Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (April 2016)

Science news and science current events archive April, 2016.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from April 2016

Successful laboratory test of photoswitchable anti-tumor agent
Photoswitchable agents might reduce side effects of a chemotherapy. So far, photodynamic therapies have been dependent on oxygen in the tissue. But hardly any oxygen exists in malignant, rapidly growing tumors. A group of researchers of KIT and the University of Kiev has now developed a photo-switchable molecule as a basis of an oxygen-independent method. Their successful laboratory tests on tumors are reported in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

Most US adults say today's children have worse health than in past generations
More than half of adults believe children today are more stressed, experience less quality family time and have worse mental and emotional health than children in past generations.

Hospital self-harm cases have steadily risen among men in England since 2008
The number of hospital cases of self-inflicted harm, such as cutting and overdosing on prescription meds, has risen steadily since 2008 in England among men, reveals research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Researchers identify candidate biomarker of accelerated onset diabetic retinopathy
Mass. Eye and Ear researchers describe, for the first time, an association between a defective myogenic response of blood vessels in the retina and early, accelerated development of retinopathy in patients with type 1 diabetes. The findings may lead to the development of targeted therapies to delay or prevent the development of diabetic retinopathy in this population.

NIH study finds protein may be responsible for damage in eosinophilic esophagitis
Scientists have identified a protein that may be the cause of tissue damage in patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). EoE is a food allergy-related disease in which white blood cells called eosinophils accumulate in the esophagus, often causing difficult or painful swallowing, nausea, vomiting and poor growth in children and adults. Further understanding of the role of this protein, calpain 14, may lead to potential therapies for EoE.

Insilico Medicine to present deep learned biomarkers at the Deep Learning in Healthcare Summit
Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, CEO of Insilico Medicine will present a range of deep learned biomarkers of ageing and deep learned predictors of biological age at the RE-WORK Deep Learning in Healthcare Summit in London, 7-8th of April.

What's missing from current methods for genetic screening of sperm donors?
US sperm banks perform genetic testing to screen for and disqualify carriers of a limited number of recessive disease mutations, but more comprehensive and affordable DNA-based screening methods are now available that can detect many more disease-causing genetic variations. To protect future children from highly heritable diseases, sperm banks need to modernize their testing methods, according to an article published in Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers.

New human on chip technology permits unparalleled insight into cellular function dynamics
Researchers from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem describe a new generation of Liver on Chip devices, which enable them to identify new modes of toxicity and new causes for idiosyncratic toxicity, one of the main causes for post-market drug withdrawal. Even at low concentrations previously considered safe, the new technology was able to detect mitochondrial stress that forces the liver to increase its reliance on glucose metabolism.

Is there association between MC1R and melanoma risk after controlling for sun?
There is a well-described association between UV radiation exposure from the sun and the development of melanoma. The development of melanoma independent of sun exposure has only recently been described in mice.

Researcher receives NIH grant to develop new therapeutic agents for MS, cancer and sepsis
A leading scientist at FAU has received $540,250 from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health to continue his groundbreaking research to develop new therapeutic agents for collagen-based diseases including multiple sclerosis, cancer and sepsis. Collagen-based diseases also referred to as connective tissue diseases involve the protein-rich tissue that supports organs as well as other parts of the body such as fat, bone and cartilage.

Shining new light on diabetes treatment
Researchers have developed a light-activated tool to show how drugs need to be adapted to combat type 2 diabetes. The study, published in Angewandte Chemie, provides insight into the signalling process of receptors in cells.

Rise of the ridiculously resilient ridge: California drought patterns becoming more common
Atmospheric patterns resembling those that appeared during the latter half of California's ongoing multi-year drought are becoming more common.

Researchers provide guidance on criteria to identify endocrine disruptors in the context of European legislation
The European Commission is legally required to provide criteria identifying Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs), a process that has been blocked for almost three years, allegedly because of a lack of scientific consensus and because an impact assessment study was deemed necessary.

Press registration for EULAR 2016 is open
The next EULAR Annual European Congress of Rheumatology will take place between the 8 and 11 June 2016 in London. The annual EULAR congresses which began in 2000 are today a major event in the calendar of world rheumatology.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Fantala slowing
On April 21, Fantala's maximum sustained wind speeds started to decrease since making a 'U-turn' and moving southeastward to a position northeast of Madagascar and the storm maintained strength on April 22. NASA's RapidScat instrument measured winds around the system while NASA-JAXA's Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM core satellite analyzed rainfall rates with the hurricane.

Morehouse College Department of Mathematics honored for achievements
The Department of Mathematics at Morehouse College has been chosen to receive the 2016 American Mathematical Society (AMS) Mathematics Programs that Make a Difference Award. The department at Morehouse is honored 'for its significant efforts to encourage students from underrepresented groups to continue in the study of mathematics.'

How and why single cell organisms evolved into multicellular life
The genome sequencing of the algae, Gonium pectorale, provides valuable clues into how and why single cells live together in groups -- one of the earliest steps on the path to a multicellular existence.

Hair analysis is a flawed forensic technique
Since 1989, 74 people who were convicted of serious crimes, in large part due to microscopic hair comparisons, were later exonerated by post-conviction DNA analysis.

Researchers look for causes of unexpected early bladder cancer recurrence after laparoscopic surgery
Although laparoscopic radical cystectomy (LRC) and robotic assisted radical cystectomy (RARC) continue to grow in popularity and are successful in the treatment of bladder cancer, they are still considered experimental approaches. Using data collected by the Section of Uro-Technology of the European Association of Urology, a team of researchers found that about 5 percent of patients experienced unexpected relapses of cancer after LRC, even with favorable pathology. Their results are reported in The Journal of Urology®.

Tap water and table salt may be safer and cheaper for milk production cleanup
A safer option for cleaning milking systems on dairy farms may also decrease cleaning time and cost, according to a team of Penn State engineers.

Modified flu virus can 'resensitize' resistant pancreatic cancer cells to chemotherapy
A common flu virus could be used to overcome patients' resistance to certain cancer drugs -- and improve how those drugs kill cancer cells, according to new research from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

Pre-surgical exposure to blue light reduces organ damage in mice
A 24-hour exposure to bright blue light before surgery reduces inflammation and organ damage at the cellular level in a mouse model, according to new research from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Is your home harming you? New research highlights deadly effects of indoor pollution
New research in the journal Science of the Total Environment has highlighted the dangerous effects of indoor pollution on human health, and has called for policies to ensure closer monitoring of air quality.

Young gay and bisexual men 6 times more likely to attempt suicide than older counterparts
Young gay and bisexual men are at significantly greater risk of poor mental health than older men in that group, according to new research by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Rising CO2 levels reduce protein in crucial pollen source for bees
Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide have reduced protein in goldenrod pollen, a key late-season food source for North American bees, a Purdue University study shows.

ARRS 2016 Annual Meeting highlights award-winning electronic exhibits
More than 500 electronic exhibits representing 13 radiology subspecialties are on display this week at the American Roentgen Ray Society Annual Meeting in Los Angeles.

Critically endangered and ancient Himalayan wolf needs global conservation attention
Although the Himalayan wolf is visibly distinct from its European cousin, its current distribution has mostly been a matter of assumption, rather than evident truth. Being the most ancient wolf lineage, known to science, its status has been assigned as Critically Endangered. Now, an international research team report the wolf from Nepal's largest protected area, thus proving its existence in the region. Their findings are published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

University of Pennsylvania to join new collaboration to fight cancer with immunotherapies
The University of Pennsylvania has joined an unprecedented cancer research effort, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, which unites six of the nation's top medical schools and cancer centers around a shared aim of accelerating breakthrough immunotherapy research that will turn more cancers into a curable disease.

Countering Islamic State requires a stronger US-coalition strategy
The current effort by the United States and its coalition partners is insufficient to achieve the lasting defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Iraq and Syria, according to a new RAND report.

Scientists establish first map of the sea lion brain
Despite considerable evidence for the California sea lion's intelligence, very little is known about how their brain is organized. Now, a team of neuroscientists at Vanderbilt University has taken an important step toward uncovering this mystery by conducting the first comprehensive study of the California sea lion's central nervous system, concentrating on the somatosensory system, which is concerned with conscious perception of touch, pressure, pain, temperature, position and vibration.

Immunotherapy with live bacterium improves response rate in malignant pleural mesothelioma
Immunotherapy with a live bacterium combined with chemotherapy demonstrated more than 90% disease control and 59% response rate in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), according to the results of a phase Ib trial presented today at the European Lung Cancer Conference (ELCC) 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Biologists discover new strategy to treat central nervous system injury
Neurobiologists at UC San Diego have discovered how signals that orchestrate the construction of the nervous system also influence recovery after traumatic injury. They also found that manipulating these signals can enhance the return of function.

Clothing made from tea byproduct could improve health of fashion industry
The fashion industry generates a lot of waste, which is why a team of Iowa State University researchers developed a new fiber that's 100 percent biodegradable. Researchers are testing the fiber -- made from a green tea byproduct -- to see if it's a viable alternative.

Organ recipients with previous cancers linked to higher death rates, new cancers
People who had cancer before receiving an organ transplant were more likely to die of any cause, die of cancer or develop a new cancer than organ recipients who did not previously have cancer, a new paper has found.

UCSB researchers identify specific defects in LED diodes that lead to less efficient solid state lighting
UCSB researchers identify specific defects in LED diodes that lead to less efficient solid state lighting.

Mount Sinai and Sage Bionetworks report analysis of nearly 600,000 genomes for resilience project
Custom-built targeted sequencing panel proves essential in hunt for people naturally resistant to severe disease.

How to survive extinction: Live fast, die young
Two hundred and fifty-two million years ago, a series of Siberian volcanoes erupted and sent the Earth into the greatest mass extinction of all time. Billions of tons of carbon were propelled into the atmosphere, radically altering the Earth's climate. Yet, some animals thrived in the aftermath and scientists now know why.

Riddle of missing efficiency in zinc oxide-based dye-sensitised solar cells solved
To convert solar energy into electricity or solar fuels, you need specialised systems of materials such as those consisting of organic and inorganic thin films. Processes at the junction of these films play a decisive role in converting the solar energy. Now a team at HZB headed by Prof. Emad Aziz has used ultra-short laser pulses and observed for the first time directly how boundary states form between the organic dye molecules and a zinc-oxide semiconductor layer, temporarily trapping the charge carriers.

Ames Laboratory scientist inducted into National Academy of Inventors
US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory senior metallurgist Iver Anderson was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C., today at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Eco-friendly store brands are a 'win-win-win situation'
A new study published in the Journal of Retailing by researchers with Concordia University in Montreal shows profits for store brands can increase if companies couple ethical marketing with higher prices.

Brain scan method may help detect autism
Scientists report a new degree of success in using brain scans to distinguish between adults diagnosed with autism and people without the disorder, an advance that could lead to the development of a diagnostic tool.

Body mass index can predict infant's risk of becoming an obese child
Pediatricians can now identify infants who are at higher risk of early-childhood obesity, before obesity develops, using a simple measurement of body mass index, a tool not routinely used until children are 2 years old. This conclusion, from a new study of nearly 4,000 children, will be presented Friday at the Endocrine Society's 98th annual meeting in Boston.

New mathematical model challenges aggressive antibiotic treatments
Antibiotic resistance is one of the most challenging problems in modern medicine. A new study by Erida Gjini and Patricia H. Brito from the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC; Portugal), provides a new mathematical model to evaluate the best treatment protocol to clear an infection, by taking into account the role of the host immune system. This new conceptual framework, published in the latest edition of the scientific journal PLoS Computational Biology, may be used in the future for personalized treatments.

Breast cancer patients receiving Herceptin treatment should be monitored for heart damage at any age
Breast cancer patients undergoing treatment with trastuzumab-containing regimens should be monitored for heart damage regardless of age. This is among the findings of a new study from the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, University Health Network.

Extreme heat and precipitation linked to more severe asthma requiring hospitalization
Extreme heat and heavy rainfall are related to increased risk of hospitalization for asthma in Maryland, according to a study by University of Maryland School of Public Health researchers. Based on over a decade of asthma hospitalization data (115,923 cases from 2000-2012), Researchers observed a 23 percent increase in risk of asthma hospitalizations when there was an extreme heat event during summer months. This risk was higher among 5-17 year olds.

Blue Ribbon Panel announced to help guide VP Biden's National Cancer Moonshot Initiative
Today, the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, announced a Blue Ribbon Panel of scientific experts, cancer leaders, and patient advocates that will inform the scientific direction and goals at NCI of Vice President Joe Biden's National Cancer Moonshot Initiative. The panel will serve as a working group of the presidentially appointed National Cancer Advisory Board and will provide scientific guidance from thought-leaders in the cancer community.

Children's Research Institute at UT Southwestern research garners Stand Up To Cancer grant
Dr. Hao Zhu, Assistant Professor of Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern, is one of 10 researchers in the nation to receive a Stand Up to Cancer grant to further his studies of a gene whose absence protects mice against liver cancer and promotes liver tissue regeneration in mammals.

SwRI's BORE microgravity payload flies aboard commercial suborbital spaceflight
A Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) experiment designed to assess the surface properties and processes of near-Earth asteroids successfully flew aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard space vehicle April 2.

UTA biologists study imperiled lizard in Texas and Mexico to develop conservation plan
University of Texas at Arlington biologists are studying a species of lizard found in parts of Texas and northeastern Mexico to find out why the reptile's numbers have been dwindling dramatically. They are conducting fieldwork and genome sequencing to learn as much as possible about the spot-tailed earless lizard Holbrookia lacerata, which has experienced a steady decline in population in Central and South Texas.

Angiogenesis factor found to promote three age-related diseases of the eye
A Massachusetts General Hospital investigator has found that increased expression of the angiogenic factor VEGF-A promotes three common aging-related eye conditions - both versions of age-related macular degeneration and also cataracts - in an animal model. 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