Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (2015)

Science news and science current events archive 2015.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from 2015

2015 Henry Ford Brain Tumor Symposium
The 2015 Henry Ford Brain Tumor Symposium takes place 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Friday, April 24 at the MGM Grand in Detroit. The symposium, entitled 'Focused Forward: New Thoughts on Brain Tumor Treatment,' is aimed at health care professionals who seek to learn about the latest developments in brain tumor treatments.

Glacier changes at the top of the world
If greenhouse-gas emissions continue to rise, glaciers in the Everest region of the Himalayas could experience dramatic change in the decades to come. A team of researchers in Nepal, France and the Netherlands have found Everest glaciers could be very sensitive to future warming, and that sustained ice loss through the 21st century is likely. The research is published May 27 in The Cryosphere, an open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union.

UGA study pinpoints the likeliest rodent sources of future human infectious diseases
Researchers have developed a way to predict which species of rodents are likeliest to be sources of new disease outbreaks in humans. The findings could help public health officials take a more preemptive approach to disease surveillance, prevention and control.

UCLA physicist tests theories of dark energy by mimicking the vacuum of space
Besides the atoms that make up our bodies and all of the objects we encounter, the universe contains mysterious dark matter and dark energy. The latter, which causes galaxies to accelerate away from one another, constitutes the majority of the universe's energy and mass. Paul Hamilton, a UCLA assistant professor of physics and astronomy, reproduced the low-density conditions of space to precisely measure this force.

Study finds association between energy drinks and traumatic brain injury in teens
Teens who reported a traumatic brain injury in the past year were seven times more likely to have consumed at least five energy drinks in the past week than those without a history of TBI, according to a study published today in PLOS ONE.

Hospitals often overestimate their ability to deliver fast stroke care
When asked about administering the clot-busting drug tissue plasminogen activator to stroke patients, hospital staff perceptions did not always line up with actual performance. Only 29 percent of hospital staff accurately identified their 'door-to-needle' performance.

ECOG-ACRIN opens trial of treatment sequencing in advanced melanoma
In its latest treatment trial, EA6134, the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group studies whether to start treatment with drugs that trigger patients' immune systems to kill melanoma skin cancer, or with other drugs that identify and attack molecules within tumor cells

Modern logging techniques benefit rainforest wildlife
New research has highlighted the value of a modern logging technique for maintaining biodiversity in tropical forests that are used for timber production.

Forged in the hearts of stars
Arizona State University professors are studying thermonuclear reaction rates to determine how much of certain elements exploding stars can produce.

Largest ensemble simulation of global weather using real-world data
Using the powerful K computer, scientists have run an enormous global weather simulation. They ran 10,240 simulations of a model of the global atmosphere divided into 112-km sectors, and then used data assimilation and statistical methods to come up with a model closely fitting the real data for a historical time period, between November 1 and November 8, 2011.

Study measures drag from fishing gear entanglements on North Atlantic right whales
In a paper published online Dec. 9, 2015, in Marine Mammal Science, a research team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, has for the first time quantified the amount of drag on entangled whales that is created by towing fishing gear, such as rope, buoys, and lobster and crab traps. The study provides important data for teams evaluating the risks and benefits of whale disentanglements.

Many top academics and professors serve on US healthcare company boards, reveals research
Nearly one in 10 healthcare company board positions are held by top academics from many of the most renowned medical and research institutions in the United States, finds a new study published in The BMJ this week.

Levin wins National Medal of Science for unraveling ecological complexity
Simon Levin, Princeton University's George M. Moffett Professor of Biology and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, will receive a National Medal of Science, the nation's highest scientific honor. Levin will be honored at a White House ceremony in early 2016 along with eight fellow Medal of Science recipients and eight recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

New antibody specificity portal bolsters biomedical research reliability
Histone Antibody Specificity Database is a newly launched online portal that lets scientists find the right antibodies for their research with a much higher degree of confidence than ever before. Rather than relying on the claims of antibody manufacturers, the database is populated with validated test results, allowing researchers to access and compare real-world data and pick the most reliable antibody for each experiment. A paper published today in the journal Molecular Cell describes the database and the science behind it.

Gut worms protect babies' brains from inflammation
A Duke University study in rats finds that gut worms can protect babies' brains from inflammation and long-term learning and memory problems caused by newborn infections. Expectant mother rats with tapeworms even passed the protective benefits on to their worm-free pups, the researchers found. The findings could point to new ways to prevent or treat the chronic brain inflammation linked to cognitive disorders like Alzheimer's disease, autism and depression.

Tumor suppressor protein plays key role in maintaining immune balance
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have discovered that a protein widely known for suppressing tumor formation also helps prevent autoimmune diseases and other problems by putting the brakes on the immune response. The research was published recently online ahead of print in the scientific journal Nature Immunology.

Elevated blood-sugar levels in pregnancy tied to baby's heart-defect risk
Pregnant women with elevated blood-sugar levels are more likely to have babies with congenital heart defects, even if their blood sugar is below the cutoff for diabetes, according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Stanford Children's Health.

Men with 'low testosterone' have higher rates of depression
Researchers at the George Washington University, led by Michael S. Irwig, M.D., found that men referred for tertiary care for borderline testosterone levels had much higher rates of depression and depressive symptoms than those of the general population.

Study shows white matter damage caused by 'skunk-like' cannabis
Smoking high potency 'skunk-like' cannabis can damage a crucial part of the brain responsible for communication between the two brain hemispheres, according to a new study by scientists from King's College London and Sapienza University of Rome.

Creating a stopwatch for volcanic eruptions
According to new research at Arizona State University, there may be a way to predict when Yellowstone volcano will erupt again.

Triple treatment keeps cancer from coming back
According to new research by the Weizmann Institute's Professor Yosef Yarden, a new strategy involving a three-pronged approach might keep an aggressive form of lung cancer from returning.

UI researchers launch rockets in search of unseen parts of universe
A team comprised of University of Iowa researchers and students is sending its own technology on a series of NASA rockets to find parts of space we can't currently see.

International research institutes team up to build new schizophrenia collections
Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland at the University of Helsinki and The Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at Broad Institute, together with its international partners, are initiating major new sample collections in several regions and countries. The goal is to collect up to 50,000 samples from schizophrenia patients across the globe.

Generalized anxiety disorders twice as likely in those with inflammatory bowel disease
People who have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, have twice the odds of having a generalized anxiety disorder at some point in their lives when compared to peers without IBD, according to a new study published by University of Toronto researchers.

Mystery of missing exoplanet water solved
Exeter academics led an international team of experts in analyzing observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope. Their combined power gave a detailed study of the atmospheres of 10 hot-Jupiter exoplanets -- the largest number ever collectively studied -- in a bid to understand their atmospheres.

Study affirms role of specialized protein in assuring normal cell development
Scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center and New York University have demonstrated that a specialized DNA-binding protein called CTCF is essential for the precise expression of genes that control the body plan of a developing embryo.

Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative unveils new plan for neglected patients
After having built the world's largest drug development pipeline for the most neglected diseases, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative has unveiled plans for a more flexible, dynamic portfolio approach, integrating various operating models to better respond to the needs of patients, notably in low- and middle-income countries. The plan also paves the way for new diseases to be taken up in DNDi's portfolio.

UM scientist earns grant to study carbon across North America
University of Montana researcher Ashley Ballantyne recently was awarded a nearly $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study ecosystem carbon production and consumption across North America.

New cathode material creates possibilities for sodium-ion batteries
John Goodenough, the inventor of the lithium-ion battery, and his team have identified a new cathode material made of the nontoxic and inexpensive mineral eldfellite for sodium-ion batteries.

Clinical trial sponsors fail to report results to participants, public
Despite legal and ethical mandates for disclosure, results from most clinical trials of medical products are not reported promptly on a registry specifically created to make results of human studies publicly available, according to Duke Medicine researchers.

Finding strengths -- and weaknesses -- in hepatitis C's armor
Using a specially selected library of different hepatitis C viruses, a team of researchers led by Johns Hopkins scientists has identified tiny differences in the pathogens' outer shell proteins that underpin their resistance to antibodies. The findings, reported in the January 2015 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, suggest a reason why some patients' immune systems can't fend off hepatitis C infections, and they reveal distinct challenges for those trying to craft a successful vaccine to prevent them.

MD Anderson studies skin cancer patients resistant to leading therapy
Powerful drugs known as BRAF-inhibitors have been crucial for melanoma patients, saving lives through their ability to turn off the BRAF protein's power to spur cancer cell growth.

Researchers identify new cancer marker and possible therapeutic target for breast cancer
A new way to detect -- and perhaps treat -- one of the deadliest types of breast cancer has been found. Led by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine, the study appears online in Breast Cancer Research.

Dust from the Sahara Desert cools the Iberian Peninsula
Spanish and Portuguese researchers have analyzed the composition and radiative effect of desert aerosols during two episodes which simultaneously affected Badajoz, Spain and √Čvora, Portugal in August 2012. Results show that the intrusion of dust from the Sahara Desert caused radiative cooling of the Earth's surface.

Genetically correcting a muscle disorder
Three independent groups of researchers provide preliminary evidence that CRISPR can treat genetic disorders by editing a gene involved in muscle functioning, restoring some muscle function in mice with a specific type of muscular dystrophy.

American Cancer Society awards new research and training grants
The American Cancer Society, the largest non-government, not-for-profit funding source of cancer research in the United States, has awarded 100 national research and training grants totaling more than $45.6 million in the first of two grant cycles for 2015.

NASA's GPM sees Typhoon Atsani intensifying
Typhoon Atsani was an intensifying tropical storm moving over the open waters of the Pacific Ocean on Aug. 16, 2015 when the GPM core observatory satellite flew overhead.

Broad Institute-MIT team identifies highly efficient new cas9 for in vivo genome editing
A collaborative study between researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the National Center for Biotechnology Information of the National Institutes of Health has identified a highly efficient Cas9 nuclease that overcomes one of the primary challenges to in vivo genome editing. This finding, published today in Nature, is expected to help make the CRISPR toolbox accessible for in vivo experimental and therapeutic applications.

Teens from single-parent families leave school earlier
Individuals who live in single-parent families as teens received fewer years of schooling and are less likely to attain a bachelor's degree than those from two-parent families.

Safer drug combination found for patients with high-risk atrial fibrillation
A recent study led by a University of Missouri School of Medicine cardiologist found that use of a newer blood thinner significantly decreased the risk of strokes for patients with atrial fibrillation who require an anticoagulant and the heart rhythm medication amiodarone.

First blood test for osteoarthritis could soon be available
The first blood test for osteoarthritis could soon be developed, thanks to research by the University of Warwick. The research findings could potentially lead to patients being tested for osteoarthritis and diagnosed several years before the onset of physical symptoms. Conducted by the University's Medical School, the research identified a biomarker linked to both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.

Paul D. Schomer named recipient of the ASA Distinguished Service Citation
Paul D. Schomer, Owner and Principal of Schomer and Associates, has been named recipient of the Acoustical Society of America Distinguished Service Citation. The award will be presented at the 170th meeting of the ASA on 4 November 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida

Treatment strategy protects children who receive liver transplants from hepatitis b-infected donors
Transplants from Hepatitis B-Infected Donors Researchers have found that a prophylaxis treatment can prevent new-onset hepatitis B in children who receive liver transplants from donors who were previously infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) but had successfully cleared the virus. The findings are published in Liver Transplantation, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Hitting the borders of expansion
IST Austria scientists research how population size and genetic drift affect the limits to a species' range. Jitka Polechov√° and Nick Barton explain in this week's edition of PNAS why sharp range margins arise in natural populations.

Bristol to host international conference on sustainable livestock
With one in seven humans undernourished and with the challenges of population growth and climate change, the need for efficient food production has never been greater. The University of Bristol will host an international conference to discuss this issue early next year [12-15 Jan. 2016].

Emergency rooms see rising rate of patients with chronic conditions, lower rate of injuries
The rate of emergency department visits in California for non-injuries has risen while the rate of visits for injuries has dropped, according to a new study led by University of California San Francisco that documents the increasing amount of care provided in emergency departments for complex, chronic conditions.

Societies issue recommendations for left atrial appendage occlusion
The American College of Cardiology, Heart Rhythm Society and Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions today released a new overview on the implantation of left atrial appendage occlusion devices.

Underage drinkers' brand preferences vary by race, age, BU study finds
Two beer brands -- Bud Light and Budweiser -- are uniformly popular among underage drinkers, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity, while certain other brands appear to have a unique appeal to African-American youth drinkers, according to a new study headed by Boston University School of Public Health researchers.

Could a sugar tax help combat obesity?
Following the BMA's call for a 20 percent sugar tax to subsidize the cost of fruit and vegetables, experts in The BMJ this week debate whether a sugar tax could help combat obesity.

Accelerating forage breeding to boost livestock productivity
The Genome Analysis Centre, with partners in the UK, Colombia and Kenya bring together their leading expertise in forage breeding for animal nutrition, cutting-edge genomics and phenomics technologies to accelerate the improvement of Brachiaria, a vital livestock feed crop in central Africa and Latin America. 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