Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 20, 2013
Shining the soothing light
Low-level laser therapy reduces the occurrence of oral mucositis, known as the common canker sore, and improves quality of life in head and neck squamous cell cancer patients.

Large-scale deep re-sequencing reveals cucumber's evolutionary enigma
Large-scale deep re-sequencing reveals cucumber's evolutionary enigma.

Global ocean currents explain why Northern Hemisphere is the soggier one
The Northern Hemisphere gets more tropical rain because of ocean currents that originate in the icy waters near Greenland.

Flu virus wipes out immune system's first responders to establish infection
Revealing influenza's truly insidious nature, Whitehead Institute scientists have discovered that the virus is able to infect its host by first killing off the cells of the immune system that are actually best equipped to neutralize the virus.

Inherited gene variation tied to high-risk pediatric leukemia and greater risk of relapse
Research led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists has linked an inherited gene variation to a nearly four-fold increased risk of developing a pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia subtype that is associated with a poor outcome.

Physical cues help mature cells revert into embryonic-like stem cells
UC Berkeley bioengineers have shown that physical cues can help reprogram mature cells back into pluripotent stem cells.

'Random' cell movement is directed from within
Johns Hopkins cell biologists have teased apart two integral components of the machinery that causes cells to move.

2 genetic wrongs make a biochemical right
In a biological quirk that promises to provide researchers with a new approach for studying and potentially treating Fragile X syndrome, scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have shown that knocking out a gene important for messenger RNA translation in neurons restores memory deficits and reduces behavioral symptoms in a mouse model of a prevalent human neurological disease.

Mixing nanoparticles to make multifunctional materials
Scientists have developed a general approach for combining different types of nanoparticles to produce large-scale composite materials.

New idea for targeting the common cancer protein KRAS
Patients with cancers driven by the protein KRAS, which are particularly hard to treat, may benefit from small molecules that attach to and disrupt the function of a KRAS-containing protein complex, according to results presented here at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, held Oct.

Clean living is a luxury wild animals can't afford, study suggests
Domestic animals will choose to steer clear of dirt -- but their wild cousins can't be so picky and may be at increased risk of disease as a result.

Potential new drug effective in breast cancer and melanoma resistant to targeted therapies
LEE011, a small-molecule inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK) 4/6 being developed by Novartis Oncology, showed promising results in drug-resistant melanoma and drug-resistant breast cancer when tested in combination with other targeted therapies, and based on these preclinical results, several phase I clinical trials were launched recently, according to results presented here at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, held October 19-23.

Rats! Humans and rodents process their mistakes
What happens when the brain recognizes an error? A new study shows that the brains of humans and rats adapt in a similar way to errors by using low-frequency brainwaves in the medial frontal cortex to synchronize neurons in the motor cortex.

Research offers new insight in quest for single vaccine against multiple influenza strains
A study led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists highlights a new approach for developing a universal influenza vaccine that could protect against multiple flu strains, including deadly pandemic strains.

Topological light: Living on the edge
In this week's issue of Nature Photonics scientists at the Joint Quantum Institute report the first observation of topological edge states for light in two dimensions, analogous to the quantum Hall effect for electrons.

Delayed gratification hurts climate change cooperation
Time is a huge impediment when it comes to working together to halt the effects of climate change, new research suggests.

Blood stem cells age at the unexpected flip of a molecular switch
Scientists report in Nature they have found a novel and unexpected molecular switch that could become a key to slowing some of the ravages of getting older as it prompts blood stem cells to age.

Cells' 'molecular muscles' help them sense and respond to their environments
Johns Hopkins researchers used suction to learn that individual

Potential new drug for some patients with treatment-resistant lung cancer
The investigational drug AZD9291, a third-generation EGFR inhibitor, showed promise in preclinical studies and provides hope for patients with advanced lung cancers that have become resistant to existing EGFR inhibitors, according to results presented here at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, held Oct.

Targeted investigational therapy potential to overcome crizotinib resistance in lung cancers
PF-06463922, an investigational drug being developed by Pfizer Inc., has the potential to become a new treatment option for patients who have lung cancer harboring abnormalities in the ALK gene, according to preclinical results presented here at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, held Oct.

The Istanbul Symposium-genomics in Reproductive Medicine will be held on November 16
The Istanbul Symposium-genomics in Reproductive Medicine will be held on November 16.

UCLA scientist uncovers biological clock able to measure age of most human tissues
A UCLA study is the first to identify a biological clock able to gauge the age of most human tissues.

Neuron 'claws' in the brain enable flies to distinguish 1 scent from another
Researchers at CSHL are using the fruit fly to discover how the brain integrates multiple signals to identify one unique smell.

NTU scientists make breakthrough solar technology
In the near future, solar panels will not only be more efficient but also a lot cheaper and affordable for everyone, thanks to research by Nanyang Technological University scientists.

Pest control presentations at Entomology 2013
The 2013 Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America in Austin, TX, Nov.
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