Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (September 2014)

Science news and science current events archive September, 2014.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from September 2014

SIAM and ACM honor software developers for large-scale scientific computing toolkit
The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and the Association for Computing Machinery are pleased to present the SIAM/ACM Prize in Computational Science and Engineering to the PETSc core development team for the development of Portable Extensible Toolkit for Scientific Computation, a suite of data structures and routines intended for use in large-scale application projects.

Climate-smart agriculture requires three-pronged global research agenda
A focused, three-pronged research agenda is needed if the world is to boost agricultural production and meet the demands of its upwardly spiraling population, while dealing with climate change and limited options for expanding agricultural land, report researchers summarizing findings from the most recent Climate Smart Agriculture Conference.

Scientists identify the master regulator of cells' heat shock response
Heat shock proteins protect the molecules in all human and animal cells with factors that regulate their production and work as thermostats. Scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center and elsewhere report for the first time that a protein called translation elongation factor eEF1A1 orchestrates the entire process of the heart shock response.

Drug that improves blood flow may help find cause of exercise intolerance in cystic fibrosis
A little white pill may help scientists learn why patients with cystic fibrosis have less exercise capacity than their peers, even if their lungs are relatively healthy.

Toward making lithium-sulfur batteries a commercial reality for a bigger energy punch
A fevered search for the next great high-energy, rechargeable battery technology is on. Scientists are now reporting they have overcome key obstacles toward making lithium-sulfur batteries, which have the potential to leave today's lithium-ion technology in the dust. Their study appears in the ACS journal Nano Letters.

Brief depression questionnaires could lead to unnecessary antidepressant prescriptions
Short questionnaires used to identify patients at risk for depression are linked with antidepressant medications being prescribed when they may not be needed, according to new research from UC Davis Health System published in the September-October issue of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

A step in the right direction to avoid falls
Researchers have developed a mathematical model that lends new insight to how humans walk.

Protein controlling gut's protective force field identified
A sugary force field is activated in the gut when our defenses are down to encourage the growth of helpful bacteria and fight over-colonization by harmful micro-organisms, scientists have discovered.

Multiple-birth infants use more resources, spotlight on reproductive technology
Hospital costs are higher and the odds of complication and death are greater for multiple-birth infants than singleton births and some of this clinical and economic burden can be alleviated through single-embryo transfer in assisted reproductive technology.

Kids eat better if their parents went to college
Children of college-educated parents eat more vegetables and drink less sugar, according to a new study from the University of British Columbia. But it's still not enough, the study goes on to say, as all kids are falling short when it comes to eating healthier at school. The research suggests a parent's educational attainment, an indicator of socioeconomic status, may inform a child's diet.

Medical professional liability claims and esophageal cancer screening
An analysis of liability claims related to esophageal cancer screening finds that the risks of claims arising from acts of commission -- complications from screening procedure -- as well as acts of omission -- failure to screen -- are similarly low, according to a study in the Oct. 1 issue of JAMA.

Asian monsoon much older than previously thought
The Asian monsoon already existed 40 million years ago during a period of high atmospheric carbon dioxide and warmer temperatures, an international research team led by a University of Arizona geoscientist reports in the journal Nature. Scientists thought the climate pattern known as the Asian monsoon began 22-25 million years ago as a result of the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalaya Mountains.

Sabotage as therapy: Aiming lupus antibodies at vulnerable cancer cells
Yale Cancer Center researchers may have discovered a new way of harnessing lupus antibodies to sabotage cancer cells made vulnerable by deficient DNA repair. The study, led by James E. Hansen, M.D., assistant professor of therapeutic radiology at Yale School of Medicine, found that cancer cells with deficient DNA repair mechanisms (or the inability to repair their own genetic damage) were significantly more vulnerable to attack by lupus antibodies.

BioMed Central to publish open-access journal in collaboration with the University of Michigan
BioMed Central and the University of Michigan are pleased to announce an agreement to publish a new open-access journal, Clinical Diabetes and Endocrinology, which is now open for submissions and will begin publishing in the first quarter of 2015.

Myriad presents tumor BRACAnalysis CDx study at ESMO
Data presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology annual meeting show that Myriad's Tumor BRACAnalysis CDx companion diagnostic test significantly improved the detection of cancer-causing BRCA1/2 mutations by 44 percent in women with ovarian cancer. The results show that the Tumor BRACAnalysis CDx test identified 28.3 percent of women with either germline or somatic BRCA1/2 mutations. In contrast, blood germline testing only identified the 19.6 percent of patients with germline BRCA1/2 mutations.

Blades of grass inspire advance in organic solar cells
Briseno's research group is one of very few in the world to design and grow organic single-crystal p-n junctions. He says, 'This work is a major advancement in the field of organic solar cells because we have developed what the field considers the 'Holy Grail' architecture for harvesting light and converting it to electricity.' The breakthrough in morphology control should have widespread use in solar cells, batteries and vertical transistors, he adds.

Why are consumers willing to spend more money on ethical products?
What motivates consumers to make ethical choices such as buying clothing not made in a sweat shop, spending more money on fair-trade coffee, and bringing their own bags when they go shopping? According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, ethical consumption is motivated by a need for consumers to turn their emotions about unethical practices into action.

Reflected smartphone transmissions enable gesture control
University of Washington engineers have developed a new form of low-power wireless sensing technology that lets users 'train' their smartphones to recognize and respond to specific hand gestures near the phone.

How career dreams are born
A new study shows just what it takes to convince a person that she is qualified to achieve the career of her dreams.

New cancer drug target involving lipid chemical messengers
More than half of human cancers have abnormally upregulated chemical signals related to lipid metabolism, yet how these signals are controlled during tumor formation is not fully understood. Researchers report that TIPE3, a newly described oncogenic protein, promotes cancer by targeting these pathways.

Bacteria may have ability to reduce impact of diazepam on UK river environments
Scientists at Plymouth University and the University of Liverpool have identified a reaction pathway which could reduce the potentially harmful impact of diazepam and similar chemicals on the UK's freshwater environment.

Nuclear spins control current in plastic LED
University of Utah physicists read 'spins' in hydrogen nuclei and used the data to control current in a cheap, plastic light emitting diode -- at room temperature and without strong magnetic fields. The study in Friday's issue of Science brings physics a step closer to practical machines that work 'spintronically:' super-fast quantum computers, more compact data storage devices and plastic or organic light-emitting diodes more efficient than those used today in displays for cell phones, computers and TVs.

International lifetime achievement award for Monash scientist and dean
The International Pharmaceutical Federation has honored a prominent Monash scientist and dean for his outstanding contribution to pharmaceutical sciences.

Study sheds new light on why batteries go bad
A comprehensive look at how tiny particles in a lithium ion battery electrode behave shows that rapid-charging the battery and using it to do high-power, rapidly draining work may not be as damaging as researchers had thought -- and that the benefits of slow draining and charging may have been overestimated. The results challenge the prevailing view that 'supercharging' batteries is always harder on battery electrodes than charging at slower rates.

Fighting parents hurt children's ability to recognize and regulate emotions
Exposure to verbal and physical aggression between parents may hurt a child's ability to identify and control emotions, according to a longitudinal study led by NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

UTSA microbiologists discover regulatory thermometer that controls cholera
Karl Klose, professor of biology and a researcher in UTSA's South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, has teamed up with researchers at Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany to understand how humans get infected with cholera, Their findings were released this week in an article published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Chemists discover way nose perceives common class of odors
Biologists claim that humans can perceive and distinguish a trillion different odors, but little is known about the underlying chemical processes involved. Biochemists at the City College of New York have found an unexpected chemical strategy employed by the mammalian nose to detect chemicals known as aldehydes.

Graphene imperfections key to creating hypersensitive 'electronic nose'
Researchers have discovered a way to create a highly sensitive chemical sensor based on the crystalline flaws in graphene sheets. The imperfections have unique electronic properties that the researchers were able to exploit to increase sensitivity to absorbed gas molecules by 300 times.

Natural born killers: Chimpanzee violence is an evolutionary strategy
Man's nearest relatives kill each other in order to eliminate rivals and gain better access to territory, mates, food or other resources -- not because human activities have made them more aggressive.

Politics divide coastal residents' views of environment, UNH research finds
From the salmon-rich waters of Southeast Alaska to the white sand beaches of Florida's Gulf Coast to Downeast Maine's lobster, lumber and tourist towns, coastal residents around the US share a common characteristic: their views about coastal environments divide along political lines. That's a primary finding of a new study by University of New Hampshire sociologists published this month in the journal Society & Natural Resources.

Two UT Arlington professors honored by Indian colleagues
The NRI Welfare Society of India has awarded two of its annual honors to a pair of University of Texas at Arlington professors noted for their contributions to the field of chemistry and biochemistry.

Stigma as a barrier to mental health care
Despite the availability of effective evidence-based treatment, about 40 percent of individuals with serious mental illness do not receive care and many who begin an intervention fail to complete it. A new report, published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, investigates stigma as a significant barrier to care for many individuals with mental illness.

Two new species of carabid beetles found in Ethiopia
Scientists have found two new beetles in the genus Calathus -- Calathus juan and Calathus carballalae -- and have described them in Annals of the Entomological Society of America.

Princeton University launches NSF-funded initiative to study Southern Ocean's role in global systems
Scientists from 11 institutions across the United States will meet this week at Princeton University to officially launch a $21 million, National Science Foundation-funded, interdisciplinary initiative to study the Southern Ocean, the sea that surrounds Antarctica.

Blocking one receptor could halt rheumatoid arthritis
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine have shown for the first time how the activation of a receptor provokes the inflammation and bone degradation of rheumatoid arthritis -- and that activation of this one receptor, found on cells in the fluid of arthritic joints, is all that is required.

Synthetic sperm protein raises the chance for successful in vitro fertilization
Having trouble getting pregnant -- even with in vitro fertilization? Here's some hope: A new research report published in October 2014 issue of the FASEB Journal, explains how scientists developed a synthetic version of a sperm-originated protein which induced embryo development in human and mouse eggs similar to the natural triggering of embryo development by the sperm cell during fertilization.

High-speed drug screen
Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers have devised a way to rapidly test hundreds of different drug-delivery vehicles in living animals, making it easier to discover promising new ways to deliver a class of drugs called biologics, which includes antibodies, peptides, RNA, and DNA, to human patients.

Poor diet may increase risk of Parkinson's disease
Obesity caused by a high-fat diet may increase the risk of developing Parkinson's disease, new research in mice suggests. Upon aging, a high-fat diet significantly accelerated the onset of neurological symptoms in mice that were genetically predisposed to develop Parkinson's disease.

Mice and men share a diabetes gene
By using novel analysis tools, researchers from EPFL and ETH Z├╝rich were able to identify a gene involved in the development of type 2 diabetes in mice. Subsequently, a partnership with the CHUV revealed that this gene is also involved in human diabetes.

2015 DOE JGI's science portfolio delves deeper into the Earth's data mine
In selecting 32 new projects with samples from diverse environments for the 2015 Community Science Program (CSP), the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute shifts 'from solving an organism's genome sequence to enabling an understanding of what this information enables organisms to do.' The total allocation of the CSP 2015 portfolio is expected to exceed 60 trillion bases -- the equivalent of 20,000 human genomes of plant, fungal and microbial genome sequences.

What's for dinner? Rapidly identifying undescribed species in a commercial fungi packet
For lovers of wild foods, autumn harks a season of bounty. Fungi of dizzying variety erupt from wood and soil, luring intrepid collectors to woodlands in search of elusive but delectable wild mushrooms. Part of their appeal lies in the allure of the treasure hunt, and their mysterious not-quite-meat, not-quite-vegetable qualities that belie an almost otherworldly existence. But are the mushrooms which you are eating known to science?

AERTOs accelerate the bioeconomy and the development of new lignin and algae products
AERTOs (Associated European Research and Technology Organizations) has started a two-year research project to stimulate the development of the bio-based economy in Europe.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Kalmaegi swirl toward the Philippines
Tropical Depression 15W intensified during the early morning hours of Sept. 12 and became a tropical storm re-named 'Kalmaegi.' NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead as the storm intensified.

Interactive website helps lower-income smokers to stop smoking
People with lower incomes attempting to quit smoking are 36 percent more likely to succeed if they use a new interactive website called 'StopAdvisor' than if they use a static information website, finds a randomized controlled trial led by University College London researchers. The trial was funded by the National Prevention Research Initiative, a consortium of 16 UK health research funders.

The sound of an atom has been captured
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology are first to show the use of sound to communicate with an artificial atom. They can thereby demonstrate phenomena from quantum physics with sound taking on the role of light. The results will be published in the journal Science.

UChicago study finds young women involve parent in abortion when anticipating support
A recent study from the Section of Family Planning and Contraceptive Research at the University of Chicago found that pregnant teens will turn to parents and adults who are engaged in their lives and who will offer support, regardless of her pregnancy decision. Young women will avoid talking with parents who are less involved or may try to prevent them from seeking care.

Breast screening for over 70s doesn't prompt sharp fall in advanced disease
Including much older women in a national breast cancer screening program does not prompt a sharp fall in new cases of advanced disease in this age group -- as would be expected for a successful initiative -- reveals a study of the Dutch experience, published on thebmj.com today.

XenOPAT, mouse models for personalized cancer treatment
On Sept. 8, the company XenOPAT SL, a spin-off of the Institute of Biomedical Research and the Catalan Institute of Oncology was established with the aim of bringing the company the latest scientific developments to the service combating cancer with two main branches: the development of new drugs and advance the implementation of personalized cancer treatments. In the area of personalized medicine, XenOPAT offers the possibility of generating a orthoxenograft tumor from a patient so that we can identify the treatment that offers the maximum guarantees of response for each patient.

Mechanism behind age-dependent diabetes discovered
Ageing of insulin-secreting cells is coupled to a progressive decline in signal transduction and insulin release, according to a recent study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

Gray matter matters when measuring our tolerance of risk
The gray matter volume of a region in the right posterior parietal cortex is significantly predictive of individual risk attitudes, new research has found.

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