Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 16, 2016
Injected drug reduces risk of fracture among women with osteoporosis
Among postmenopausal women with osteoporosis at risk of fracture, daily injection of the drug abaloparatide for 18 months significantly reduced the risk of new vertebral and nonvertebral fractures compared with placebo, according to a study appearing in the Aug.

Nobelist Frank Wilczek to receive 2016 Prange Prize
Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been named the 2016 recipient of the Richard E.

Solid batteries improve safety
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a lithium-ion battery made entirely of solid material: it contains neither liquids nor gels.

Researchers discover the hidden potential of disordered proteins
Scientists at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine have rediscovered the utility of disordered regions of proteins as drug targets.

Columbia University School of Nursing awarded $7.9 million grant to develop mobile HIV intervention
Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) comprise more than half the population living with HIV/AIDS in the US despite accounting for just 2 percent of the population.

Prenatal BPA exposure linked to anxiety and depression in boys
Boys exposed prenatally to a common chemical used in plastics may be more likely to develop symptoms of anxiety and depression at age 10-12.

Why peeing in the pool is more than just gross (video)
Summer would not be the same without the sweet smell of swimming pools.

Researchers explore the lifetime effects of cigarette smoke and genetics on infertility
In an effort to understand how specific genetic factors coupled with lifetime exposure to cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke may influence a woman's ability to conceive, University of Louisville researchers have been awarded a three-year, $440,000 grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development.

Down to the wire: ONR researchers and new bacteria
Scientists sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) have genetically modified a common soil bacteria to create electrical wires that not only conduct electricity, but are thousands of times thinner than a human hair.

Scientists explore oil clean-up properties of aquatic ferns
Certain varieties of aquatic floating weeds demonstrate an impressive ability to selectively absorb oil from contaminated water.

CMI, Oddello Industries pursue recovery of rare-earth magnets from used hard drives
A process developed for large-scale recovery of rare earth magnets from used computer hard drives will undergo industrial testing under a new agreement between Oddello Industries LLC and ORNL, as part of the Department of Energy's Critical Materials Institute.

A dog's dilemma: Do canines prefer praise or food?
Researchers seek to understand whether the dog-human bond is mainly about food, or about the relationship itself.

CDC study identifies patients with mild traumatic brain injury at increased risk of PTSD
A new study identified risk factors for the development of post-traumatic stress disorder following a mild traumatic brain injury, making it possible to screen for PTSD symptoms among at-risk populations.

Slower snowmelt affects downstream water availability in western mountains
Western communities are facing effects of a warming climate with slower and earlier snowmelt reducing streamflows and possibly the amount of water reaching reservoirs used for drinking water and agriculture, according to a study published recently.

And one root said to the other root, 'Don't I know you from somewhere?'
Findings show that cycad plants, like other plant species, utilize kin recognition.

New study reveals a novel protein linked to type 2 diabetes
Findings from Boston University School of Medicine, which appear in eLife, provide a possible explanation as to why most people who are obese develop insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Researchers identify the secret genetic weapon of Clostridium difficile
A trio of researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health in Houston, have identified the location of the genes that control production of toxins that harm people infected by Clostridium difficile bacteria.

Study details sources of discrepancies between initial and final pathology reports
University of Colorado Cancer Center study details the hospital procedures that lead to discrepancies between initial, intraoperative pathology evaluation and the results of the final, less pressured examination.

UNIST students honored with 2016 Global Ph.D. Fellowship
A total of 17 graduate students from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has been honored with 2016 Global Ph.D Fellowship.

Study: LGBT persons get limited educational info for assisted reproductive technology
With the recent one-year anniversary of Obergefell vs. Hodges -- the landmark US Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage -- researchers at Boston University School of Medicine have published a report that identifies unequal online availability of educational materials regarding assisted reproductive technology.

Bone marrow-derived stem cells offer blood transplant patients better quality of life
Large, nationwide study finds better psychological well-being, fewer graft-vs.-host disease symptoms and greater likelihood of returning to work among bone marrow transplant recipients.

Diet and exercise can reduce protein build-ups linked to Alzheimer's, UCLA study shows
A study by researchers at UCLA's Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior has found that a healthy diet, regular physical activity and a normal body mass index can reduce the incidence of protein build-ups that are associated with the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

New spectroscopic technique may help zero in on Martian life
As reported in the journal Carbon, MIT scientists have developed a technique that will help NASA's Mars rover quickly and non-invasively identify sediments that are relatively unaltered, and that maintain much of their original composition.

Use of feeding tubes decreases among nursing home residents with advanced dementia
In a study appearing in the Aug. 16 issue of JAMA, Susan L.

Cellular snowplow keeps genes open
A new discovery at Michigan State University has revealed how special genes stay open for business, helping diagram a mechanism that plays a key role in fighting inflammation and infections.

Data sharing should become routine for best response to public health emergencies
The recent outbreaks caused by Ebola and Zika viruses have highlighted the importance of medical and public health research in accelerating outbreak control and have prompted calls for researchers to share data rapidly and widely during public health emergencies.

Steroid treatment in very low birth weight infants may contribute to vision problems
It has long been suspected that steroids may have negative neurodevelopmental effects on very premature infants.

New Antarctic ice discovery aids future climate predictions
A team of British scientists has discovered a 65 percent reduction in sea ice during the last interglacial period around 128,000 years ago.

Duration of adulthood overweight and obesity linked to cancer risk in US women
The duration of overweight and obesity in women's adult lives is associated with cancer risk, according to a longitudinal study published in PLOS Medicine.

Newspapers, digital subscription services can optimize profits with new model
Researchers from the University of Missouri have developed a model that will enable newspapers to maximize their revenues from advertisements and subscriptions by offering a variety of subscription plans.

Fewer low clouds in the tropics
With the help of satellite data, ETH scientists have shown that low-level cloud cover in the tropics thins out as the earth warms.

Unhealthy habits cost Canadians 6 years of life
Unhealthy habits are costing Canadians an estimated six years of life, according to a study published today in PLOS Medicine.

MGH researchers identify key elements of cellular response to proteasome dysfunction
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have identified key molecules in the pathway by which cells in the C. elegans roundworm sense proteasome dysfunction, findings that may have application to treatment of several human diseases.

ESC Congress 2016 hot line tips
Get ready for the most highly anticipated cardiovascular science of the year in the ESC Congress 2016 hot lines.

Use of inpatient integrative therapies relies on physician and nurse collaboration
As part of a four-year NIH-funded study of pain and integrative medicine in the hospital, researchers used interviews with clinical staff to better understand the referral process for integrative medicine.

Boys more accurate at spotting offside, but not because they understand it better
Boys and girls are equally capable of understanding the offside rule in football, but it is boys' everyday experience of the game that makes them better at identifying players in offside positions, recent research from London Metropolitan University has found.

Sleep apnea worsens non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in obese adolescents
Researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine have published a new study showing that sleep apnea worsens non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in obese adolescents.

Studying blood flow dynamics to identify the heart of vessel failure
New research from a fluid mechanics team in Greece reveals how blood flow dynamics within blood vessels may influence where plaques develop or rupture this week in Physics of Fluids.

The surprising side effect of kissing up at work
Kissing up to your boss doesn't just impact your relationship with your supervisor, it can influence your co-workers, as well.

Healthy people more at ease socializing with stocky folks, but it can hinder weight loss
People trying to shed pounds -- but who hang out with heavier pals regularly -- are more likely to lose weight if they include thinner people in their social lives, according to a study by a Baylor University researcher.

Chronic pain linked to partners of people with depression
Partners of people with depression are more likely to suffer from chronic pain, research from the University of Edinburgh has found.

At work, hierarchies draw narcissist job hunters
People who have narcissistic tendencies are more likely to support hierarchies, according to research by Emily M.

Recently approved cholesterol medication not cost-effective; could substantially increase US health costs
Although the recently FDA-approved cholesterol-lowering drugs, PCSK9 inhibitors, could substantially reduce heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular deaths, they would not be cost-effective for use in patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia or atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, with annual drug prices needing to be reduced by more than two-thirds to meet a generally acceptable threshold for cost-effectiveness, according to a study appearing in the Aug.

McMaster researchers resolve a problem that has been holding back a technological revolution
Researchers at McMaster University have cleared that obstacle by developing a new way to purify carbon nanotubes -- the smaller, nimbler semiconductors that are expected to replace silicon within computer chips and a wide array of electronics.

Molecule prevents effect of chemotherapy
For the last three years the research team has been working on the development of a so-called biomarker to predict treatment effectiveness.

Most physicians recognize shaken baby syndrome as a medical diagnosis
University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher Daniel Lindberg and his colleagues have conducted a survey that represents the first national, multi-disciplinary physician opinion on the validity of shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma and the likelihood of types of harm, such as subdural hematoma, severe retinal hemorrhages, coma and death, to result from various causes.

Plaque psoriasis patients find many treatments, but few satisfied with their current plan
Psoriasis in America 2016, a new national survey by Health Union of nearly 600 individuals with psoriasis, reveals that although patients have numerous treatment options, they have difficulty finding treatment plans that work.

Study suggests ways to block hypertension in those with sleep apnea
Suppressing hydrogen sulfide production in the carotid body may block the hypertension associated with sleep apnea.

New species of extinct river dolphin discovered in Smithsonian collection
A fossil that has been in the collection of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History since it was discovered in 1951 is today helping scientists piece together the evolutionary history of whales and dolphins, including the origins of the endangered South Asian river dolphin.

Mix of marine zones matters most for prey fish
In a first-of-its-kind study, James Cook University scientists have discovered a mosaic mix of marine zones could benefit populations of prey fishes.

Wearable device for sleep optimization could decrease new PTSD cases in military
Brain State Technologies announces the presentation of a study that describes how use of a wearable neurotechnology device by military personnel could improve sleep and thereby lower the risk of developing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Elbows of extinct marsupial lion suggest unique hunting style
Scientists from the universities of Bristol and Málaga have proposed that the long extinct marsupial lion hunted in a very unique way -- by using its teeth to hold prey before dispatching them with its huge claws.

Computers trounce pathologists in predicting lung cancer type, severity, researchers find
Computers can be trained to be more accurate than pathologists in assessing slides of lung cancer tissues, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Syracuse University professor John Burdick to study social housing projects in Rio
Over three years, the team will observe a state-planned housing project that aims to provide housing titles to its residents; two buildings managed by a partnership between a housing rights organization and the state; a building physically occupied by squatters who are negotiating rights to turn the building into a self-managed cooperative; and a building of state-subsidized rentals.

Study casts doubt on claim that people are over-optimistic
A new study by King's College London, UCL and Birkbeck, University of London, casts doubt over claims that people are inherently over-optimistic or 'optimistically biased' about the future.

Hexagonal boron nitride semiconductors enable cost-effective detection of neutron signals
A group of Texas Tech University researchers led by Professors Hongxing Jiang and Jingyu Lin report this week in Applied Physics Letters that they have developed an alternative material -- hexagonal boron nitride semiconductors -- for neutron detection.

Sea ice strongly linked to climate change in past 90,000 years
Expansion and retreat of sea ice varied consistently in pace with rapid climate changes through past 90,000 years, a new study in Nature Communications shows.

International Society for Burn Injuries issues new guidelines on burn care
Burns can be among the most devastating of injuries. Following the formulation of practice guidelines that addressed the care and management of burn injuries in developed countries, the International Society for Burn Injuries (ISBI) has updated these recommendations to guide the improvement of care of burn patients in resource-limited settings.

New MRI technique sheds technology's longtime limits
A new technology creates images resolved enough to enable consistent diagnoses across populations for the first time.

Scientists find a salty way to kill MRSA
Scientists have discovered a new way to attack Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.

Researchers map Netflix's content delivery network for the first time
Scientists at Queen Mary University of London have revealed the network infrastructure used by Netflix for its content delivery, by mimicking the film request process from all over the world and analyzing the responses.

A new method simplifies blood biomarker discovery and analysis
Scientists at Karolinska Institutet in collaboration with Estonian Competence Centre on Health Technologies have developed a new gene expression analysis method to widen the usage of blood in biomarker discovery and analysis.

Using the outside world to save on brainpower
Every day, we rely on our physical surroundings -- friends, gadgets, and even hand gestures -- to manage incoming information and retain it.

Teaching machines to direct traffic through deep reinforcement learning
Automating traffic control is notoriously tricky because it involves two challenging tasks: modeling traffic flow and then optimizing it.

Tree-rings reveal secret clocks that could reset key dates across the ancient world
In a new paper, the authors explain how harvesting such data could revolutionize the study of ancient civilizations such as the Egyptian and Mayan worlds.

Expanded prenatal genetic testing may increase detection of carrier status for potentially serious genetic conditions
In an analysis that included nearly 350,000 adults of diverse racial and ethnic background, expanded carrier screening for up to 94 severe or profound conditions may increase the detection of carrier status for a variety of potentially serious genetic conditions compared with current recommendations from professional societies, according to a study appearing in the Aug.

Hey, tall guy! What's the politics like up there?
If you want to predict which political party someone will support, take note of the person's height.

Study shows wood windows are cooler than glass
Engineers at the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland (UMD) demonstrate in a new study that windows made of transparent wood could provide more even and consistent natural lighting and better energy efficiency than glass.

Snake eyes: New insights into visual adaptations
New insights into the relationship between ultraviolet (UV) filters and hunting methods in snakes is one of the findings of the first major study of visual pigment genes and lenses in snakes -- published in the advanced online edition of Molecular Biology and Evolution.

An ancient Mayan Copernicus
In a new paper, UCSB scholar says ancient hieroglyphic texts reveal Mayans made major discovery in math and astronomy.

Pitt engineers receive grant to develop fast computational modeling for 3-D printing
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering and Pittsburgh-based manufacturer Aerotech, Inc. received a grant from the National Science Foundation to develop new, fast computational methods for additive manufacturing.

Tube-feeding in dementia nursing home residents drops dramatically
The proportion of nursing home residents with advanced dementia and eating dependency who received feeding tubes decreased by approximately 50 percent between 2000 and 2014 according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Similar brain connectivity during rest and tasks linked to better mental performance
A brain on task differs from a brain at rest.

US taps NCAR technology for new water resources forecasts
As NOAA launches a comprehensive system this month for forecasting water resources, it's turning to NCAR technology.

Psychological impact of genetic testing to be explored in subset of NCI-MATCH patients
A quality-of-life research study will join the NCI-MATCH (EAY131) precision medicine cancer trial, already underway.

NIH explores connection between Ebola survival and co-infection with malaria parasites
People infected with Ebola virus were 20 percent more likely to survive if they were co-infected with malaria-causing Plasmodium parasites, according to data collected at an Ebola diagnostic laboratory in Liberia in 2014-15.

Soybean science blooms with supercomputers
Soybean Knowledge Base (SoyKB) project finds and shares comprehensive genetic and genomic soybean data through support of NSF-sponsored XSEDE high performance computing.

Female fish can favor sperm from preferred males despite external fertilization
Biologists studying a small, colorful fish in the Mediterranean Sea have discovered a new way in which a female can choose the best father for her offspring.

Big fish -- and their pee -- are key parts of coral reef ecosystems
Large, carnivorous fish excrete almost half of the key nutrients, phosphorus and nitrogen, that are essential for the survival of coral reefs.

Birds fly faster in large flocks
New research at Lund University in Sweden shows that the flight speed of birds is determined by a variety of factors.

It's true: Latinos age slower than other ethnicities
A UCLA study is the first to show that Latinos age at a slower rate than other ethnic groups.

Max Planck Florida's Sunposium 2017 Neural Circuits Conference
Sunposium™ 2017, MPFI's biennial neural circuits conference, will be held February 13-14, 2017 at Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach Florida.

US and Mexican controls on precursor chemicals may reduce cocaine and meth use in the US
In December 2006, the USA regulated sodium permanganate, a chemical essential to the manufacture of cocaine.

Cosmology: Lore of lonely regions
A research group led by Ludwig-Maximilians-Unversitaet in Munich physicist Nico Hamaus is calculating the dynamics of cosmic voids and deriving new insights into our entire universe.

Potential therapeutic target for Huntington's disease
There is new hope in the fight against Huntington's disease.

Energy Department to invest $16 million in computer design of materials
The US Department of Energy announced today that it will invest $16 million over the next four years to accelerate the design of new materials through use of supercomputers.

Alaska's 'Sleeping Lady'
Every year countless Alaskans and visitors gaze across Cook Inlet from Anchorage at the 'Sleeping Lady' silhouette of Mount Susitna.

Regenerative bandage heals diabetic wounds faster
A Northwestern University professor's antioxidant bandage heals wounds four times faster by delivering a protein that promotes cell repair.

Most adults know more than 42,000 words
Armed with a new list of words and using the power of social media, a new study published in Frontiers in Psychology has found that by the age of 20, a native English-speaking American knows 42,000 dictionary words.

Scientists on the prowl for 'the ultimate Pokémon'
Researchers are on a real-life search for what one calls 'the ultimate Pokémon': Zenkerella, an elusive scaly-tailed squirrel that has never been spotted alive by scientists.

Data on taxi routes and points of interest may improve crime predictions
Data on how taxis travel through communities and on how people label points of interest on social media could help analysts and criminologists better understand neighborhood crime rates in a city, according to Penn State researchers.

Can we economically outgrow climate change damages? Not for hurricanes we can't
When hurricanes like Katrina in 2005 or Sandy in 2012 impact on highly populated regions they bring about tremendous damages.

NASA sees wind shear affecting Tropical Storm Chanthu
Visible imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite showed wind shear was affecting Tropical Storm Chanthu as it moved parallel to the big island of Japan early on Aug.

Personalized nutrition is better than a 'one size fits all' approach in improving diets
People receiving personalized nutrition advice develop healthier eating habits including consuming less red meat and reducing their salt intake, a study has found.

Big PanDA tackles big data for physics and other future extreme scale scientific applications
A team of physicists just received $2.1 million in funding for 2016-2017 from DOE's Advanced Scientific Computing Research program to enhance a 'workload management system' for handling the ever-increasing data demands of two experiments at the Large Hadron Collider and expanding its use as a general workload management service for a Department of Energy supercomputer.

New discovery increases understanding of how plants and bacteria see light
Plants, bacteria and fungi react to light with light-sensitive proteins.

Harms reporting in trials of orlistat
The reporting of trials of orlistat in the 1990s appears to have understated harms, both in the summarized results submitted to the European Medicines Agency for drug approval, and in the published papers, according to a document analysis conducted by Jeppe Schroll and colleagues of the Nordic Cochrane Centre, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark, and published in PLOS Medicine.

Genetic and environmental risk factors for chronic pain
Both genetic factors and family environment contribute to risk for chronic pain, and contributions of many genes contribute to risk of both chronic pain and major depressive disorder (MDD), according to a new study published in PLOS Medicine.

New study: Neonicotinoid insecticides linked to wild bee decline across England
Exposure to neonicotinoid seed treated oilseed rape crops has been linked to long-term population decline of wild bee species across the English countryside, according to research published today in Nature Communications. 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