Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (June 2015)

Science news and science current events archive June, 2015.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from June 2015

UPitt researchers find link between neighborhood quality and cellular aging
Regardless of chronological age, people who live in neighborhoods with high crime, noise, and vandalism are biologically more than a decade older than those who do not, according to a study led by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh. The findings were published online today in PLOS ONE.

ALK1 protein may play a role in breast cancer metastasis
Breast cancer patients with high levels of the protein activin-like receptor kinase (ALK1) in the blood vessels of their tumors were more likely to develop metastatic disease. This makes inhibition of the ALK1 pathway a possible new target for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.

PTSD raises odds of heart attack and stroke in women
Women with elevated symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder consistent with the clinical threshold for the disorder had 60 percent higher rates of having a heart attack or stroke compared with women who never experienced trauma, according to scientists at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Results appear in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association.

New 'body of evidence' regarding approval of prostitution, compensation for organ donation
Selling one's body to provide another person with sexual pleasure and selling organs to restore another person's health are generally prohibited in North America on moral grounds, but two new University of Toronto Mississauga studies illustrate how additional information about the societal benefits of such transactions can have an impact on public approval.

Risky outdoor play positively impacts children's health: UBC study
New research shows that risky outdoor play is not only good for children's health but also encourages creativity, social skills and resilience.

The ebb and flow of Greenland's glaciers
In northwestern Greenland, glaciers flow from the main ice sheet to the ocean in see-sawing seasonal patterns. The ice generally flows faster in the summer than in winter, and the ends of glaciers, jutting out into the ocean, also advance and retreat with the seasons. Now, a new analysis shows some important connections between these seasonal patterns, sea ice cover and longer-term trends.

Costs of War Project releases new reports on Afghanistan, Pakistan
Afghan security forces, like their fellow citizens more generally, do not view the US-led war in Afghanistan as 'their war.' This is a primary policy-relevant conclusion reached in one of two new reports issued today by the Costs of War Project at Brown's University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.

Poppies provide missing piece of morphine biosynthesis puzzle
Researchers studying poppy plants -- the natural source of pain-relieving alkaloids, such as morphine and codeine -- have identified a fusion gene that facilitates important, back-to-back steps in the plant's morphine-producing pathway.

Gut check: Does a hospital stay set patients up for sepsis by disrupting the microbiome?
Can a routine hospital stay upset the balance of microbes in our bodies so much that it sets some older people up for a life-threatening health crisis called sepsis? A new study suggests this may be the case.

Metrobus ready to become mobile farmers market
The St. Louis MetroMarket is a nonprofit mobile farmers market that aims to restore access to healthy foods in St. Louis area food deserts.

Researchers discover two new groups of viruses
Researchers at the University of Bonn and the German Center for Infection Research have discovered two new groups of viruses within the Bunyavirus family in the tropical forest of Ivory Coast. Previously only five groups responsible for serious illnesses in humans and animals were known. Most are spread through blood-feeding insects. Based on the discovered viruses researchers conclude that the ancester to all bunyaviruses must have existed in arthropods such as insects.

Hyperbaric hope for fibromyalgia sufferers
Women who suffer from fibromyalgia benefit from a treatment regimen in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, according to researchers at Rice University and institutes in Israel.

How can health professionals enhance cognitive health in older adults?
An expert panel convened by the Institute of Medicine clarified the cognitive aging process by making a distinction from Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, and provided recommendations to enhance cognitive health in older adults. Now a new article published in Annals of Internal Medicine highlights key points of that report and serves as a guide for health care professionals seeking to improve the quality of life of older adults by maintaining brain health.

Americans may be wasting more food than they think
Most Americans are aware that food waste is a problem, are concerned about it, and say they work to reduce their own waste, but nearly three-quarters believe that they waste less food than the national average, new research suggests.

Boston Surgeon Joseph P. Vacanti, M.D., F.A.C.S., receives 2015 ACS Jacobson Innovation Award
Joseph P. Vacanti, M.D., F.A.C.S., received the 2015 Jacobson Innovation Award of the American College of Surgeons at a dinner held in his honor this evening in Chicago, Ill. Dr. Vacanti, the John Homans Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, is also the director of the Laboratory for Tissue Engineering and Organ Fabrication, the codirector of the Center for Regenerative Medicine, and the chief of pediatric transplantation, at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Mass.

Risk for sleep disorders among college freshmen may predict retention, success
A new study suggests that the risk for sleep disorders among college freshmen may be a predictor of retention and academic success.

Are you taking too much NyQuil? The surprising futility of drug labeling
Any box or bottle of over-the-counter (OTC) medicine lists its active ingredients prominently on the label. But are consumers using that information to make wise choices about taking two or more OTC drugs at the same time? Probably not, suggests a new study in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing.

Exiled stars explode far from home
Astronomers usually discover supernovae within large galaxies, where a star explodes perhaps once a century. UC Berkeley astronomer Melissa Graham and her colleagues used the sharp imaging capability of the Hubble Space Telescope to confirm that three exploding stars found in the empty regions between galaxies in a cluster were in fact lonely supernovae unattached to any galaxy at all. They were probably ripped from their host galaxies eons ago and exploded far from home.

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.

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.

Moffitt researchers discover mechanism leading to BRAF inhibitor resistance in melanoma
The development of targeted therapies has significantly improved the survival of melanoma patients over the last decade; however, patients often relapse because many therapies do not kill all of the tumor cells, and the remaining cells adapt to treatment and become resistant. Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a novel mechanism that can lead melanoma cells to develop resistance to drugs that target the protein BRAF.

Longest ever tiger shark tracking reveals remarkable, bird-like migrations
A new study has yielded the first ever continuous, two or more-year satellite tagging tracks for tiger sharks. This study reveals remarkable, and previously unknown, migration patterns more similar to birds, turtles and some marine mammals than other fishes.

Research identifies wide array of devices, mobile applications available for monitoring health
Technology is making health-care services that may have once seemed available only within a doctor's office accessible to the general public, according to new research from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Study identifies characteristics of patients likely to have a potential living liver donor
New research published in Liver Transplantation, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the International Liver Transplantation Society, reports that younger patients, those who are married, and those with Child-Pugh C disease -- the most severe measure of liver disease -- are more likely immigrants, divorced patients and those at the lowest income levels were less likely to have a potential live donor volunteer for liver donation.

What's new in contact lenses? Prescribing trends reflect new lens materials and designs
More Americans are using soft contact lenses -- especially daily disposable lenses -- and taking advantage of new designs targeting vision problems that were difficult to correct with previous contact lenses, reports the July issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.

A better way to build bones
Senior citizens and combat soldiers don't usually have much in common -- unless the topic is bone injuries. Among both groups, mending serious skeletal injuries is a costly, complicated challenge. A grant from the Veterans Health Administration will fund researchers from NYU and Stanford who are working on a novel approach to harnessing the body's own chemical signals to speed bone regeneration and improve repair.

UW microbiologist explains science behind $1m Shaw Prize
UW microbiologist Peter Greenberg has long been fascinated with how bacteria in cells communicate for cooperative activities, including the spread of infection. He started exploring the subject in 1977, thinking the implications could be far-reaching. He will share the $1 million Shaw Prize annouced June 1 with microbiologist Bonnie Bassler, chair of Princeton University's Department of Molecular Biology. The award will be presented Sept. 24 in Hong Kong. Greenberg explains the science he has been pursuing for 38 years.

New study shows boys will be boys -- sex differences aren't specific to autism
A study led by a University of Miami researcher shows that behaviors relevant to autism are more frequently observed in boys than in girls, whether they're at risk of autism or not.

New book on The Hepatitis B and Delta Viruses from CSHLPress
The Hepatitis B and Delta Viruses, from CSHLPress, examines all aspects of HBV and HDV infections and their management. Contributors discuss the HBV and HDV life cycles, their unique characteristics (e.g., the formation of HBV cccDNA), the immune responses they elicit, and the challenges they present to the development of antiviral treatments. The molecular mechanisms that lead to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma are reviewed, as are factors that influence the severity of the disease. Conventional treatments are also described.

Barnacles go with the flow to find a home on dolphin fins
Highly specialized coronulid barnacles may be able to identify and attach to the fins of quick-swimming dolphins, locating areas suited for finding food and developing larvae.

Commodity market volatility more perception than reality
When grain and other commodity prices experienced explosive episodes between 2004 and 2013, the finger pointed toward index traders as the cause. University of Illinois researchers identified and date-stamped both upward and downward price bubbles for grain during that time period. They found that not only were index traders not to blame but that the bubbles didn't last nearly as long as many thought they did.

Drug discovery for Parkinson's disease: LCSB researchers grow neurons in 3-D
The progressive loss of neurons in the brain of Parkinson's patients is slow yet inexorable. So far, there are no drugs that can halt this insidious process. Researchers at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine of the University of Luxembourg have now managed to grow the types of neurons affected starting from neuronal stem cells in a three-dimensional cell culture system.

Longitudinal brain changes during transition from adolescence to adulthood found in ASD
A study published in the June 2015 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry demonstrates that the atypical trajectory of cortical/brain development in autism spectrum disorder extends well beyond young childhood and into late adolescence and young adulthood.

Body's response to injury and inflammation may hinder wound healing in diabetes
In a study published online in Nature Medicine, scientists from the hospital's Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine (PCMM) found they could speed up wound healing in diabetic mice by keeping immune cells called neutrophils from producing bacteria-trapping neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs).

Opening a new route to photonics
Berkeley scientists have developed a technique for effectively controlling pulses of light in closely packed nanoscale waveguides, an essential requirement for ultrahigh density, ultracompact integrated photonic circuitry.

New composite material as CO2 sensor
A new material changes its conductivity depending on the concentration of CO2 in the environment. The researchers who developed it have utilized the material to produce a miniature, simply constructed sensor.

Infant brains develop years faster than we thought
Scientists from the University of Louvain have discovered that a key element of infant brain development occurs years earlier than previously thought.

University of Illinois awarded $3.1 million to develop all-terrain rovers for high-throughput field phenotyping
The University of Illinois announced that is has been awarded a two-year, $3.1 million grant from the DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. The U. of I. will be the lead institution on the Mobile Energy-crop Phenotyping Platform, working in partnership with researchers from Cornell University and Signetron Inc.

New fog chamber provides testing options that could improve security cameras
Sandia National Laboratories has developed a fog chamber -- one of the world's largest -- that creates a controlled environment to more easily test security cameras, sensors or other equipment.

New microscope technique could speed identification of deadly bacteria
A new way of rapidly identifying bacteria, which requires a slight modification to a simple microscope, may change the way doctors approach treatment for patients who develop potentially deadly infections and may also help the food industry screen against contamination with harmful pathogens, according to researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Daejeon, South Korea.

Current mobile contracts damaging the environment, research finds
Research published today in the journal the International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment has called for an overhaul of the way mobile devices are manufactured and contracted, in order to stop the harmful effects on the environment caused by current business models.

Forgotten fossil indicates earlier origin of teeth
A tiny tooth plate of the 410 million year old fossil fish Romundina stellina indicates that teeth evolved earlier in the tree of life than recently thought.

Most detailed view ever of star formation in the distant universe
ALMA's Long Baseline Campaign has produced a spectacularly detailed image of a distant galaxy being gravitationally lensed. The image shows a magnified view of the galaxy's star-forming regions, the likes of which have never been seen before at this level of detail in a galaxy so remote. The new observations are far more detailed than those made using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, and reveal star-forming clumps in the galaxy equivalent to giant versions of the Orion Nebula.

Stillbirth and neonatal death rate report identifies areas for improvement in NHS services
University of Leicester-led research team finds regional variations even after allowing for factors such as poverty, mother's age and ethnicity.

ALMA precisely measures black hole mass
A research group led by Kyoko Onishi at the SOKENDAI (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies), including a researcher in the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, National Institutes of Natural Sciences, observed the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1097 with ALMA and found that the central supermassive black hole has a mass 140 million times the mass of the sun.

Cheating amoebas reveal key to successful societies
Nobody likes a cheater. In a recent study, a University of Houston evolutionary biologist and her collaborators found that while cheaters do not take over populations, they also cannot ever fully be removed. Supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the findings are described in a paper appearing June 15 in Current Biology.

Stanford scientists show fMRI memory detectors can be easily fooled
Real-time brain scans coupled with a machine-learning algorithm can reveal whether a person has memory of a particular subject. Now, Anthony Wagner and other scientists at Stanford have shown that, with a little bit of concentration, people can easily hide their memories from the computer.

Ariana Pharma teams together with SIB to discover novel biomarkers for gastric cancer
Ariana Pharma, developer of innovative clinical data analysis and diagnostic solutions for the healthcare sector, and SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, a world-class provider of bioinformatics resources and expertise, today announced their collaboration focusing on the discovery of novel biomarkers for gastric cancer. This collaboration aims at developing early detection tools for gastric cancer, one of the deadliest cancers.

Unauthorized immigrants prolong the life of Medicare Trust Fund: JGIM study
Unauthorized immigrants pay billions more into Medicare's Hospital Insurance Trust Fund each year than they withdraw in health benefits. In 2011 alone, unauthorized immigrants paid in $3.5 billion more than they utilized in care. Unauthorized immigrants generated an average surplus of $316 per capita to the Trust Fund, while other Americans generated a deficit of $106 per capita. The authors conclude that reducing unauthorized immigration would worsen Medicare's financial health.

Many experiments for the price of one -- a breakthrough in the study of gene regulation
Inside every cell that makes up a diminutive fruit fly is a vast, dynamic network of information -- the genome whose 15,000 genes allow that cell to function. In a study recently published as a breakthrough article in Nucleic Acid Research, computer scientists and molecular biologists demonstrated the utility of a novel approach to deciphering how networks of genes are regulated. 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