Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 05, 2016
Remembering past events might take place quicker than we thought, research shows
Research published in the Journal of Neuroscience has shown that retrieving memories of events from our past may take place quicker than we previously thought -- and it is possible to interfere with that process.

Sugar-based carbon hollow spheres that mimic moth eyes
Researchers from Research Institute for Nuclear Problems of Belarusian State University in Belarus and Institut Jean Lamour-Université de Lorraine in France have developed a novel, low-cost, ultra-lightweight material that could be used as an effective anti-reflective surface for microwave radiation based on the eyes of moths.

Racial disparities in kidney transplantation rates eased by new allocation system
Year-old changes to the system that distributes deceased donor kidneys nationwide have significantly boosted transplantation rates for black and Hispanic patients on waiting lists, reducing racial disparities inherent in the previous allocation formula used for decades, according to results of research led by a Johns Hopkins transplant surgeon.

UTSA-led team finds black hole affecting galactic climate
A team of researchers led by Eric Schlegel, Vaughn Family Endowed Professor in Physics at The University of Texas at San Antonio, has discovered a powerful galactic blast produced by a giant black hole about 26 million light years from Earth.

Waste less at home
Consumer food waste carries the highest environmental impact compared to losses earlier in the food chain, and it is no longer a problem concentrated only in higher income countries.

Mental synthesis experiment could teach us more about our imagination
While there is general consensus that the ability to imagine a never-before-seen object or concept is a unique human trait, we know little about the neurological mechanism behind it.

Sharing of research data and findings should be the norm in public health emergencies
Opting in to data sharing should be the default practice during public health emergencies, such as the recent Ebola epidemic, and barriers to sharing data and findings should be removed to ensure those responding to the emergency have the best available evidence at hand according to Vasee Moorthy and colleagues from the World Health Organization (WHO) in a Policy Forum article published in PLOS Medicine, and an accompanying Perspective article by Patrick Vallance and colleagues.

Study details how good bacteria might help prevent middle ear infections and pneumonia
A new study from the Forsyth Institute is helping to shed more light on the important connections among the diverse bacteria in our microbiome.

CNIO finds a possible new pharmacological target for one of the most important and elusive oncogenes
MYC is altered in more than half of human cancers, and it is often associated with very aggressive tumors.

Biogerontology Research Foundation calls for a task force to classify aging as a disease
In two consecutive papers published in Frontiers in Genetics and through a multi-paper research topic in the same journal, scientists at the Biogerontology Research Foundation together with multiple collaborators propose a task force to be created to classify aging as a disease in the context of the upcoming 11th World Health Organization's (WHO) International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11).

New findings on embryonic heart valves may prevent congenital heart defects in newborns
Cornell biomedical engineers have discovered natural triggers that could reduce the chance of life-threatening, congenital heart defects among newborn infants.

New bimetallic alloy nanoparticles for printed electronic circuits
A Toyohashi Tech researcher, in cooperation with researchers at Duke University, has invented a production method for oxidation-resistant copper alloy nanoparticles for printed electronics.

Long-term follow-up of risk of cancer among twins
In a long-term follow-up study among approximately 200,000 Nordic twin individuals, there was an increased cancer risk in twins whose co-twin was diagnosed with cancer, with an increased risk for cancer overall and for specific types of cancer, including prostate, melanoma, breast, ovary, and uterus, according to a study in the Jan.

Adhesion ABC
Scientists from the Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore at the National University of Singapore have discovered the universal building blocks that cells use to form initial connections with the surrounding environment.

Changes in brain connectivity protect against developing bipolar disorder
Naturally occurring changes in brain wiring can help patients at high genetic risk of developing bipolar disorder avert the onset of the illness, according to a new study led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published online today in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

Study: Bacteria, electrons spin in similar patterns
Scientists at MIT and Cambridge University have identified an unexpected shared pattern in the collective movement of bacteria and electrons: As billions of bacteria stream through a microfluidic lattice, they synchronize and swim in patterns similar to those of electrons orbiting around atomic nuclei in a magnetic material.

Medicaid tobacco cessation: Big gaps remain in efforts to get smokers to quit
A new study, published in the January 2016 issue of Health Affairs, by researchers at Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, provides new data on how often state Medicaid programs provide help with smoking cessation.

Far-out, early-stage tech at CES 2016 Eureka Park
Nearly two dozen small businesses supported by the National Science Foundation will demonstrate pre-market consumer technologies at CES® 2016 Eureka Park, a global stage dedicated to up-and-coming technology born from fundamental science and engineering innovation.

Use of oral antifungal medication during pregnancy, risk of spontaneous abortion
In an analysis of approximately 1.4 million pregnancies in Denmark, use of the oral antifungal medication fluconazole during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of spontaneous abortion compared with risk among unexposed women and women who used a topical antifungal during pregnancy, according to a study in the Jan.

Findings question implications of notifying patients of incidental genetic findings
A review of medical records of patients with genetic variations linked with cardiac disorders found that patients often did not have any symptoms or signs of the conditions, questioning the validity of some genetic variations thought to be related to serious disorders, according to a study in the Jan.

Palliative care offers greater cost savings for cancer patients with multiple chronic conditions
Patients with incurable cancer and numerous other serious health conditions who consulted with a palliative care team within two days of hospitalization had significant savings in hospital costs, according to a new study led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Association for Cancer Physicians releases cancer patient strategy for UK
The Association for Cancer Physicians, which represents and supports medical oncologists in the UK, has published a new strategy for improving cancer patient services and outcomes.

A new GMO technology could prevent human disease or make designer babies
A new genetic modification technology called CRISPR has revolutionized many aspects of science.

Energy: Sources, Utilization, Legislation, Sustainability, Illinois as Model State
Energy was written to educate its readers about all aspects of energy -- including energy sources, energy utilization, and legislation related to better use and the move towards renewable energy and sustainability.

DHEA improves vaginal discomfort after menopause
A new phase III trial with positive results is taking intravaginal DHEA a step closer to governmental approval.

Female urologists still earn less money than their male counterparts
Although the field of urology remains largely male dominated, the proportion of female physicians specializing in urology has increased from less than 0.5percent in 1981 to 10 percent today, and 33 percent of students entering urology internships and residency programs are now female.

Polyurethane phase morphology induces endothelial cell organization
This study demonstrates that role of nanostructured biphasic morphology of segmental polyurethanes as a matrix signal for organization of endothelial cells into network structures.

Mosquitoes more likely to lay eggs in water sources near flowers
Certain mosquitoes are more likely to lay eggs in water sources near flowers than in water sources without flowers, according to an article published in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

A stronger ethical culture within the US military health care environment is needed
The health professional community should urge the United States Secretary of Defense to adopt and implement the recent recommendations of the Defense Health Board, and in addition rescind directives authorizing participation of health professionals in interrogation and force-feeding because they are inconsistent with professional ethics according to Leonard Rubenstein, from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Berman Institute of Bioethics, Baltimore, and colleagues in a new Essay published this week in PLOS Medicine.

An apatite for progress
Apatite has recently gained considerable attention as a mineral with many uses within the Earth and planetary sciences.

Why daring to compare online prices pays off offline
A study from Concordia University shows that, when setting in-store prices or offering price-matching guarantees, offline retailers should focus more on online retailer ratings than on offering the lowest prices.

Study: We trust in those who believe in God
A new study suggests including religion in campaign speeches feeds a belief that those who are religious to some extent are trustworthy and viewed more favorably.

E-cigarettes deliver sufficient nicotine to suppress smoking desire and reduce tobacco withdrawal symptoms in smokers, comparable to Nicorette
A new study measures effectiveness of e-cigarettes in reducing tobacco withdrawal symptoms.

Inside the hepatitis C virus is a promising antiviral
A peptide derived from the hepatitis C virus (HCV) kills a broad range of viruses while leaving host cells unharmed by discriminating between the molecular make-up of their membranes, reveals a study published Jan.

Antidepressant drug linked with increased risk of birth defects when taken in early pregnancy
Using paroxetine -- a medication prescribed to treat conditions including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder -- during the first trimester of pregnancy may increase newborns' risk of congenital malformations and cardiac malformations.

Commensal bacteria regulate immune cells in lungs to produce proteins for host defense
Microbiota regulate the ability of lung dendritic cells to generate immune responses.

Irradiation preserves blueberry, grape quality
Scientists monitored the effects of irradiation on the quality of three varieties of blueberries and two varieties of grapes treated at phytosanitary dose levels.

Why white, older men are more likely to die of suicide
An important factor in white men's psychological brittleness and vulnerability to suicide once they reach late life may be dominant scripts of masculinity, aging and suicide, a Colorado State University psychology researcher says.

What a 'CERN' for agricultural science could look like
The Large Hadron Collider found success in a simple idea: invest in a laboratory that no one institution could sustain on their own and then make it accessible for physicists around the world.

Cannabis-based drug reduces seizures in children with treatment-resistant epilepsy
Children and young adults with severe forms of epilepsy that does not respond to standard antiepileptic drugs have fewer seizures when treated with purified cannabinoid, according to a multi-center study led by researchers from UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco.

MOU between Kavli IPMU and ISM broadens research collaboration
The Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe and The Institute of Statistical Mathematics signed a memorandum of understanding on Jan.

HIV/AIDS management: Trial shows importance of cotrimoxazole prophylaxis in malaria-endemic regions
Cotrimoxazole (CTX) discontinuation is inferior to CTX continuation among ART-treated, immune-reconstituted HIV-infected adults living in a malaria-endemic region, according to a trial published this week in PLOS Medicine by Christina Polyak and colleagues.

Autumn Symposium 2015: Presentations now online
Real world data: a gain for benefit assessments? Experts from Germany and abroad presented their opinions on this topic.

Symptoms and quality of life after military brain injury -- Research update from Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
New research shows four distinct patterns of symptoms after mild traumatic brain injury in military service members, and validates a new tool for assessing the quality-of-life impact of TBI.

Study finds no increased risk of autism, ADHD with prenatal antidepressant exposure
An analysis of medical records data from three Massachusetts health care systems finds no evidence that prenatal exposure to antidepressants increases the risk for autism and related disorders or for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Study raises questions about reporting incidental genetic findings
The study of 2,022 patients identified 63 who had genetic variations considered to be 'potentially pathogenic' -- capable of producing arrhythmias.

Free transportation education and training now at UTA
Texas cities and counties may now access free expertise in transportation training, safety instruction, heavy equipment courses and other services through a the Texas Local Technical Assistance Program operated by The University of Texas at Arlington.

High blood sugar levels could lead to heart attack complications
Foods high in sugar could affect heart's recovery according to University of Leicester study.

The brain can be trained to regulate negative emotions -- Ben-Gurion University study
'These findings are the first to demonstrate that non-emotional training that improves the ability to ignore irrelevant information can result in reduced brain reactions to emotional events and alter brain connections,' says Dr.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, January 2016
January 2016 story tips include: Unmanned Aerial Systems Research Center at ORNL offers world of opportunities; New ORNL material offers clear advantages for consumer products and more; Hospital occupancy data helping ORNL study population distribution; Laser beams, plasmonic sensors able to detect trace biochemical compounds; ORNL devises new tool to map vegetation, wildlife habitat; ORNL software connects dots of disparate data; ORNL breaks mold with steel like none other.

Flying lab to investigate Southern Ocean's appetite for carbon
An NCAR-led team of scientists is launching a series of research flights this month over the remote Southern Ocean in an effort to better understand just how much carbon dioxide the icy waters are able to lock away.

Twin study estimates familial risks of 23 different cancers
A large new study of twins has found that having a twin sibling diagnosed with cancer poses an excess risk for the other twin to develop any form of cancer.

Wage gap could explain why women are more likely to be anxious and depressed than men
The odds of major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder were markedly greater among women who earned less than their male counterparts, with whom they were matched on education and years of experience.

Flying lab to investigate Southern Ocean's appetite for carbon
A team of scientists supported by the National Science Foundation will launch a series of research flights over the remote Southern Ocean this month to better understand just how much carbon dioxide its icy waters can lock away.

Put the cellphone away! Fragmented baby care can affect brain development
Mothers, put down your smartphones when caring for your babies!

Twenty new freshwater fish species uncovered in Australia
Researchers have discovered a record 20 new fish species while conducting fieldwork in the remote Kimberley, unveiling it as Australia's most biodiverse region for freshwater fish.

Genetic changes in birds could throw light on human mitochondrial diseases
Deakin University and UNSW Australia researchers have made a rare observation of rapid evolution in action in the wild, documenting the spread of a newly arisen genetic mutation in invasive starlings, which could shed light on mitochondrial disease in humans.

Radiation an important addition to treatment for pancreatic cancer surgery candidates
Radiation therapy was associated with a lower risk of cancer recurrence in pancreatic cancer surgery patients, making it, like chemotherapy, an important addition to treatment, Mayo Clinic research found.

Thor's hammer to crush materials at 1 million atmospheres
Thor, expected to be 40 times more efficient than Sandia's Z machine, the world's largest and most powerful pulsed-power accelerator, is expected to dramatically improve the design of similar machines aiming for high-yield fusion.

Study of a pregnant cockroach paves a new direction in genetics research
Examination could hold wider applications on how stress during pregnancy affects mothers and offspring.

Service-learning courses can positively impact post-graduate salaries, UGA study finds
Service-learning experiences in college can reach beyond the classroom -- and help grow graduates' bank accounts once they enter the workforce, according to a recent University of Georgia study.

Parkinson's disease: New insights into a traveling protein
In Parkinson's disease, the protein 'alpha-synuclein' aggregates within neurons of patients and appears to propagate across interconnected areas of the brain.

Fast & sharp: Medicaid expansion gives hospitals immediate relief from uninsured care
Just six months after opening up health insurance to more low-income people, states saw a huge drop in the amount of care their hospitals provided to uninsured patients, and a rise in care for people with coverage, a new study finds.

Traveling salesman uncorks synthetic biology bottleneck
Researchers have created a computer program that will open a challenging field in synthetic biology to the entire world -- repetitive polypeptides.

NREL research advances hydrogen production efforts
Researchers at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have made advances toward affordable photoelectrochemical (PEC) production of hydrogen.

Local health departments key to expanding mental health care in US
A study conducted by a group of researchers at Drexel University found that a significant number of local health departments offer some form of mental health care services, but could play an even more important role in extending mental health care services to other institutions and facilities across the country.

NREL and CSEM jointly set new efficiency record with dual-junction solar cell
Scientists at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and at the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) have jointly set a new world record for converting non-concentrated (1-sun) sunlight into electricity using a dual-junction III-V/Si solar cell.

PPPL scientists simulate innovative method for starting up tokamaks without using solenoid
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory have produced self-consistent computer simulations that capture the evolution of an electric current inside fusion plasma without using a central electromagnet, or solenoid.

Lipoprotein nanoplatelets shed new light on biological molecules and cells
An interdisciplinary research team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has developed a new material composite derived from quantum dots.

Kaolin effectively controls whitefly in beans
Scientists determined the influence of kaolin on development of populations of whitefly in greenhouses, and its effect on the physiological characteristics of bean crops.

Levetiracetam shows promise for the treatment of feline audiogenic reflex seizures
A group of UK-based investigators from Davies Veterinary Group and the UCL School of Pharmacy, who recently engaged the veterinary world with an article defining the previously undocumented syndrome of feline audiogenic reflex seizures, have published follow-up findings about the treatment of the condition.

NREL's Min Zhang keeps her 'hugs' happy, leading to biofuel breakthroughs
National Renewable Energy Laboratory Senior Scientist Min Zhang has a special relationship with Zymomonas mobilis, a rod-shaped bacterium that has bioethanol-producing capabilities.

Do no harm: Examining the impact of medical students' short-term international study
International study experiences are a valuable and increasingly expected part of medical students' academic experience, but authors of a new article in Academic Medicine say not all programs leave patients and communities better off.

Traditional Medicaid expansion and 'private option' both improve access to health care
Two different approaches used by states to expand Medicaid coverage for low-income adults -- traditional expansion and the 'private option' -- appear to be similarly successful in reducing numbers of the uninsured and in expanding access to and affordability of health care.

Fearful chickens and worried mice: Shared genetic influences on anxiety
Chickens that chicken out in unfamiliar surroundings may shed light on anxiety in humans, according to research published in the January issue of the journal GENETICS, a publication of the Genetics Society of America.

Let's go wild: How ancient communities resisted new farming practices
Analysis of grinding stones reveals that North African communities may have moved slowly and cautiously from hunter-gatherer lifestyles to more settled farming practices.

Study finds cerebrovascular disease to be major determinant of psychosis in patients with Alzheimer's
About half of all patients with Alzheimer's disease develop symptoms of psychosis, such as delusions or hallucinations.

People face subconscious urges to over-eat in Winter, research shows
People have evolved to have subconscious urges to over-eat, and limited ability to avoid becoming obese, especially in winter, a University of Exeter study has found.

Coral, seaweed and fishy appetites
Scientists find that coral touched by seaweed is repulsive to butterflyfish -- an early signal that coral reef health could be jeopardized.

Monitoring chicken flock behaviour could help combat leading cause of food poisoning
A new technique that monitors the movement of chickens can be used to predict which flocks are at risk of becoming infected with Campylobacter -- the most common bacterial source of food poisoning in humans in the UK.

First ever digital geologic map of Alaska published
A new digital geologic map of Alaska is being released providing land users, managers and scientists geologic information for the evaluation of land use in relation to recreation, resource extraction, conservation, and natural hazards.

Exercise, diet improves ability to exercise for patients with common type of heart failure
Among obese older patients with a common type of heart failure, calorie restriction or aerobic exercise training improved their ability to exercise without experiencing shortness of breath, although neither intervention had a significant effect on a measure of quality of life, according to a study in the Jan.

Scientists discover nursery ground for sand tiger sharks in Long Island's Great South Bay
Scientists and veterinarians working for WCS's New York Aquarium have discovered something noteworthy in the near shore waters of Long Island's Great South Bay: a nursery ground for the sand tiger shark, a fearsome-looking but non-aggressive fish.

Exercise could work as treatment for prostate cancer
A newly-launched Cancer Research UK study could be the first step towards exercise training being introduced as a new NHS treatment for prostate cancer.

Tropical Storm Ula weakens, moves south
Former hurricane Ula has weakened to a tropical storm in the Southern Pacific Ocean.

Promising new approach for controlled fabrication of carbon nanostructures
An international team of researchers including Professor Federico Rosei and members of his group at INRS has developed a new strategy for fabricating atomically controlled carbon nanostructures used in molecular carbon-based electronics.

January Health Affairs: Impact of violence on Mexico's life expectancy
One of the studies in the January issue of Health Affairs examines life expectancy trends in Mexico between 2000 and 2010 and notes that homicide rates in the second half of the decade caused male life expectancy to stagnate.

Injuries among Dungeness crab fishermen examined in new OSU study
Commercial Dungeness crab fishing on the West Coast is one of the highest risk occupations in the United States, based on fatality rates.

Premium-based financial incentives did not motivate obese employees to lose weight
Employers around the nation are increasingly searching for ways to help their employees make healthy lifestyle choices including encouraging obese employees to lose weight, often by offering financial incentives in the form of reduced health insurance premiums to help encourage success.

Penetrating head gunshot wounds in children and adolescents: Factors predicting outcomes
Researchers from Memphis, Tennessee, have examined intracranial gunshot wounds (GSWs) in children and adolescents, and identified nine clinical, laboratory, and radiological factors that were predictive of these patients' outcomes.

First clinical practice guidelines call for lifelong maintenance of restored teeth
UConn School of Dental Medicine's Dr. Avinash Bidra is the lead author of the first national clinical practice guidelines for caring for patients with teeth restorations such as crowns, bridges, veneers and implants.

During Great Recession employees drank less on the job, but more afterwards
Periods of economic uncertainty tend to influence drinking problems among people who lose their jobs, as some turn to alcohol due to stress or because they have more free time and fewer responsibilities.

Diet proven to lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease also ranked No. 1 easiest to follow
A diet proven showed that it helped lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease by as much as 53 percent in participants who adhered to the diet rigorously has also been ranked as the easiest diet to follow by US News & World Report.

Global mercury regulations to have major economic benefits for US
In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, MIT researchers report that global action on reducing mercury emissions will lead to twice the economic benefits for the US, compared with domestic action, by 2050.

The dandelion uses latex to protect its roots against insect feeding
Dandelions are troublesome weeds that are detested by most gardeners.

A broken bone may lead to widespread body pain -- not just at the site of the fracture
Breaking a major bone may increase risk of widespread chronic body pain in later life, a new study has found.

Fighting fire with FireFOAM
Researchers at insurance company FM Global are using Titan to try and better understand fire growth and suppression.

Heavy users of mental health care have substantially different patterns of health care use
While a small number of people account for a disproportionately large portion of health services use, heavy users of mental health care have substantially different patterns of health care use than other heavy users of health care, according to new research by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES).

Does urban living make us gain (or lose) weight?
The citizens of Lausanne may provide some insight into the causes of obesity.

EARTH: The Snowmastodon Project
While expanding a reservoir in Snowmass Village, Colo., workers stumbled upon a big bone.

Inventive thinkers at NREL reach record number
The eureka moments can come fast and furious at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which last fiscal year racked up a record 169 inventions.

Novel RNA delivery system may treat incurable blood cancers
Mantle Cell Lymphoma is considered the most aggressive known blood cancer, and available therapies are scarce.

Over 400 conditions co-occur with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), study finds
Researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have identified 428 distinct disease conditions that co-occur in people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), in the most comprehensive review of its kind.

Harold Alfond Foundation awards Bigelow Laboratory $3.1 million for residence
The Harold Alfond Foundation today announced a $3.1 million award to Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences for construction of a 32-bed student and visiting scientist residence with four visitor's apartments on the Laboratory's East Boothbay Campus.

Study shows high frequency of spontaneous mutation in Ebola virus
In a Journal of Virology paper, Texas Biomed Scientist Dr.

New material for detecting photons captures more quantum information
Detecting individual particles of light just got a bit more precise -- by 74 picoseconds to be exact -- thanks to advances in materials by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers and their colleagues in fabricating superconducting nanowires.

Powerful protein promotes post-injury regeneration and growth of injured peripheral nerves
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine scientists have demonstrated in lab animals the regenerative dynamics of a specific signaling protein, C-C class chemokine 2 (CCL2).

Mexico's murder rate led to decrease in men's average life expectancy in first decade
UCLA research shows how Mexico's staggering murder rate led to a decrease in men's average life expectancy, and slowed the increase in women's life expectancy, in the first decade of the 21st century.

NREL's cybersecurity initiative aims to wall off the smart grid from hackers
A new initiative underway at Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is intended to prevent hackers from gaining control of parts of the nation's power grid, potentially damaging electrical equipment and causing localized power outages. 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