Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 22, 2013
How climate change affects microbial life below the seafloor
Sediments from the deep sea give insight into the dynamics of the deep biosphere.

Rapid method to detect BRAF mutations in cancer tissue samples
A new diagnostic platform to detect BRAF mutations in melanoma and other cancer types is faster and more accurate compared with the standard method currently used in clinics, and this could help accelerate diagnosis and treatment, according to results presented here at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, held Oct.

Supernatural experiences trigger religious donations, Baylor study shows
People who have had what they believe to be supernatural experiences are more likely to be

CU-Boulder researchers develop 4-D printing technology for composite materials
Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have successfully added a fourth dimension to their printing technology, opening up exciting possibilities for the creation and use of adaptive, composite materials in manufacturing, packaging and biomedical applications.

For low-income families, substandard housing takes toll on children
A study of 2,400 children living in low-income neighborhoods links poor housing quality to an increase in emotional and behavioral problems in children and poor school performance in teens, according to a team of researchers.

Foot and mouth disease in sub-Saharan Africa moves over short distances, wild buffalo are a problem
New research shows that in sub-Saharan Africa the virus responsible for foot and mouth disease (FMD) moves over relatively short distances and the African buffalo are important natural reservoirs for the infection.

Lauren Sciences LLC research team at Ben-Gurion University successfully completes Campbell Foundation 1-year grant to develop V-SmartTM therapeutic for neuro-HIV
Lauren Sciences, a privately-held biotechnology company furthering development of V-Smartâ„¢ therapeutics based upon its novel nanovesicle platform technology, announced today successful completion by its research team at Ben-Gurion University of the first stage of developing a V-Smartâ„¢ therapeutic for the treatment of neuro-HIV.

2 online science video pioneers combine to form new
Two pioneering online biology video sites, iBioSeminars and iBioMagazine, have merged to create, a new website with even more to offer the biology community.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center opens HIV-vaccine lab in South Africa
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center tomorrow will celebrate the grand opening of a state-of-the-art HIV vaccine laboratory in Cape Town, South Africa.

Opioids for chronic pain: Study looks at how patients and their doctors talk about risks
A pilot study by researchers from the Roudebush VA Medical Center and the Regenstrief Institute is believed to be the first to analyze how patients and doctors discuss potentially addictive pain medications in primary care appointments.

McGill/MUHC research team wins global innovation award for HIVSmart self-screening strategy and app
The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and McGill University congratulate the team led by Dr.

5 years on, first ever tissue-engineered airway transplant remains successful
New results published in The Lancet today [Wednesday 23 October] reveal that five years after the first successful transplantation of a tissue-engineered airway (reported in The Lancet in 2008) the recipient continues to enjoy a good quality of life, and has not experienced any immunological complications or rejection of the implanted airway.

GW researcher conducts review of most successful outside interventions in reducing ED use
Jesse Pines, M.D., director of the Office of Clinical Practice Innovation and professor of emergency medicine and health policy at the George Washington University, was recently published in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine for his paper,

This week in Molecular Biology and Evolution
In this week's advance online of MBE, we examine a rare case where plant genes were transferred nearby to their natural bacteria, fungi and amoebe enemies, the changing Dengue virus, and the new science of

Copper shock: An atomic-scale stress test
Scientists used the powerful X-ray laser at the US Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to create movies detailing trillionths-of-a-second changes in the arrangement of copper atoms after an extreme shock.

Adalimumab reduces inflammation in refractory pediatric uveitis
A new study published in the current issue of the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus suggests that the biologic agent adalimumab may be a viable treatment option for patients with steroid-resistant refractory pediatric uveitis.

Gravitational waves 'know' how black holes grow
Supermassive black holes: every large galaxy's got one. But how did they grow so big?

Intranasal application of hormone appears to enhance placebo response
Simon Kessner, of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany, and colleagues conducted a study to test whether oxytocin enhances the placebo response in an experimental placebo analgesia model.

Internet users more likely to engage in cancer-preventive behaviors
Older men and women who used the internet were more likely to participate in screening for colorectal cancer, participate in physical activities, eat healthily, and smoke less, compared with those who did not use the internet, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Elsevier announces the winner of the 2013 Tetrahedron Prize
Elsevier and the Executive Board of Editors of the Tetrahedron journal series are pleased to announce that the 2013 Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry & BioMedicinal Chemistry has been awarded to Professor Shankar Balasubramanian.

Homeless people much more frequent users of emergency department and other health-care services
Single women who are homeless visit a hospital emergency department an average of more than twice a year, 13 times more often than women in the general population, new research has found.

Xpert MTB/RIF test may improve diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis in HIV-infected individuals
Tuberculous meningitis is a serious and often fatal illness that is difficult to diagnose particularly in resource-poor areas and is especially common in individuals infected with HIV.

F1000Prime evolves: Self-learning homepage and free 1-month personal trial
Faculty of 1000's F1000Prime has launched a new personalized homepage and article alerting tool that learns from an individual's research interests -- and introduced a free one-month trial personal subscription for new and returning users.

Spatial, written language skills predict math competence
New longitudinal research from Finland has found that children's early spatial skills and knowledge of written letters, rather than oral language skills, predict competence in math.

Small group of homeless people are extremely high users of ERs
Although homeless people account for a small proportion of Emergency Department visits, a small group of them are extremely high users and have multiple complex health care needs, new research has found.

October story tips from Oak Ridge National Laboratory
The following are story ideas from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory for October 2013.

UCI-led study documents heavy air pollution in Canadian area with cancer spikes
Levels of contaminants higher than in some of the world's most polluted cities have been found downwind of Canada's largest oil, gas and tar sands processing zone, in a rural area where men suffer elevated rates of cancers linked to such chemicals.

Non-toxic flame retardants
Electronics, vehicles, textiles -- almost all modern-day products contain some form of plastic.

NASA's Aqua satellite sees Typhoon Francisco approaching Japan
Typhoon Francisco was already spreading fringe clouds over southern Japan when NASA's Aqua satellite flew overhead and captured a picture of the storm from space.

High school student discovers skeleton of baby dinosaur
A chance find by a high school student led to the youngest, smallest and most complete fossil skeleton yet known from the iconic tube-crested dinosaur Parasaurolophus.

Mount Sinai finds value and limitations of patient assistance programs for women with breast cancer
Patient assistance programs can help breast cancer patients meet a variety of needs that can interfere with getting recommended adjuvant therapies such as radiation, chemotherapy, and hormonal treatments, according to a study published recently in the online edition of the Journal of Oncology Practice.

Model plant misled scientists about multicellular growth
Scientists have misunderstood one of the most fundamental processes in the life of plants because they have been looking at the wrong flower, according to University of Leeds researchers.

New artificial protein mimics a part of the HIV outer coat
A team of scientists at Duke Medicine and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has created an artificial protein coupled with a sugar molecule that mimics a key site on the outer coat of HIV where antibodies can bind to neutralize a wide variety of HIV strains.

NASA sees Atlantic depression become Tropical Storm Lorenzo
It took six hours for the thirteenth tropical depression of the Atlantic Ocean hurricane season to organize and strengthen into Tropical Storm Lorenzo.

WSU researchers link DDT and obesity
Washington State University researchers say ancestral exposures to environmental compounds like the insecticide DDT may be a factor in high rates of obesity.

Research!America honors leaders in medical and health research advocacy
Glenn Close, Dr. Leroy Hood, Dr. Reed Tuckson, Kathy Giusti and the Progeria Research Foundation will receive 2014 Research!America Advocacy Awards.

Classification system proposed for green roofs
A proposed classification system aims to better identify the unique characteristics and benefits of green roofs amid a growing industry.

NASA sees Hurricane Raymond re-soaking Mexican coast
A month ago Hurricane Manuel caused landslides and extensive flooding along Mexico's Pacific Ocean coast.

Genetic variation alters efficacy of antidepressant
Having a different form of a gene that regulates the brain chemical noradrenaline influences how well men remember negative memories after taking the antidepressant drug reboxetine, according to a study published in the October 23 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

Flu shot halves risk of heart attack or stroke in people with history of heart attack, study finds
The flu vaccine may not only ward off serious complications from influenza, it may also reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke by more than 50 percent among those who have had a heart attack, according to new research led by Dr.

Advanced light source provides a new look at vanadium dioxide
Researchers at the Advanced Light Source have taken a new look at vanadium dioxide, a correlated material that could be used to make energy-efficient ultrafast electronic switches.

Keeping it local: Protecting the brain starts at the synapse
New research by scientists at UC San Francisco shows that one of the brain's fundamental self-protection mechanisms depends on coordinated, finely calibrated teamwork among neurons and non-neural cells knows as glial cells, which until fairly recently were thought to be mere support cells for neurons.

Physicist Andreas Ludwig chosen for Alexander von Humboldt Professorship
Physicist Professor Dr. Andreas Ludwig has been chosen for an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, the highest international research prize in Germany.

RNA signatures from suspected TB patients could form the basis of a diagnostic test
A set of RNA transcriptional signatures expressed in the blood of patients might provide the basis of a diagnostic test that can distinguish active tuberculosis (TB) from latent TB and also from other diseases that have similar clinical symptoms and signs according to research published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Baby's innate number sense predicts future math skill
A new study from Duke suggests that the strength of an infant's innate sense of numerical quantities can be predictive of that child's mathematical abilities three years later.

Flu shot halves risk of heart attack or stroke in people with history of heart attack, study finds
The flu vaccine may not only ward off serious complications from influenza, it may also reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke by more than 50 percent among those who have had a heart attack, according to new research led by Dr.

Climate change increased the number of deaths
The increased temperatures caused by ongoing climate change in Stockholm, Sweden between 1980 and 2009 caused 300 more premature deaths than if the temperature increase did not take place.

What a difference a grade makes
Children with attention problems that emerge in first grade show poorer school performance for years afterward, including scoring lower on fifth grade reading.

Gene-silencing strategy opens new path to understanding Down Syndrome
Inspired by natural process that silences one copy of female mammals' two sex-determining X chromosomes during embryonic development, researchers develop way to silence extra chromosome of trisomy 21, or Down syndrome.

Mutual fund managers invest similarly because of competitive pressures, might miss good investments
A University of Missouri researcher has found that institutional mutual fund investors tend to invest in companies that have an independent board of directors because it is perceived as a

NIH awards Scripps Translational Science Institute $29 million grant
The National Institutes of Health has renewed its prestigious Clinical and Translational Science Award with the Scripps Translational Science Institute in the amount of $29 million over the next five years to support innovative research in genomics, wireless technology and bioinformatics toward individualizing medicine.

Researchers propose social network modeling to fight hospital infections
Two researchers at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business have teamed up with a researcher at American University to help prevent costly and deadly infections acquired by hospitalized patients by using computer models that simulate interactions between patients and health care workers to determine if these interactions are a source for spreading multi-drug resistant organisms.

Delaying gratification, when the reward is under our noses
How can some people resist the attraction of immediate pleasures and pursue long-term goals, while others easily succumb and compromise their ultimate expectations?

Fat and fit
Edible dormice store considerable amounts of fat in summer. Their fat reserves are necessary for them to survive a long hibernation -- on average 8 months -- in underground cavities.

Predicting the life expectancy of solar modules
Solar modules are exposed to many environmental influences that cause material to fatigue over the years.

CU awarded $48.4 million from NIH to advance translational research from bench to bedside
CCTSI has received a $48.4 million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue to accelerate the translation of research discoveries into improved patient care and public health.

4 leading international Wiley journals become open access
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., today announced the transition of four journals to the Wiley Open Access publishing program, bringing the total number of Wiley's open access titles to 28.

BUSM researchers make a case for free fatty acids
In a recent study in the journal Biochemistry, a research group led by James A.

Waun Ki Hong and Helen Piwnica-Worms elected to Institute of Medicine
Two leaders at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

Lasers offer an automated way to test drinking water
To keep drinking water clean, experts are constantly monitoring our supply to check it for contaminants.

New biomarker may help guide treatment of melanoma patients
A functional biomarker that can predict whether BRAF-mutant melanomas respond to drugs targeting BRAF could help guide the treatment of patients with these cancers, according to results presented here at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, held Oct.

Brief risk-reduction counseling at time of HIV testing does not result in reduction in rate of STIs
Brief risk-reduction counseling at the time of a rapid human immunodeficiency virus test was not effective for reducing new sexually transmitted infections during the subsequent 6 months among persons at risk for HIV, according to a study in the October 23/30 issue of JAMA.

Clemson University study points to possible treatment for brain disorders
Clemson University scientists are working to determine how neurons are generated, which is vital to providing treatment for neurological disorders like Tuberous Sclerosis Complex.

Encountering Ensemble by John Britton
Titled Encountering Ensemble, the new book that John Britton has compiled, edited and co-authored is aimed at students, teachers, researchers and practitioners who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the history, conceptual foundations and practicalities of ensemble theatre.

Numerical validation of quantum magnetic ordering
A new study set out to use numerical simulations to validate previous theoretical predictions describing materials exhibiting so-called antiferromagneting characteristics.

Shifting winds in turbine arrays
Researchers modeling how changes in air flow patterns affect wind turbines' output power have found that the wind can supply energy from an unexpected direction: below.

Key features of Apple's new OS based on technology from UMass Amherst and Amherst College
With the release today of Apple's new operating system,

Hydrogel implant enables light-based communication with cells inside the body
As researchers develop novel therapies based on inducing specific cells to do specific things, getting the right message to the right group of cells at the right time remains a major challenge.

There's gold in them thar trees
Eucalyptus trees -- or gum trees as they are know -- are drawing up gold particles from the earth via their root system and depositing it their leaves and branches.

Internet therapy may help postnatal depression
Researchers at the University of Exeter have teamed up with online forum Netmums in a pilot study which has shown that postnatal depression can be treated effectively using online therapy.

Risk-reduction counseling at time of HIV testing does not result in reduction of STIs
Brief risk-reduction counseling at the time of a rapid human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) test was not effective for reducing new sexually transmitted infections during the subsequent six months among persons at risk for HIV.

Bio-Rad's Droplet Digital PCR technology highlighted at ASHG Annual Meeting
Researchers demonstrate the accuracy, speed and cost-effectiveness of using digital PCR technology for analyzing copy number variations in clinical applications at ASHG.

HIV elimination in South Africa could be achieved by current treatment policy
The current antiretroviral treatment policy in South Africa could lead to elimination of HIV within the country over the next 24 to 34 years, but a universal test and treat approach could achieve elimination 10 years earlier according to new research published this week in PLOS Medicine.

The yin and yang in the life of proteins
Recycling or

NASA sees hint of Typhoon Lekima's rapidly intensification
Tropical Storm Lekima intensified quickly early on Oct. 22 while traveling over the open waters of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

Researchers advance scheme to design seamless integrated circuits etched on graphene
UCSB researchers have introduced an integrated circuit design scheme in which transistors and interconnects are monolithically patterned seamlessly on a sheet of graphene, a 2-D plane of carbon atoms.

No evidence to support stem cell therapy for pediatric optic nerve hypoplasia
A study performed at Children's Hospital Los Angeles found no evidence that stem cell therapy improves vision for children with optic nerve hypoplasia.

Investigational PARP inhibitor promising in BRCA-related cancers
An investigational new PARP inhibitor, BMN 673, is showing early responses in patients with heavily pretreated, advanced, BRCA-related cancers of the breast and ovary, according to phase I clinical trial results presented here at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, held Oct.

Airbus and GEDC announce inaugural winner of diversity award
Aircraft manufacturer Airbus and the Global Engineering Deans Council, the leading international organization for engineering education, have selected Ana Lazarin from Wichita State University as the inaugural recipient of the GEDC Airbus Diversity Award.

EARTH Magazine
A persistent stalemate over ownership and resource allocation, of everything from beluga caviar to energy resources, has hung over the Caspian Sea ever since the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Coffee consumption reduces risk of liver cancer
Coffee consumption reduces risk of hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of liver cancer, by about 40 percent, according to an up-to-date meta-analysis published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.

New device stores electricity on silicon chips
Solar cells that produce electricity 24/7. Cell phones with built-in power cells that recharge in seconds and work for weeks between charges: These are just two of the possibilities raised by a novel supercapacitor design invented by material scientists at Vanderbilt University.

Retirement expert: Financial planning important for non-retirees, too
University of Illinois law professor Richard L. Kaplan says older workers delaying retirement or putting it off entirely should carefully consider the financial-planning options available in Social Security, Medicare and employment-based retirement plans.

Focus on developmental approach to obesity in children and adolescents
New studies of factors affecting the risk of obesity in children and adolescents--as well as promising approaches to prevention and treatment--are assembled in the special October Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, the official journal of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

The Consumer's Guide to Minerals
The importance of minerals in our everyday lives cannot be underestimated.

Veterans who mismanage money four times more likely to become homeless
Military veterans who report having common financial problems, such as bouncing a check or going over their credit limit, are four times more likely to become homeless in the next year than veterans without such problems.

A new model of institutionalizing interdisciplinary research encouraged by scientists
Formal process of interdisciplinary research encouraged by scientists at UMichigan, Penn.

New program makes prostate cancer treatment decisions easier
When the pros and cons of prostate cancer treatment are spelled out using an online interactive program developed by Thomas Jefferson University researchers, more patients choose active surveillance over therapy.

Veterinary scientists track the origin of a deadly emerging pig virus in the United States
An emerging swine virus, deadly to piglets, was first recognized in the United States in May.

A fresh solution for the lindane problem
The UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country and Tecnalia are seeking fresh solutions by means of iron nanoparticles to eliminate the consequences of lindane manufacture and use.

'A permanent talent underclass': UConn researcher's report charts 'excellence gap' among American students
A new report by University of Connecticut Professor Jonathan Plucker finds that high-performing American students are disproportionately white and well-off.

Mercyhurst, Vanderbilt research targets supervolcanoes
Mercyhurst and Vanderbilt universities are collaborating on a new study intended to augment the understanding of what led to volcanic supereruptions in the past so as to predict similar events.

Sequential GO and chemotherapy no benefit for older AML patients according to EORTC/GIMEMA trial
Results of the randomized, phase III, EORTC/GIMEMA 06012 intergroup trial (AML-17) reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology show that sequential combination of gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO) and standard chemotherapy provides no benefit for older patients with acute myeloid leukemia and is too toxic for patients 70 years of age or more.

Colon cancer screening guidelines may miss 10 percent of colon cancers
For people with a family history of adenomas (colon polyps that lead to colon cancer), up to 10 percent of colorectal cancers could be missed when current national screening guidelines are followed.

Power and the Presidency
Throughout US history, presidents have used unilateral directives to impose controversial policies, and Congress and the courts have seldom resisted says Graham Dodds in his new book,

Low-priced plastic photovoltaics
Photovoltaic devices offer a green -- and potentially unlimited -- alternative to fossil fuel use.

Flu vaccine associated with lower risk of cardiovascular events
Receiving an influenza vaccination was associated with a lower risk of major adverse cardiovascular events such as heart failure or hospitalization for heart attack, with the greatest treatment effect seen among patients with recent acute coronary syndrome (ACS; such as heart attack or unstable angina), according to a meta-analysis published in the October 23/30 issue of JAMA.

The mysterious scarab beetles: 2 new species of the endangered ancient genus Gyronotus
Famous as the sacred beetles of ancient Egypt the scarab beetle group in fact represents much greater diversity around the globe.

Predicting the fate of stem cells
University of Toronto researchers have developed a method that can rapidly screen human stem cells and better control what they will turn into.

AgriLife Research develops new lines of cool-season grasses
Breeding lines of summer-dormant cool-season grasses suited for the Rolling Plains are ready for seed increase after four years of improvement at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center near Vernon. 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