Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 15, 2013
Researchers report a critical role for the complement system in early macular degeneration
Mass. Eye and Ear Ocular Genomics Institute researchers report the unexpected finding that in mice genetically engineered to have an inherited form of macular degeneration, turning off the animals' complement system, a part of the immune system, prevented the disease.

Dragonflies can see by switching 'on' and 'off'
Researchers at the University of Adelaide have discovered a novel and complex visual circuit in a dragonfly's brain that could one day help to improve vision systems for robots.

High debt could be hazardous to your health
If young people are drowning in debt, their blood pressure may be on the rise and their health could suffer.

A new approach assembles big structures from small interlocking pieces
Researchers invent a new approach to assembling big structures -- even airplanes and bridges -- out of small interlocking composite components.

Graphene nanoscrolls are formed by decoration of magnetic nanoparticles
Researchers at Umeå University in Sweden, together with researchers at Uppsala University and Stockholm University, show in a new study how nitrogen doped graphene can be rolled into perfect Archimedean nano scrolls by adhering magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles on the surface of the graphene sheets.

Researchers discover beneficial jumping gene
Also referred to as jumping genes, transposons are snippets of

Trio of fires in Northern California
A trio of fires continues to plague Northern California. In this MODIS image from the Terra satellite, all three fires can be detected.

Shining stem cells reveals how our skin is maintained
All organs in our body rely on stem cells in order to maintain their function.

First find of its kind in more than 3 decades: The adorable Olinguito
Meet the olinguito (Bassaricyon neblina), the first carnivore species to be discovered in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years.

Smithsonian scientists discover new species of carnivore
Observed in the wild, tucked away in museums, and even exhibited in zoos -- there is one creature that has been a victim of mistaken identity for more than 100 years.

Ex-Tropical Storm Utor still raining on southern China
NASA satellite data revealed that the day after Typhoon Utor made landfall in southern China, its circulation still appeared intact despite weakening over land.

Malware bites and how to stop it
Writing in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Electronic Security and Digital Forensics, researchers at the Australian National University, in Acton, ACT, and the Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE jointly with Victorian Institute of Technology, in Melbourne Victoria, have devised an approach to virus detection that acts as a third layer on top of scanning for known viruses and heuristic scanning.

Study examines risk of severe blood sugar swings among diabetics taking fluoroquinolones
Diabetic patients taking oral fluoroquinolones, a frequently prescribed class of antibiotics, were found to have a higher risk of severe blood sugar-related problems than diabetic patients taking other kinds of antibiotics, according to a recent study from Taiwan published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

JCI early table of contents for Aug. 15, 2013
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Aug.

Researcher awarded $1.8 million grant to study gender differences in antidepressant effects
A Florida State University College of Medicine researcher is investigating why ketamine, used as an antidepressant for the last decade, requires a higher dosage to improve depression in males.

Biomarkers predict time to ovarian cancer recurrence
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Roel Verchaak and colleagues at the MD Anderson Cancer Center identify protein biomarkers that are predictive for time of ovarian cancer recurrence and develop a PRotein-driven index of OVARian cancer.

Book examines difficult cases in radiation oncology
William Small, Jr., MD, of Loyola University Medical Center is co-editor of a new book that provides an evidence-based guide to difficult cases in radiation oncology.

Cell memory mechanism discovered
DNA binding proteins called transcription factors are required for maintaining cell identity.

Hubble explores the origins of modern galaxies
Astronomers have used observations from Hubble's CANDELS survey to explore the sizes, shapes, and colors of distant galaxies over the last 80% of the Universe's history.

Exercise is no quick cure for insomnia
Exercise is a common prescription for insomnia. But hitting the treadmill one day won't translate into better sleep that night, reports new research.

UTHealth researchers link PRKG1 genetic mutation to thoracic aortic disease
A multi-institutional team led by Dianna Milewicz, M.D., Ph.D., of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston has found a recurrent genetic mutation that has been linked to deadly thoracic aortic dissections in family members as young as 17 years of age.

More potent anti-clotting drugs with angiography may benefit patients with acute chest pain
In a new report from the TRILOGY ACS trial from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Duke Clinical Research Institute, in patients without artery-clearing procedures, those who had an angiography (a type of x-ray to view the inside of blood vessels) followed by prasugrel (Effient) had fewer heart attacks and strokes compared to those who had an angiography followed by clopidogrel (Plavix).

The first animal model for sexual transmission of HIV
Despite the availability of many animal models of HIV infection, none reproduce the physiological conditions of vaginal intercourse, which is the most common route of HIV transmission.

Consuming a high-quality diet is associated with lower risk of pancreatic cancer
People who reported dietary intake that was most consistent with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans had lower risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a new study published Aug.

ITN type 1 diabetes study identifies subset of patients with strong response to therapy
Primary results from a new clinical trial show that patients with type 1 diabetes treated with the monoclonal antibody teplizumab (MacroGenics, Inc.) exhibit greater preservation of C-peptide, a biomarker of islet cell function, compared to controls.

Anti-homophobia measures reduce binge drinking for all students
Canadian high schools with anti-homophobia policies or gay-straight alliances that have been in place for three years or more have a positive effect on both gay and straight students' problem alcohol use, according to a new study by University of British Columbia researchers.

MicroRNAs have diagnostic and prognostic potential in urinary bladder cancer
German researchers have identified four biomarkers that correctly determine malignancy of urinary bladder cancers and contribute to the accurate prediction of patient outcomes.

Answering crucial questions about anthrax exposure
University of Utah and George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center researchers have developed a mathematical model to help answer critical questions and guide the response to a large-scale anthrax exposure.

Heartbeats link mind and body together
In Switzerland, EPFL research reveals that the heart beat creates a link between the mind and the body, showing for the first time that the brain processes information about our internal organs, jointly with visual signals, to identify the self.

Obesity kills more Americans than previously thought
Obesity is a lot more deadly than previously thought. Across recent decades, obesity accounted for 18 percent of deaths among Black and White Americans between the ages of 40 and 85, according to a study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Evolution of hyperswarming bacteria could develop anti-biofilm therapies
Hyperswarming, pathogenic bacteria have repeatedly evolved in a lab, and the good news is that they should be less of a problem to us than their less mobile kin.

Human eye movements for vision are remarkably adaptable
When something gets in the way of our ability to see, we quickly pick up a new way to look according to a new study.

Heart's own stem cells offer hope for new treatment of heart failure
Researchers at King's College London have for the first time highlighted the natural regenerative capacity of a group of stem cells that reside in the heart.

'Rothman Index' may help to lower repeat hospitalization risk
A health risk score calculated automatically using routine data from hospital electronic medical records systems can identify patients at high risk of unplanned hospital readmission, reports a study in the September issue of Medical Care, published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

Experiences of racism linked to adult-onset asthma in African-American women
According to a new study from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, African-American women who reported more frequent experiences of racism had a greater likelihood of adult-onset asthma compared to women who reported less frequent experiences.

Remembering to remember supported by 2 distinct brain processes
Remembering to remember -- whether it's appointments or taking medications -- is essential to our everyday lives.

Antarctic ice core sheds new light on how the last ice age ended
Analysis of an ice core taken by the National Science Foundation-funded West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide drilling project reveals that warming in Antarctica began about 22,000 years ago, a few thousand years earlier than suggested by previous records.

Rutgers study: Worms may shed light on human ability to handle chronic stress
Researchers at Rutgers University hope a new study will shed light on how our nervous system responds to stress and why some people suffer and others are better able to cope.

Mountaintop mining pollution has distinct chemical signatures
Three elements commonly found at elevated levels in an Appalachian river polluted by runoff from mountaintop coal mining have distinctive chemistries that can be traced back to their source, according to a Duke University-led study.

Whole-genome sequencing unravels the puzzle of chronic mountain sickness
Whole-genome sequencing unravels the puzzle of chronic mountain sickness.

Psychiatric patients given smoking-cessation treatment less likely to be rehospitalized
Patients who participated in a smoking-cessation program during hospitalization for mental illness were able to quit smoking and were less likely to be hospitalized again for their psychiatric conditions, according to a new study led by a Stanford University School of Medicine scientist.

New chemotherapy hope for hard-to-treat childhood cancers
Children with a particularly lethal cancer could benefit from potentially life-saving treatment, following breakthrough work led by researchers at the University of New South Wales.

Will to win forms at 4 years old
New research suggests children don't understand competitive behavior until around the age of four.

Characteristics of family killers revealed by first taxonomy study
Of all the dark forms that murder can take, the slaying of a family by the father is one of the most tragic and the least understood.

MacDonald earns GSA's 2013 Baltes Foundation Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Stuart W.S.

Krause to receive GSA's 2013 Distinguished Career Contribution to Gerontology Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Neal M.

The pathway to asthma winds through toll-like receptor 4
In a report that appears online in the journal Science, Dr.

Slow earthquakes may foretell larger events
Monitoring slow earthquakes may provide a basis for reliable prediction in areas where slow quakes trigger normal earthquakes, according to Penn State geoscientists.

Unearthed: Fossil of history's most successful mammal
The 160-million-year-old fossil of an extinct rodent-like creature from China is helping to explain how multituberculates -- the most evolutionarily successful and long-lived mammalian lineage in the fossil record -- achieved their dominance.

CCNY chemists devise new way to prepare molecules for drug testing
James Bond had his reasons for ordering his martinis

The secret of male beauty (in turkeys)
The essence of male beauty is down to the way males use their genes rather than what genes they have, according to a new study into the sexual attractiveness of turkeys.

Tufts scientists develop new early warning system for cholera epidemics
Tufts University School of Engineering researchers have established new techniques for predicting the severity of seasonal cholera epidemics months before they occur and with a greater degree of accuracy than other methods based on remote satellite imaging.

Allman to receive GSA's 2013 Joseph T. Freeman Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Richard M.

Celery, artichokes contain flavonoids that kill human pancreatic cancer cells
Celery, artichokes, and herbs, especially Mexican oregano, all contain apigenin and luteolin, flavonoids that kill human pancreatic cancer cells in the lab by inhibiting an important enzyme, according to two new University of Illinois studies.

Simple blood pressure cuff inflation reduces heart injury from bypass surgery
Inflating a blood pressure cuff on the upper arm just ahead of heart bypass surgery reduces heart injury and might even improve bypass patients' long-term survival, according to an article published in The Lancet.

New model helps universities map their nitrogen footprint
The first institution-level model to estimate the amount of reactive nitrogen released into the environment -- a contributor to smog, acid rain, and climate change -- is enabling the University of Virginia to quantify its nitrogen footprint and take steps to reduce it.

CWRU cosmological theorists receive research awards
Assistant physics professors Claudia de Rham and Andrew J. Tolley have received awards to delve deep into black holes, dark energy and other phenomena tied to crucial events in the evolution of the universe.

Growth of disorder of electrons measured in dual temperature system
Researchers at Aalto University, Finland and the University of Tokyo have succeeded for the first time in experimentally measuring a probability distribution for entropy production of electrons.

Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation does not reduce joint symptoms in postmenopausal women
A team of investigators systematically analyzed the effect of calcium and vitamin D supplementation on joint symptoms in a rigorous and controlled study of postmenopausal women.

Gold to receive GSA's 2013 Distinguished Mentorship in Gerontology Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Deborah T.

Making the brain take notice of faces in autism
Difficulty in registering and responding to the facial expressions of other people is a hallmark of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Ear, nose, throat, and head and neck physicians to offer newest specialty research
The 2013 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO℠ of the American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, the largest meeting of ear, nose, and throat doctors in the world, will convene September 29 - October 2, at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

A molecule involved in development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
In the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Michael Holtzman and colleagues at the Washington University School of Medicine report that expression of an inflammatory molecule, interleukin-33, is increased in the airways of both a mouse model of viral-induced COPD and humans with COPD.

New study shows vitamin D-related 'molecular switches' predict childhood bone mass
Researchers at the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, have demonstrated that the degree to which a gene related to vitamin D action is switched on or off, when measured at birth, predicts bone density of the child at four years of age.

Researchers identify genetic root of mountain sickness
Exposure to low oxygen levels, such as those present at high altitudes, can wreak havoc on the body.

Study shows both a Mediterranean diet and diets low in available carbohydrates protect against type 2 diabetes
New research shows that a Mediterranean-style diet and diets low in available carbohydrates can offer protection against type 2 diabetes.

Sexual health for postmenopausal women improved by hypnotic relaxation therapy, Baylor study shows
Hypnotic relaxation therapy improves sexual health in women who have hot flashes, according to Baylor University researchers who presented their findings at the American Psychological Association's recent annual meeting.

Beating blindness with vegetable oil
Findings published today in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology suggest that incubating retinal cells with vegetable oils induces biochemical and biophysical changes in the cell membrane, which may have a beneficial effect in preventing or slowing the development of retinopathy.

Research collaboration aims to improve wireless technology, smartphones
Kansas State University's Electronics Design Laboratory and Lawrence-based Avatekh Inc.

New study puts a price on drug-resistant TB cases in EU
A new study has calculated the average cost per case of TB in the EU.

Haley to receive GSA's 2013 Minority Mentorship Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen William E.

Good-looking birds: Sexual attractiveness in the wild turkey
Why are some individuals more attractive to the opposite sex than others?

Mountain high: Genetic adaptation for high altitudes identified
Research led by scientists from the University of California, San Diego has decoded the genetic basis of chronic mountain sickness (CMS) or Monge's disease.

Sullivan-Marx earns GSA's 2013 Doris Schwartz Gerontological Nursing Research Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Eileen M.

Viral infection and specialized lung cells linked to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have described another link in the chain of events that connect acute viral infections to the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Scripps Research Institute scientists reveal how deadly Ebola virus assembles
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered the molecular mechanism by which the deadly Ebola virus assembles, providing potential new drug targets.

Sugar helps scientists find and assess prostate tumors
A natural form of sugar could offer a new, noninvasive way to precisely image tumors and potentially see whether cancer medication is effective, by means of a new imaging technology developed at UC San Francisco in collaboration with GE Healthcare.

Study: Making medical decisions for a cognitively impaired family member is complicated
Decision-making by a surrogate for a family member who is unable to make medical decisions is more complicated than decision-making by patients themselves according to a new study.

Rice technique expands options for molecular imaging
Rice University scientists prove a new technique for determining the structure of molecules that challenges long-used standards like X-ray diffraction and nuclear magnetic resonance.

Data: ATSP-7041 as first-in-class p53 pathway re-activator for solid/ hematologic cancers
A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveals preclinical data on ATSP-7041, a potent and selective stapled peptide re-activator of the wild type p53 tumor suppressor protein.

International vision and driving experts coming to Detroit
This bi-annual research congress brings authorities on vision and driving together to discuss their research on such topics as autonomous cars, driver distraction and traffic signals for color-blind drivers.

Hausdorff to receive GSA's 2013 Excellence in Rehabilitation of Aging Persons Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Jeffrey M.

1 in 5 women don't believe their breast cancer risk
Despite taking a tailored risk assessment tool that factors in family history and personal habits, nearly 20 percent of women did not believe their breast cancer risk, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Imaging in mental health and improving the diagnostic process
What are some of the most troubling numbers in mental health?

ORNL superconducting wire yields unprecedented performance
The ability to control nanoscale imperfections in superconducting wires results in materials with unparalleled and customized performance, according to a new study from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Evidence for a therapeutic effect of Braintone on ischemic brain damage
This releases focuses on evidence for a therapeutic effect of Braintone on ischemic brain damage.

NSF invests $20 million in large projects to keep the nation's cyberspace secure and trustworthy
The National Science Foundation today issued three large Frontier awards totaling nearly $20 million to support collaborative, multi-university research and education activities that will help protect the nation's vast, critical infrastructure and enable a more secure information society.

Sympathetic neurons 'cross talk' with pancreas cells during early development
Sympathetic neurons

Preventive antibiotics for tuberculosis reduce deaths among people with HIV disease
As part of the largest international research effort ever made to combat tuberculosis, a team of Johns Hopkins and Brazilian experts has found that preventive antibiotic therapy for people with HIV lowers this group's chances of developing TB or dying.

In nonsmoking women, breastfeeding for more than 6 months may protect against breast cancer
A new analysis has found that breastfeeding for more than six months may safeguard nonsmoking mothers against breast cancer.

UC Davis researchers discover molecular target for the bacterial infection brucellosis
UC Davis scientists have uncovered a potential drug target for the development of an effective therapy against the debilitating, chronic form of the bacterial disease brucellosis, which primarily afflicts people in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries.

Cell cycle-related genes in the pathogenesis of neural tube defects
This release focuses on cell cycle-related genes in the pathogenesis of neural tube defects.

First time: NJIT researchers examine dynamics of liquid metal particles at nanoscale
Two NJIT researchers have demonstrated that using a continuum-based approach, they can explain the dynamics of liquid metal particles on a substrate of a nanoscale.

Study shows feral cat control could benefit from different approach
New research from Tufts University scientists shows that feral cats that undergo a vasectomy or hysterectomy could reduce a feral colony's numbers more effectively than the traditional approach of neutering.

Voyager 1 has left the solar system, says new study
Voyager 1 appears to have at long last left our solar system and entered interstellar space, says a University of Maryland-led team of researchers.

University of Montana scientists use new approach to reveal function of Greenland's ice sheet
Findings from a large-scale ice drilling study on the Greenland ice sheet by a team of University of Montana and University of Wyoming researchers may revise the models used to predict how ice sheets move.

NASA data showed Tropical Storm Erin forming
Infrared data from NASA's Aqua satellite showed strong thunderstorms had developed in the eastern Atlantic low pressure system that grew into Tropical Storm Erin.

What is the new target inhibiting the progression of Alzheimer's disease?
What is the new target inhibiting the progression of Alzheimer's disease?

More than 28 cups of coffee a week may endanger health in under-55s
Drinking large amounts of coffee may be bad for under-55s.

Try clapping your wet hands; a physics lesson from Virginia Tech engineers
The article, Dynamics of squeezing fluids: Clapping wet hands,

Improved caregiver training helps HIV-infected children
Children born with HIV can live longer and richer lives if their caregivers receive training in ways to enhance the children's development, according to research led by Michigan State University.

Cosmic turbulences result in star and black hole formation
Just how stars and black holes in the Universe are able to form from rotating matter is one of the big questions of astrophysics.

New possibilities for efficient biofuel production
An international collaboration of plant scientists from VIB and Ghent University (Belgium), the University of Dundee (UK), The James Hutton Institute (UK) and the University of Wisconsin (USA) identified a new gene in the biosynthetic pathway of lignin, a major component of plant secondary cell walls that limits the conversion of biomass to energy.

Does chronic pain affect a spouse's sleep?
In a novel study of behavioral health outcomes published in the journal PAIN®, researchers examined the effects of patients' daily knee osteoarthritis pain on their spouses' nightly sleep.

In regenerating planarians, muscle cells provide more than heavy lifting
By studying the planarian flatworm, a master of regenerating missing tissue and repairing wounds, the lab of Whitehead Institute Member Peter Reddien has identified an unexpected source of position instruction: The muscle cells in the planarian body wall.

Tumors form advance teams to ready lungs for spread of cancer
Cancer metastasis requires tumor cells to acquire properties that allow them to escape from the primary tumor site, travel to a distant place in the body, and form secondary tumors.

Knockout mouse grows larger, but weaker, muscles
Muscle cells did not diminish in mice lacking a protective antioxidant protein, but they were weaker than normal muscle cells, researchers from the Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio found.

Kraus to receive 2013 Gene D. Cohen Award
The Gerontological Society of America and the National Center for Creative Aging have chosen Nina Kraus, Ph.D., of Northwestern University as the 2013 recipient of the Gene D.

Huge owls need huge trees
A study spearheaded by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Minnesota has shown that the world's largest owl -- and one of the rarest -- is also a key indicator of the health of some of the last great primary forests of Russia's Far East.

Parmelee earns GSA's 2013 M. Powell Lawton Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Patricia Parmelee, Ph.D., of the University of Alabama as the 2013 recipient of the M.

Quantum teleportation: Transfer of flying quantum bits at the touch of a button
By means of the quantum-mechanical entanglement of spatially separated light fields, researchers in Tokyo and Mainz have managed to teleport photonic qubits with extreme reliability.

Study reveals much-needed strategy to protect against deadly liver fibrosis
Chronic liver disease is a leading cause of death in the United States, in part because it often causes the formation of harmful scar tissue -- a process known as fibrosis. 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