have been shown to produce molecules that help retinal neurons from the eyes of rats grow, connect and survive.

Uploads on biomedical authoring platform F1000Workspace exceed 1 million references
One million references have been loaded on to F1000Workspace -- a research collaboration, reference management and authoring platform for scientists -- since it was launched just six months ago.

Cooking with chloraminated water and salt could create toxic molecules
Cooking with chloraminated water could put potentially harmful toxins in your food, according to a new study published in Water Research.

Births at the weekend associated with higher rate of complications
Researchers at Imperial College London looked at over 1.3 million births that took place in NHS services in England between April 1, 2010, and March 31, 2012.

Stanford faculty awarded $2.1 million for promising energy research
The Precourt Institute for Energy and the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy at Stanford University have awarded 12 faculty seed grants totaling $2.1 million for groundbreaking research on clean energy.

No substantive evidence for 'pause' in global warming, study finds
There is no substantive evidence for a 'pause' or 'hiatus' in global warming and the use of those terms is therefore inaccurate, new research from the University of Bristol has found.

Researchers urge caution in prescribing commonly used drug to treat ADHD
Authors of new Cochrane Review remain uncertain about effect of widely used medicine on ADHD symptoms, despite large amount of research.

Volcanic rocks hold clues to Earth's interior
Earth's deep interior transport system explains volcanic island lava complexities

Use of antivirals in retrovirus-infected cats
A number of antiviral drugs are licensed and widely used for the treatment of specific viral infections in humans.

A very happy Speaking of Chemistry Thanksgiving (video)
There's plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving beyond turkey, giblets and gravy.

Scientists 'see' detailed make-up of deadly toxin for the first time
Exciting advance provides hope for developing novel potential method of treating pneumococcal diseases such as bacterial pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia.

Stanford researcher suggests storing solar energy underground for a cloudy day
A common criticism of a total transition to wind, water and solar power is that the US electrical grid can't affordably store enough standby electricity to keep the system stable.

New sensor sends electronic signal when estrogen is detected
Researchers in New Zealand have developed a new sensor that can detect low levels of E2, one of the primary estrogen hormones, in liquids.

NASA's GPM finds extreme rainfall in Typhoon In-fa
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission known as GPM passed over Typhoon In-fa and found extreme rainfall occurring in the storm.

Mars to lose its largest moon, Phobos, but gain a ring
A UC Berkeley study of the cohesiveness of Phobos has concluded that Mars' largest moon -- one of only two in our solar system moving inward towards its planet -- will eventually be torn apart by tidal forces and distributed in a ring around the planet.

NASA's GPM gets a look at newborn, late season Eastern Pacific Tropical Storm Sandra
During the early morning of Nov. 24, Tropical Storm Sandra became the 18th named storm of the 2015 Eastern Pacific hurricane season.

People who rely on their intuition are, at times, less likely to cheat
In psychological studies, intuition, or 'gut instinct,' is the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.

Lactate for brain energy
Nerve cells cover their high energy demand with glucose and lactate.

Winter season reverses outcome of fruit fly reproduction
Male fruit flies could find their chances of fathering offspring radically reduced if they are last in the queue to mate with promiscuous females before winter arrives, according to new University of Liverpool research.

Study: Paying for transgender health care cost-effective
A new analysis led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests that while most US health insurance plans deny benefits to transgender men and women for medical care necessary to transition to the opposite sex, paying for sex reassignment surgery and hormones is actually cost-effective.

Algae could be a new green power source
To limit climate change, experts say that we need to reach carbon neutrality by the end of this century at the latest.

New 'self-healing' gel makes electronics more flexible
Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a first-of-its-kind self-healing gel that repairs and connects electronic circuits.

The silence of the genes
Research led by Dr. Keiji Tanimoto from the University of Tsukuba, Japan, has brought us closer to understanding the mechanisms underlying the phenomenon of genomic imprinting.

Food odors activate impulse area of the brain in obese children
The area of the brain associated with impulsivity and the development of obsessive-compulsive disorder is activated in obese children when introduced to food smells, according to new research.

New insights into protein structure could change the future of biomedicine
Researchers at the University of Waterloo have discovered a new way to create designer proteins that have the potential to transform biotechnology and personalized medicines.

Better detection of concussion in young football players
Researcher Christian Duval, Ph.D., and his team have developed a new, simple and non-invasive approach to create a biomechanical and cognitive profile of football players and more quickly and accurately detect concussions in these individuals.

The Lancet: Doctors give chilling account of treating casualties of Paris terrorist attacks
In a Viewpoint published in The Lancet today, a group of doctors from the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris describe in chilling detail how they coped with the large influx of wounded on the night of Friday Nov.

Exploring the physics of a chocolate fountain
A mathematics student has worked out the secrets of how chocolate behaves in a chocolate fountain, answering the age-old question of why the falling 'curtain' of chocolate surprisingly pulls inwards rather than going straight downwards.

Plant defense as a biotech tool
Against voracious beetles or caterpillars plants protect themselves with cyanide.

Subsolid lung nodules pose greater cancer risk to women than men
Women with a certain type of lung nodule visible on lung cancer screening CT exams face a higher risk of lung cancer than men with similar nodules, according to a new study. 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