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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | January 04, 2016


Miriam Hospital, R.I. Community Food Bank study dispels belief healthy diets are costly
Research conducted by The Miriam Hospital and The Rhode Island Community Food Bank demonstrated that -- contrary to popular belief -- healthy diets rich in fruits and vegetables are affordable.
Asian carp could cause some Lake Erie fish to decline, others to increase
If they successfully invade Lake Erie, Asian carp could eventually account for about a third of the total weight of fish in the lake and could cause declines in most fish species -- including prized sport and commercial fish such as walleye, according to a new computer modeling study.
Project underway to preserve survivor's memories of the Holocaust in virtual form
Survivors of the Holocaust are fewer and fewer in number.
A botanical survey to help understand change in our wild flora
Volunteers in the north-east of England have created a benchmark survey of common plants with which to identify change in the countryside, its result and causes.
Clarified mechanism of rotation of node cilia-principal for asymmetry of the body
A research group of Osaka University and Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, together with collaborative research institutes, clarified the mechanism of rotation of node cilia which determines the left-right asymmetry of the body and elucidated part of the relationship between the ciliary structure and ciliary motility, which had little experimental knowledge.
Large and increasing methane emissions from northern lakes
Climate-sensitive regions in the north are home to most of the world's lakes.
Melting of massive ice 'lid' resulted in huge release of CO2 at the end of the ice age
A new study of how the structure of the ocean has changed since the end of the last ice age suggest that the melting of a vast 'lid' of sea ice caused the release of huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Solving the mystery of defective embryos
In a study published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team led by Greg FitzHarris, researcher at CRCHUM and professor at University of Montreal discovered a new mechanism that may explain why some embryos are not useful for fertility treatment.
Climate change altering Greenland ice sheet and accelerating sea level rise, says York University professor
The Greenland ice sheet has traditionally been pictured as a sponge for glacier meltwater, but new research has found it's rapidly losing the ability to buffer its contribution to rising sea levels, says York University Professor William Colgan, a co-author on the study published today in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Medical research influenced by training 'genealogy'
By analyzing peer-reviewed scientific papers that examined the effectiveness of a surgical procedure, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine provide evidence suggesting that the conclusions of these studies appear to be influenced by the authors' mentors and medical training.
MUSC approved for $13.5 million award from Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
A research team at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has been approved for a $13.5 million funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to study the safety and effectiveness of three blood-thinning drugs used to prevent potentially deadly blood clots in patients undergoing hip and knee replacement.
Tackling the 'credibility crisis' in science -- new PLOS Biology meta-research section
Widespread failure to reproduce research results has triggered a crisis of confidence in research findings, eroding public trust in scientific methodology.
Infectious diseases bring millions of elderly to emergency departments each year
Investigators estimate that during 2012, there were more than 3.1 million emergency department visits for infectious diseases among elderly US adults.
Boosting farm yields to restore habitats could create greenhouse gas 'sink'
Study using UK data is first to show raising farm yields and reclaiming 'spared' land for woodlands and wetlands could offset greenhouse gas produced by farming to meet national target of 80 percent emissions reduction by 2050.
Students with influence over peers reduce school bullying by 30 percent
Curbing school bullying has been a focal point for educators, administrators, policymakers and parents, but the answer may not lie within rules set by adults, according to new research led by Princeton University.
How to train your bacterium
Berkeley Lab researchers are using the bacterium Moorella thermoacetica to perform photosynthesis and also to synthesize semiconductor nanoparticles in a hybrid artificial photosynthesis system for converting sunlight into valuable chemical products.
Discovery of a new drug target could lead to novel treatment for severe autism
A novel drug target has been used to rescue functional deficits in human nerve cells derived from patients with Rett syndrome, a severe form of autism-spectrum disorder.
Scientists find minor flu strains pack bigger punch
Minor variants of flu strains, which are not typically targeted in vaccines, carry a bigger viral punch than previously realized, a team of scientists has found.
Stellar revelations
Studying the internal structure of pulsating stars, physicists discover strong magnetic fields in the cores of many stars.
Asian carp could cause some Lake Erie fish species to decline, others to increase
If they successfully invade Lake Erie, Asian carp could eventually account for about a third of the total weight of fish in the lake and could cause declines in most fish species -- including prized sport and commercial fish such as walleye, according to a new computer modeling study.
Recurrent acute and chronic pancreatitis in children has high disease burden, health care costs
The burden of recurrent acute and chronic pancreatitis in children may be higher than previously thought, with high costs related to repeated hospitalizations, report a pair of studies in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.
How to improve cardiac arrest survival in 3 easy steps
Although survival rates for people who suffer cardiac arrest outside a hospital are extremely low in most places, emergency physicians propose three interventions to improve survival rates and functional outcomes in any community and urge additional federal funding for cardiac resuscitation research in an editorial published online last Wednesday in Annals of Emergency Medicine ('IOM Says Times to Act to Improve Cardiac Arrest Survival ...
NSF CAREER award for electrically conducting polymer research
Dr. Yu Zhu at University of Akron is the recipient of a prestigious NSF CAREER Award.
New paste prevents scarring caused by radiation therapy for cancer
An antiscarring paste when applied to the skin of mice halts fibrosis caused by the radiation used in cancer therapy.
Higher monthly doses of vitamin D associated with increased risk of falls
Higher monthly doses of vitamin D were associated with no benefit on low extremity function and with an increased risk of falls in patients 70 or older in a randomized clinical trial, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.
NUS study shows the causes of mangrove deforestation in Southeast Asia
A National University of Singapore study identified the rapid expansion of rice agriculture in Myanmar, as well as sustained conversion of mangroves to oil palm plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia, as increasing and under-recognised threats to mangrove ecosystems in Southeast Asia.
Enough oxygen long before animals rose
Oxygen is crucial for the existence of animals on Earth.
German Research Foundation approves research group to determine neutrino mass hierarchy
The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved a new research unit focusing on the determination of the neutrino mass hierarchy during the JUNO experiment.
The origins of abiotic species
University of Groningen chemistry professor Sijbren Otto studies 'chemical evolution' to see if self-organization and autocatalysis will provide the answer.
Beam-beam compensation scheme doubles proton-proton collision rates at RHIC
Accelerator physicists at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have successfully implemented an innovative scheme for increasing proton collision rates at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider.
Mind of blue: Emotional expression affects the brain's creativity network
The workings of neural circuits associated with creativity are significantly altered when artists are actively attempting to express emotions, according to a new brain-scanning study of jazz pianists.
Ben-Gurion U. researcher reveals that self-criticism can be lethal in new book
Throughout the book, Professor Shahar identifies the mechanisms through which self-criticism confers vulnerability to psychopathology.
Thirty-five Loyola physicians named to Chicago magazine's 2016 Top Doctors list
Thirty-five Loyola University Medical Center physicians have been named to Chicago magazine's 2016 Top Doctors list.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awards Stevens Institute and Penn Nursing grant for joint project
Stevens Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing were recently funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to use policy flight simulators -- pioneered by Stevens -- to simulate use of the Transitional Care Model, developed by Penn Nursing.
New Year's resolutions for 2016: Fight your obesity genes with exercise
Researchers analyzed the impact of 14 obesity predisposing genes and found that physical activity can blunt the genetic effect of FTO, the major contributor to common obesity, by up to 75 percent.
New research could help build better fighter planes and space shuttles
Thousands bound together are still thinner than a single strand of human hair, but with research from Binghamton University, boron nitride nanotubes may help build better fighter planes and space shuttles.
Use of anticholinergic drugs does not increase risk for dementia in Parkinson's disease patients
Contrary to expectations, a study in the current issue of the Journal of Parkinson's Disease determined that the cognitive performance of PD patients taking anticholinergic medications did not differ from those who did not.
Ames Laboratory scientist's calculation featured on cover of Physical Review Letters
Research performed by US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory Associate Scientist Durga Paudyal was recently featured on the cover of the Nov.
Racial bias may be conveyed by doctors' body language
Physicians give less compassionate nonverbal cues when treating seriously ill black patients compared with their white counterparts, a small University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine trial revealed.
Strong magnetic fields discovered in majority of stars
An international group of astronomers led by the University of Sydney has discovered strong magnetic fields are common in stars, not rare as previously thought, which will dramatically impact our understanding of how stars evolve and potentially lead to a better understanding of the sun's 22-year magnetic cycle -- known to affect communication systems and cloud cover on Earth.
Social networks as important as exercise and diet across the span of our lives
The more social ties people have at an early age, the better their health is at the beginnings and ends of their lives, according to a new study from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Worldwide electricity production vulnerable to climate and water resource change
Climate change impacts on rivers and streams may substantially reduce electricity production capacity around the world.
Experts question automatic osteoporosis drug holidays
A new editorial published in the journal Osteoporosis International urges physicians to individualize treatment decisions based on their patients' fracture risk, rather than automatically interrupting or stopping bisphosphonate therapy after five or three years.
Is your child's achy back more than just growing pains?
According to a new literature review in the January issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, it's becoming more common for children and adolescents to seek medical care for back pain.
New guide highlights the properties of diverse drug targets
The new Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY 2015/2016 provides a valuable and unique overview of the key properties of more than 1,700 human drug targets, focusing on those exploited currently in the clinic or with future therapeutic potential.
Aging stars stop slowing down, scientists discover
At a critical point in the life of a star like the sun its rotation stops 'slowing down,' according to research published in the journal Nature by University of Birmingham scientists today.
Mind of blue: Conveying emotion affects brain's creativity network
The workings of neural circuits associated with creativity are significantly altered when artists are actively attempting to convey emotions, according to a new brain-scanning study of jazz pianists.
New national perioperative guideline for geriatric surgical quality care released
Responding to the needs of the country's growing older adult population, a new collaborative best practices guideline was released today for optimal care of older adults immediately before, during, and after surgical operations (a timeframe known as the 'perioperative' period).
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy in 25-year-old former football player
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a neurodegenerative disorder associated with repetitive head impacts and can be diagnosed only by autopsy after death.
Self-esteem gender gap more pronounced in western nations
People worldwide tend to gain self-esteem as they grow older, and men generally have higher levels of self-esteem than women, but this self-esteem gender gap is more pronounced in Western industrialized countries, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
Prostate cancer surveillance criteria may not be accurate for African American men
A new study published in The Journal of Urology revealed that African American men with Gleason score 3+3=6 prostate cancer (PCa) produce less prostate specific antigen (PSA) and have significantly lower PSA density (PSAD) than Caucasian men.
Tiniest chameleons deliver most powerful tongue-lashings
A new study reports one of the most explosive movements in the animal kingdom: the mighty tongue acceleration of a chameleon just a couple of inches long.
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite sees Ula moving away from Fiji
Tropical Cyclone Ula affected the Fiji group of islands over the weekend of Jan.
Peering into the Amazon's future
A new model, based on the effect of water stress on individual trees, suggests the change would be a gradual transition from high-biomass forests to low-biomass forests and woodland ecosystems.
Traces of islandic volcanoes in a northeastern German lake
An international team of geoscientists identified traces of in total eight volcanic eruptions on Island of which six could be precisely identified.
Adjustable adhesion power: What fakirs can learn from geckos
Imagine a new type of tires whose structure has been designed to have greater adhesion on the road.
The brain-computer duel: Do we have free will?
Our choices seem to be freer than previously thought. Using computer-based brain experiments, researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin studied the decision-making processes involved in voluntary movements.
BU study: Effects of obesity on death rates understated in prior research
Researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health and the University of Pennsylvania have found that prior studies of the link between obesity and mortality are flawed because they rely on one-time measures of body mass index (BMI) that obscure the health impacts of weight change over time.
Pioneering artificial pancreas to undergo final tests
A device to automatically monitor and regulate blood-sugar levels in people with type 1 diabetes will undergo final testing in two clinical trials beginning early this year.
Improving access to clinical trials when biopsies are required
The requirement for tumor tissue specimens and associated analyses in order to participate in clinical trials appears to be a significant barrier to clinical trial enrollment and may delay treatment.
Meltwater from the Greenland ice sheet releasing faster
The firn layers of the Greenland ice sheet might store less meltwater than previously assumed.
Using genes to understand the brain's building blocks
Understanding the cellular building blocks of the brain, including the number and diversity of cell types, is a fundamental step toward understanding brain function.
IU scientists create 'nano-reactor' for the production of hydrogen biofuel
Scientists at Indiana University have created a highly efficient biomaterial that catalyzes the formation of hydrogen -- one half of the 'holy grail' of splitting H2O to make hydrogen and oxygen for fueling cheap and efficient cars that run on water.
Map shows hotspots for bat-human virus transmission risk
West Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia are most at risk from bat viruses 'spilling over' into humans resulting in new emerging diseases, according to a new global map compiled by scientists at UCL, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the University of Edinburgh.
Study finds 'frictional heat' as a new trigger for explosive volcanic eruptions
A new study into magma ascent by geoscientists at the University of Liverpool has found that temperature may be more important than pressure in generating gas bubbles which trigger explosive volcanic eruptions.
Pediatric sickle cell study stopped early due to positive results
A national sickle cell disease study involving Medical University of South Carolina researchers found that for some children with sickle cell disease, the drug hydroxyurea is as effective as blood transfusions to reduce blood flow speeds in the brain.
Critical clues on cartilage
Researchers find that 'microdomains' -- non-fibrous areas within cartilage -- play a key role in the function of cartilage, and that information paves the way for better treatment of injuries such as knee meniscus tears and new therapies for osteoarthritis and age-related degeneration.
Gene thought to suppress cancer may actually promote spread of colorectal cancer
A gene that is known to suppress the growth and spread of many types of cancer has the opposite effect in some forms of colorectal cancer, University of Missouri School of Medicine researchers have found.
Rotational clock for stars needs recalibration
New work from a team of astronomers indicates that one recently developed method for determining a star's age needs to be recalibrated for stars older than our sun.
Register today for the Large Dairy Herd Management Conference
The ADSA Foundation invites registrations for the upcoming Large Dairy Herd Management (LDHM) Conference scheduled for May 1-4, 2016, at the Oak Brook Hills Resort in Oak Brook, Illinois.
The first European farmers are traced back to Anatolia
When farming spread throughout Europe some 8,000 years ago, Anatolia functioned as a hub, spreading genes and the new ideas westward.
A far from perfect host
Biologists at the universities of York and Exeter have published new research which shows that an ancient symbiosis is founded entirely on exploitation, not mutual benefit.
Artificial pancreas to undergo long-term clinical tests
A $12.7 million NIH grant will support one of the largest-ever long-term clinical trials of an a system designed to help regulate blood sugar levels of individuals with type 1 diabetes and could lead to eventual regulatory approval in the United States and abroad.
Weizmann Institute drug, TOOKAD Soluble, approved for prostate cancer therapy in Mexico
A successful Phase III clinical trial in Latin America confirmed the high rate of local cures and minimal side effects already reported in Phase II clinical trials.
OCT may speed detection of pneumonia-related bacteria in ICU patients
Hospital medical staff may soon be able to more quickly visualize the presence of biofilm in endotracheal tubes, lessening the risk of ventilator-associated pneumonia, reports a new article the Journal of Biomedical Optics.
Checklist completed for cultivars of Salix L. (willow)
The Checklist for Cultivars of Salix has been published. The checklist will promote the uniformity and accuracy of cultivar names of Salix and provide a baseline for new registrations.
EORTC study aims to qualify ADC as predictive imaging biomarker in preoperative regimens
'In studies led by the QuIC-ConCePT consortium, we established and tested a standardized and optimized DW-MRI protocol for reproducibility in a multicenter setting,' continues Professor Stroobants.
UT study: 'Born this way' beliefs may not be the key to reducing homophobia
In recent years, the argument that sexual orientation is innate has become a principal component of the advocacy for the rights of sexual minorities.
Study identifies medical specialties receiving highest payments from manufacturers
The Physician Payments Sunshine Act, passed under the Affordable Care Act, requires all pharmaceutical and medical device companies to report payments to physicians, including consulting fees, gifts, speaking fees, meals, travel and research grants.
The ugly consumer: Ridiculing those who shop ethically
No one wants to knowingly buy products made with child labor or that harm the environment.
US emergency departments face serious drug shortages
A new study reveals that drug shortages affecting emergency care have skyrocketed in the United States in recent years.
Poor transparency and reporting jeopardize the reproducibility of science
Reported research across the biomedical sciences rarely provides full protocol, data, and necessary level of transparency to verify or replicate the study, according to two articles publishing in PLOS Biology as part of a new Meta-Research Section, on Jan.
Challenges to conserving freshwater mussels in Europe
New research looks at the status of the 16 currently recognized freshwater mussel species in Europe, finding that information is unevenly distributed with considerable differences in data quality and quantity among countries and species.
Mayo Clinic researchers reduce stem cell dysfunction and metabolic disease in aged mice
Mayo Clinic researchers have taken what they hope will be the first step toward preventing and reversing age-related stem cell dysfunction and metabolic disease which includes diabetes.
Prostate surgery patients may have unrealistic expectations concerning their recovery
Patients who have undergone radical prostatectomy often have largely unrealistic expectations with regard to their postoperative sexual function, new research shows.
Infertility treatments do not appear to contribute to developmental delays in children
Children conceived via infertility treatments are no more likely to have a developmental delay than children conceived without such treatments, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health, the New York State Department of Health and other institutions.
Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act linked to more nutritious meals
The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act was associated with more nutritious school lunches chosen by students with no negative effect on school meal participation, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.
Manure applications elevate nitrogen accumulation and loss
Scientists investigated the impact of co-application of manures with chemical N fertilizer on N accumulation and loss in a greenhouse rotationally planted with cucumber or tomato and lettuce.
Virgin births may be common among snakes
A new review provides intriguing insights on parthenogenesis, or virgin birth, in snakes.
Cardiovascular disease in adult survivors of childhood cancer
For adult survivors of childhood cancer, cardiovascular disease presents at an earlier age, is associated with substantial morbidity, and is often asymptomatic.

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