Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (November 2014)

Science news and science current events archive November, 2014.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from November 2014

Who will come to your bird feeder in 2075?
The distribution of birds in the United States today will probably look very different in 60 years as a result of climate, land use and land cover changes.

Scientists solve reptile mysteries with landmark study on the evolution of turtles
A team of scientists, including researchers from the California Academy of Sciences, has reconstructed a detailed 'tree of life' for turtles. Next generation sequencing technologies in Academy labs have generated unprecedented amounts of genetic information for a thrilling new look at turtles' evolutionary history. Authors place turtles in the newly named group 'Archelosauria' with their closest relatives: birds, crocodiles, and dinosaurs.

Is your relationship moving toward marriage? If it isn't, you probably can't admit it
Dating couples who have moved toward marriage over the course of their relationship remember accurately what was going on at each stage of their deepening commitment. But couples whose commitment to each other has stagnated or regressed are far less accurate in their memories of their relationships, says a new University of Illinois study.

More children surviving dilated cardiomyopathy without heart transplant
More children are surviving dilated cardiomyopathy without a heart transplant.

Linking diet to human and environmental health
The world is gaining weight and becoming less healthy, and global dietary choices are harming the environment.

Scientists develop scoring scheme that predicts ability of cancer cells to spread
Scientists at the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore at the National University of Singapore and their collaborators have developed a scoring scheme that predicts the ability of cancer cells to spread to other parts of the body, a process known as metastasis. This system, which is the first of its kind, opens up the possibility to explore new treatments that suppress metastasis in cancer patients.

Study ties conflict risk in sub-Saharan Africa to climate change, economics, geography
A massive new University of Colorado Boulder study indicates there is a statistical link between hotter temperatures generated by climate change and the risk of armed conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa.

Reprogramming 'support cells' into neurons could repair injured adult brains
The cerebral cortex lacks the ability to replace neurons that die as a result of Alzheimer's, stroke, and other devastating diseases. A new study shows that a Sox2 protein, alone or in combination with another protein, Ascl1, can cause nonneuronal cells, called NG2 glia, to turn into neurons in the injured cerebral cortex of adult mice. The findings reveal that NG2 glia represent a promising target for neuronal cell replacement strategies to treat brain injury.

How to get teens and young adults with chronic conditions to take their medications
Many young patients with chronic conditions don't take their medications correctly.

Can stress management help save honeybees?
Honeybee populations are clearly under stress -- from the Varroa mite, insecticides, and other factors -- but it's been difficult to pinpoint any one of them as the root cause of devastating losses in honeybee hives. Researchers in a new paper say that the problem likely stems from a complex and poorly understood interplay of stresses and their impact on bee health. It's a situation they suspect might be improved through stress management and better honeybee nutrition.

Researchers discern the shapes of high-order Brownian motions
For the first time, scientists have vividly mapped the shapes and textures of high-order modes of Brownian motions -- in this case, the collective macroscopic movement of molecules in microdisk resonators. Case Western Reserve University engineers used a record-setting scanning optical interferometry technique.

Electronic monitoring device may help lower salt intake
Using an electronic monitoring device may help heart failure patients and their families stick to a low-salt diet, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2014.

Researchers find way to turn sawdust into gasoline
Researchers at KU Leuven's Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis have successfully converted sawdust into building blocks for gasoline. Using a new chemical process, they were able to convert the cellulose in sawdust into hydrocarbon chains. These hydrocarbons can be used as an additive in gasoline, or as a component in plastics. The researchers reported their findings in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.

Hospital workers wash hands less frequently toward end of shift, study finds
Hospital workers who deal directly with patients wash their hands less frequently as their workday progresses, probably because the demands of the job deplete the mental reserves they need to follow rules, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

Fast-food outlets in inner city neighborhoods fuel diabetes and obesity epidemic
A new study led by University of Leicester reveals that there is twice the number of fast-food outlets in inner city neighborhoods with high density non-white ethnic minority groups and in socially deprived areas.

Multi-million pound grant awarded to research secure communication technologies
Royal Holloway, University of London, and seven other leading universities have announced the creation of a new collaboration to develop secure communication technologies for consumer, commercial and government markets.

Subtle shifts in the Earth could forecast earthquakes, tsunamis
Earthquakes and tsunamis can be giant disasters no one sees coming, but now an international team of scientists led by a University of South Florida professor have found that subtle shifts in the earth's offshore plates can be a harbinger of the size of the disaster.

LSU Health New Orleans awarded $2.2 million to support young breast cancer survivors
The LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health has been awarded a $2.2 million grant to increase the availability of health information and support services for young breast cancer survivors in the Gulf South. The funding, awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over five years, will support the development and implementation of strategic and integrated multi-media health education and awareness campaigns to address their health information needs.

UNL study details laser pulse effects on electron behavior
Paper should help laser physicists 'see' how electrons make atomic and molecular transitions.

Study highlights prevalence of mistreatment between nursing home residents
Inappropriate, disruptive, or hostile behavior between nursing home residents is a sizable and growing problem, according to new research from Weill Cornell Medical College and Cornell University.

Male bullies father more chimpanzees
In a long-term study of interactions between chimpanzees in the famous Gombe National Park in Tanzania, researchers have found that males who consistently bully females tend to father more babies with their victims.

CNIO researchers create a mouse model that reproduces noonan syndrome
A single mutation in the mouse genome -- within the K-Ras gene -- reproduces the main alterations found in humans of this rare syndrome, which include short stature, facial dysmorphia, cardiac dysfunction and haematological alterations Researchers are able to prevent the development of symptoms via prenatal treatment with MEK inhibitors The discovery opens avenues to novel therapeutic strategies for the disease

News from Annals of Internal Medicine Supplement
The US Preventive Services Task Force found insufficient evidence to assess the benefits and harms of screening for vitamin D deficiency in asymptomatic adults. The recommendation statement and systematic evidence review are being published together in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Two studies, 2 editorials put focus on school breakfasts, lunches
Schools offering Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC) had higher participation in the national school breakfast program and attendance, but math and reading achievement did not differ between schools with or without BIC, according to a study published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

New global wildfire analysis indicates humans need to coexist and adapt
A new study led by the University of California, Berkeley and involving the University of Colorado Boulder indicates the current response to wildfires around the world -- aggressively fighting them -- is not making society less vulnerable to such events.

Fat around the heart may cause irregular heartbeat
The layer of fat around the outside of the heart is more closely associated with atrial fibrillation than the most common measure of obesity, body mass index, a study has found.

Small fraction of students attended schools with USDA nutrition components
If the latest US Department of Agriculture standards for school meals and food sold in other venues such as vending machines and snack bars are fully implemented, there is potential to substantially improve school nutrition because only a small fraction of students attended schools with five USDA healthy nutritional components in place from 2008 through 2012, according to a study published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

Good cause + moderate discount = more sales
Many businesses now offer customers the opportunity to make charitable donations to good causes along with their purchases, but does this really encourage the customer to buy more? According to a new study in the Journal of Marketing, the answer is a firm 'Yes.'

Almost three-quarters of patients with no coronary heart disease have persistent symptoms
Almost three-quarters of patients investigated for coronary heart disease, and given the all-clear, still have persistent symptoms up to 18 months later, indicates a small study published in the online journal Open Heart. Certain investigations seem to deepen fears about heart health and perpetuate physical symptoms, the findings suggest.

Using technology to decrease the knowledge gap between Ugandan men and women
If an in-the-flesh Extension specialist isn't available to provide training, is a video of the specialist's presentation or a video of a new agricultural practice a good substitute? The answer, according to a University of Illinois study with farmers in rural Uganda, isn't simple, particularly when gender is factored into the equation.

Healthy gut microbiota can prevent metabolic syndrome, researchers say
Promoting healthy gut microbiota, the bacteria that live in the intestine, can help treat or prevent metabolic syndrome, a combination of risk factors that increases a person's risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke, according to researchers at Georgia State University and Cornell University. Their findings are published in the journal Gastroenterology.

Stanford biologists explore link between memory deficit and misfiring circadian clock
By disrupting Siberian hamsters' circadian rhythms, Stanford scientists have identified a part of the brain that, when misfiring, inhibits memory. The work could lead to therapies for neurodegenerative diseases in humans.

Penn-Dresden study blocks multiple sclerosis relapses in mice
In a new study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and co-investigators have identified a key protein that is able to reduce the severity of a disease equivalent to multiple sclerosis in mice.

Patients with emergency-diagnosed lung cancer report barriers to seeing their GP
Many patients whose lung cancer is diagnosed as an emergency in hospital reported difficulties in previously seeing their general practitioner.

Feeling -- not being -- wealthy drives opposition to wealth redistribution
People's views on income inequality and wealth distribution may have little to do with how much money they have in the bank and a lot to do with how wealthy they feel in comparison to their friends and neighbors, according to new findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

A new genetic cause for a progressive form of epilepsy identified
An international research consortium has discovered a new gene underlying progressive myoclonus epilepsy, one of the most devastating forms of epilepsy. The study showed that a single mutation in a potassium ion channel gene underlies a substantial proportion of unsolved cases. It is estimated that the mutation is carried by hundreds of patients worldwide. The study utilized modern DNA sequencing technologies, which have revolutionized genetic research of rare, severe diseases.

The 2014 Wilder-Penfield Prize goes to Michael Meaney
The Douglas Mental Health University Institute is proud to announce that its researcher and neurobiologist, Michael Meaney, C.M., Ph.D., C.Q., FRSC, is the 2014 laureate of the prestigious prix Wilder-Penfield.

Chemical in coffee may help prevent obesity-related disease
Researchers at the University of Georgia have discovered that a chemical compound commonly found in coffee may help prevent some of the damaging effects of obesity.

People who gained weight after quitting smoking still had lower death risk
People who gained weight after quitting smoking still had lower death risk.

Better micro-actuators to transport materials in liquids
Researchers have developed improved forms of tiny magnetic actuators thanks to new materials and a microscopic 3-D printing technology.

How do we design economic behavior to enhance social governance?
Inclusive Economic Theory revisits the foundations of economic theory to answer these and a host of other similar questions. It shows that neoclassical rationalism, including Herbert Simon's refinements is predicated on 20 weak or fatally flawed axioms that tarnish claims for Pareto competitive efficiency.

Can love make us mean?
Empathy is among humanity's defining characteristics. Understanding another person's plight can inspire gentle emotions and encourage nurturing behaviors. Yet under certain circumstances, feelings of warmth, tenderness and sympathy can in fact predict aggressive behaviors, according to a recent study by two University at Buffalo researchers.

New technique to help produce next-generation photonic chips
Researchers from the University of Southampton have developed a new technique to help produce more reliable and robust next generation photonic chips.

MMRF leads initiative to accelerate development of targeted therapies for multiple myeloma
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation today announced an initiative designed to accelerate the evaluation of new investigational therapies for multiple myeloma. The MMRF, in collaboration with the US Food and Drug Administration, the National Cancer Institute, pharmaceutical, biotech and diagnostic industry members, academic center leaders and patients, initiated the formal development of a Master Protocol to allow patients to participate in clinical trials evaluating several investigational therapies at once.

A bird's-eye view of the protein universe
How exactly did proteins first come to be? Do they all share a single common ancestor, or did proteins evolve from many different origins? Forming a global picture of the protein universe is crucial to addressing these and other important questions. Now, new research from Tel Aviv University is providing a first step toward piecing together a global picture of the protein universe that may answer these questions and suggest strategies for the design of new proteins.

Altered milk protein can deliver AIDS drug to infants
A novel method of altering a protein in milk to bind with an antiretroviral drug promises to greatly improve treatment for infants and young children suffering from HIV/AIDS, according to a researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Pain and itch in a dish
A team led by scientists from The Scripps Research Institute has found a simple method to convert human skin cells into the specialized neurons that detect pain, itch, touch and other bodily sensations. These neurons are also affected by spinal cord injury and involved in Friedreich's ataxia, a devastating and currently incurable neurodegenerative disease that largely strikes children.

Does a yogurt a day keep diabetes away?
A high intake of yogurt has been found to be associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to research published in open access journal BMC Medicine. This highlights the importance of having yogurt as part of a healthy diet.

Handheld ultrasound technology can help medical students improve their physical diagnosis
A new study by researchers from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found that training medical students to use a handheld ultrasound device can enhance the accuracy of their physical diagnosis.

The 'valley of death' facing physics start-ups
In this month's issue of Physics World, James Dacey explores the ways in which physicists are bridging the 'valley of death' to take their innovations from the lab into the commercial market.

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