Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 14, 2013
Bleeding symptom leads scientists to intracellular trafficker's role in virus propagation
Vermont researchers find a new important clue to how deadly rodent-borne viruses harness ERGIC-53 to ensure their reproductive success.

FDA approved immune-modulating drug unexpectedly benefits mice with fatal mitochondrial defect
In a lab devoted to increasing healthy lifespans, the transplant anti-rejection drug rapamycin showed unexpected health benefits and increased survival in a mouse model of a fatal mitochondrial defect.

Distant artificial atoms cooperate by sharing light, international research team shows
An international team of scientists has shown for the first time that atoms can work collectively rather than independently of each other to share light.

Drug trial for top parasitic killer of the Americas: Mixed results, new evidence to improve therapy
According to results of the first-ever Phase 2 clinical trial in Bolivia, the drug candidate E1224 showed good safety and was effective at clearing the parasite causing Chagas disease, but had little to no sustained efficacy one year after treatment.

Copper intake makes tumors breathe
Copper imbalances have been associated with a number of pathological conditions, including cancer.

Your brain 'sees' things even when you don't
The brain processes visual input to the level of understanding its meaning even if we never consciously perceive that input, according to new research published in Psychological Science.

Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems (JATIS) will launch in mid-2014
The new Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems will be launched by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, in 2014, with papers freely available through 2015.

New studies may explain fractures in some who take osteoporosis drugs
Research with baboons at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio may help explain why some people who take bone-strengthening drugs like bisphosphonates are at-risk for atypical fractures in the long bones in their legs.

Antibiotic resistance is a international issue that better education can address
Antibiotic resistance is an international reality whose solution includes better educating physicians about using bacteria-fighting tools, says an infectious disease physician.

NIH grant funds multi-center study of mysterious trauma-induced hemorrhaging
The Trans-Agency Consortium for Trauma-Induced Coagulopathy study is a cooperative effort funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute that establishes a unique collaboration between the NIH and the Department of Defense to study a deadly bleeding syndrome -- called coagulopathy -- that occurs without warning in some trauma patients.

Leading health and philanthropic organizations outline plan to address global preterm birth burden
Scientific experts from around the world developed a

A 6-minute journey to study Comet ISON
In an example of an extremely tight turnaround, a NASA-funded team has spent six months preparing for a mid-November launch to observe Comet ISON during a six-minute sounding rocket flight.

Elsevier and the Fulbright Commission honor UK research talent with the UK Scopus Young Researcher Award
Elsevier, a world leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, and the US-UK Fulbright Commission today honor six early career researchers in a range of academic disciplines at the 2013 Scopus Young Researcher Award ceremony.

Early stages of breast cancer could soon be diagnosed from blood samples
A new blood test for the early detection of breast cancer was shown in preliminary studies to successfully identify the presence of breast cancer cells from serum biomarkers.

State child restraint laws leave many unprotected, NYU study finds
Child restraint laws across many states have gaps that leave unprotected passengers highly vulnerable to vehicle-crash injuries, a study by New York University has found.

Hubble views an old and mysterious cluster
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured the best ever image of the globular cluster Messier 15, a gathering of very old stars that orbits the center of the Milky Way.

UC San Diego shake table, robot win Best of What's New awards from Popular Science
The biggest outdoor shake table in the world and a robot designed to move along utility lines have received Best of What's New awards from Popular Science, the world's largest science and technology magazine.

Scientists developing new cost-effective materials for magnetic storage devices
An international team of European and Japanese scientists led by the University of York has launched a €4.6m collaborative project funded by the European Commission and the Japanese Science and Technology Agency to develop new materials to replace the scarce metal Iridium commonly used in magnetic storage devices.

SDSU launches InforMath collaborative
San Diego State University's Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education kicked off a new initiative funded by a four-year, $726,733 National Science Foundation-funded initiative with the Balboa Park Learning Institute last week.

UMD, Google & gov. create first detailed map of global forest change
A University of Maryland-led, multi-organizational team has created the first high-resolution global map of forest extent, loss and gain, a resource that greatly improves our ability to understand human and naturally-induced forest changes and the local to global implications of these changes on environmental, economic and other natural and societal systems, members of the team say.

Haiyan and Tropical Storm 30W bring heavy rains to the Phillipines
Haiyan, known locally in the Philippines as Yulonda, will go down as a historic storm, making landfall in the central Philippines as perhaps the most powerful tropical cyclone to ever make landfall with sustained winds estimated at 195 mph (~315 kph).

Clinical ovarian cancers display extensive genetic heterogeneity, study suggests multiple treatment
Most comprehensive study to date demonstrates unprecedented levels of genetic variation in ovarian cancer, and highlights new pathways for therapeutic intervention.

New genetic cause of Warburg Micro syndrome identified
A collaborative team of researchers led by researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin and the University of Edinburgh has identified a gene responsible for Warburg Micro syndrome, a rare genetic disease characterized by eye, brain and endocrine abnormalities.

New malaria vaccines roadmap targets next generation products by 2030
The world should aim to have vaccines which reduce malaria cases by 75 percent, and are capable of eliminating malaria, licensed by 2030, according to the updated 2013 Malaria Vaccine Technology Roadmap, launched today.

New outdoor drone will aid disaster response monitoring of radiation
University of Bristol researchers have unveiled a large semi-autonomous drone called the ARM system which could be used to provide visual and thermal monitoring of radiation after a release of nuclear material.

New technique for developing drugs to treat serious illnesses
Researchers exploit the power of evolution to create designer proteins.

Researchers from IMIM describe a new function of 2 molecules involved in metastasis
Researchers from Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute lead by Dr.

Scientists identify the world's most irreplaceable protected areas
A new scientific study has identified the protected areas most critical to preventing extinctions of the world's mammals, birds and amphibians.

Are probiotics a promising treatment strategy for depression?
Probiotics are not new, but their status as a nutritional buzzword is.

NASA experts showcase science, technology at supercomputing conference
Some of NASA's best and brightest will showcase more than 30 of the agency's exciting computational achievements at SC13, the international supercomputing conference, Nov.

Metro Academies Initiative wins national honor for college completion
SF State's Metro Academies, an innovative program that helps underrepresented students succeed in college, has earned national recognition for its success in retaining and graduating students.

Accidental discovery dramatically improves electrical conductivity
Quite by accident, Washington State University researchers have achieved a 400-fold increase in the electrical conductivity of a crystal simply by exposing it to light.

NASA's next 'top model,' the fruit fly
NASA uses the common fruit fly--Drosophila melanogaster--as a biomedical research model that can reveal the basis for health and disease in many animals, including humans, because we share the basic biochemical machinery of life.

Penguin-inspired propulsion system
At the APS's Division of Fluid Dynamics meeting, Nov. 24 - 26, Flavio Noca, who has explored leveraging penguins'

£1.1M for study into how 'acetylcholine' influences brain network activity
A £1.1 million grant to understand how one of the brain's key neurotransmitters called 'acetylcholine' influences brain activity has been awarded to University of Bristol researchers.

No peak in sight for evolving bacteria
There's no peak in sight -- fitness peak, that is -- for the bacteria in Richard Lenski's Michigan State University lab.

Stanford researchers home in on roots of Caribbean populations using new DNA analysis method
Those of us who want to learn about our ancestors -- who they were, where they came from and how they mingled (or didn't) with others around them -- often turn to historical records or elderly family members for answers.

High marks for Columbia's new public health curriculum
A re-envisioned Master of Public Health program was launched by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health last fall.

Tiny 'Lego' blocks build Janus nanotubes with potential for new drugs and water purification
Researchers have created tiny protein tubes named after the Roman god Janus which may offer a new way to accurately channel drugs into the body's cells.

Latest storm updates NASA satellites see Cyclone 03A make landfall in Somalia Tropical Cyclone 03A
The remnants of what was once Tropical Storm Thirty over the Philippines have made there way into the Bay of Bengal after dropping heavy rainfall over Indochina.

New research reveals dengue fever mystery in 2 US cities both exposed to risk
As dengue fever continues to spread from Key West north into the Florida mainland, it remains a mystery as to why this dangerous mosquito-borne illness is not yet common around Tucson, Arizona -- even though outbreaks routinely occur in nearby Mexico and mosquitoes that can carry dengue are now common in the state, according to a new research presented today at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Genetic signature identified for RSV, the leading cause of infant hospitalizations worldwide
Scientists from Nationwide Children's Hospital have identified the genetic signature of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the leading cause of infant hospitalizations around the world.

Mass. General study identifies genes uniquely expressed by the brain's immune cells
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have used a new sequencing method to identify a group of genes used by the brain's immune cells -- called microglia -- to sense pathogenic organisms, toxins or damaged cells that require their response.

Nicotine withdrawal traced to very specific group of brain cells
Nicotine withdrawal might take over your body, but it doesn't take over your brain.

Research identifies potential new treatment for sepsis
Sepsis is the leading cause of in-hospital death and there is no specific treatment for it.

Quantum world record smashed
A normally fragile quantum state has been shown to survive at room temperature for a world record 39 minutes, overcoming a key barrier towards building ultrafast quantum computers.

Low-dose treatment may block malaria transmission
Lower doses of the antimalarial drug primaquine are as effective as higher doses in reducing malaria transmission, according to a study published today in Lancet Infectious Diseases by London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine researchers.

Nano magnets arise at 2-D boundaries
According to a new theory by Rice University scientists, imperfections in certain two-dimensional materials create the conditions by which nanoscale magnetic fields arise.

Bradley Hospital researchers link lack of sleep in teens to higher risk of illness
Newly released findings from Bradley Hospital published in the Journal of Sleep Research have found that acute illnesses, such as colds, flu, and gastroenteritis were more common among healthy adolescents who got less sleep at night.

Deciphering genetic echoes from the past: Illuminating human history
Historical records are often used to learn about ancestry but a new approach, using genetics, is currently being applied.

Patients and scientists join forces to tackle Friedreich's Ataxia
The Spanish Federation of Ataxia -- in representation of the GENEFA Platform for a Friedreich's Ataxia cure --, the Babel Family association for biomedical research into Friedreich's Ataxia, the

Amazon rainforest more able to withstand drought than previously thought
New research suggests that the Amazon rainforest may be more able to cope with dry conditions than previously predicted.

A question for Jupiter
Based on what scientists understand about fluid dynamics, Jupiter's Great Red Spot should have disappeared centuries ago.

UC research brings a future of mind-reading robots ever closer
Research on brain-computer interface will be presented at the International Human-Centered Robotics Symposium, and UC's work to pioneer a human-centered robotics curriculum will be discussed.

Potential drug target in sight for rare genetic disease
Medical researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered the structure of a potential drug target for a rare genetic disease, paving the way for an alternative treatment for the condition.

Study finds social networks are key to city violence
A new study of gun violence in Chicago, led by Yale sociologist Andrew Papachristos, reveals that a person's social network is a key predictor in whether an individual will become a victim of gun homicide, even more so than race, age, gender, poverty, or gang affiliation.

Miriam Hospital study examines link in college women's use of substances and condoms
A new study from researchers at The Miriam Hospital finds a link between alcohol consumption and reduced condom use among college women.

Virtual toothpick helps technologist 'bake' the perfect thin-film confection
Creating thin films using a rapidly evolving technology that promises to solve some of NASA's thorniest engineering challenges is a lot like baking a cake.

UT Austin researchers grow large graphene crystals that have exceptional electrical properties
UT Austin researchers are using oxygen to grow large single graphene crystals on copper.

Dogs likely originated in Europe more than 18,000 years ago, UCLA biologists report
Wolves likely were domesticated by European hunter-gatherers more than 18,000 years ago, and gradually evolved into dogs that became household pets, UCLA biologists report.

Company co-founded by UH researcher wins Nanomedicine Award
Endomagnetics, the company co-founded in the United Kingdom by a University of Houston researcher to develop products to improve the standard of breast cancer care, has been named one of two winners of an inaugural Nanomedicine Award in the European Union.

Toxicity database under development at Rutgers-Camden
A Rutgers-Camden professor is developing a comprehensive data system that can be used as a valuable computational tool for researchers by providing them with access to chemical toxicity information.

Where someone drowns determines their chance of survival, according to new research
Two new research studies show that location is the most important factor in determining drowning survival.

Protein interplay in muscle tied to life span
Brown University biologists have uncovered a complicated chain of molecular events that leads from insulin to protein degradation in muscles and significantly diminished life span in fruit flies.

Toxin produced by bacteria could serve as a model for next-generation antibiotics
The recent rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a serious public health threat, and there is a need for new therapeutic strategies to combat these infections.

A CNIO team discovers that senescence also plays a role in embryo development
A team of researchers from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Madrid and another one from the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona have discovered, and are publishing in two articles in the journal Cell, that this switching-off mechanism also takes place in embryos, and not as a response to cell damage but as part the normal process of development.

Baby boys at higher risk of death and disability due to preterm birth
Groundbreaking global studies on preterm birth and disability carried out by almost 50 researchers at 35 institutions and launched in association with World Prematurity Day finds baby boys are at a higher risk of death and disability due to preterm birth than baby girls.

American College of Chest Physicians to partner with Chinese Thoracic Society to develop and launch
The American College of Chest Physicians and the Chinese Thoracic Society have formally agreed to collaborate to develop and launch fellowship programs in pulmonary and critical care medicine in China.

Why things have gone so wrong in the eurozone
The euro project is strictly political in nature, while its economic rationale is still clumsy.

JAMA Dermatology: Social media brings academic journals to general readers
A University of Colorado Cancer Center study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association: Dermatology shows that a handful of academic journals have successfully leveraged social media to reach many times the readers of the journals themselves.

Anthrax bacteria play hide and seek
An anthrax infection can be fatal even when the infectious agent is no longer detected.

Immunity studies cross scientific and continental borders (video)
Postdoctoral researcher Natalia Martin, Ph.D. is The Pew Charitable Trusts' biomedical researcher of the month for her creative work on neuroimmunology.

Cooking tips from Alton Brown: A new American Chemical Society video
Have you ever wondered why some ice cubes are as clear as glass, or why bakers use sugar, even in savory breads?

Anthrax toxin can lurk for days in cells as a lingering threat
The deadly toxin produced by anthrax bacteria can hide out in human cells for days, invisible both to our immune systems and to the cellular machinery responsible for destroying proteins.

Evolution can select for evolvability, Penn biologists find
Evolution does not have foresight. But organisms with a greater capacity to evolve may fare better in changing environments.

Probiotics reduce piglet pathogens
Piglets fed probiotic Enterococcus faecium showed reduced numbers of potentially pathogenic Escherichia coli strains in their intestines, according to a team of German researchers.

Biologists ID new cancer weakness
MIT researchers find drugs that block new target gene could make many tumors more vulnerable to chemotherapy.

A*STAR scientists bring to light mechanism of drug for infections
Scientists at A*STAR's Singapore Immunology Network have discovered the exact mode of action by plerixafor, a drug commonly prescribed to stimulate immune responses in patients suffering from neutropenia, which causes them to become prone to oral, skin, genital infections and in worst cases, a fatal whole-body infection .

Rugby star joins scientists in bid to tackle motor neurone disease
A World Cup winning rugby star is joining forces with leading researchers in a new partnership to tackle motor neurone disease.

Starting dialysis after -- not before -- conception may improve birth rates in women with advanced kidney disease
Compared with women with advanced kidney disease who conceived after starting dialysis, women who conceived and then started dialysis during the pregnancy had a much better live birth rate, but their infants were of similar birth weight and gestational age.

Experts argue for the preservation and enhancement of US social insurance programs
Social Insurance: America's Neglected Past and Contested Future, a new book by Theodore R.

Molecule common in some cancers, rheumatoid arthritis leads to potential therapy for both
A molecule that helps cells stick together is significantly over-produced in two very different diseases -- rheumatoid arthritis and a variety of cancers, including breast and brain tumors, concludes a new study.

Late afternoon and early evening caffeine can disrupt sleep at night
A new study shows that caffeine consumption even six hours before bedtime can have significant, disruptive effects on sleep.

2013 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium to be held Dec. 10-14
The American Association for Cancer Research, The Cancer Therapy & Research Center at The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio, and Baylor College of Medicine will be hosting the 2013 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Dec.

Has the idea of 'zero deforestation' lost its meaning
What exactly does

New approach advances wireless power transfer for electric vehicles
Engineering researchers have developed new technology and techniques for transmitting power wirelessly from a stationary source to a mobile receiver -- moving engineers closer to their goal of creating highway

Rapid testing to diagnose influenza leads to more appropriate care in the ED
When patients in the emergency department are diagnosed with influenza by means of a rapid test, they get fewer unnecessary antibiotics, are prescribed antiviral medications more frequently, and have fewer additional lab tests compared to patients diagnosed with influenza without testing, according to a new study.

Stanford scientists create a low-cost, long-lasting water splitter made of silicon and nickel
Stanford University scientists have created a silicon-based water splitter that is both low-cost and corrosion-free.

Regenstrief and IU study: Older adults with severe mental illness challenge healthcare system
Although older adults with serious mental illness didn't have more recorded physical illness and had fewer outpatient visits to primary care physicians, they made more medical emergency department visits and had considerably longer medical hospitalizations than older adults without mental illness according to a study conducted by researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana University Center for Aging Research.

$2.8 million for Concordia University research
Thanks to new funding from the Government of Canada, two Concordia University professors just might create a greener aerospace industry and help cure fungal infections.

New statistical tools being developed for mining cancer data
Researchers at Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas at Austin are working together to create new statistical tools that can find clues about cancer that are hidden like needles in enormous haystacks of raw data.

Protein-rich breakfast helps to curb appetite throughout the morning, scientists find
New research presented today at The Obesity Society's annual scientific meeting in Atlanta shows that eating high protein sausage and egg-based breakfasts curbed hunger throughout the morning, compared with a low-protein breakfast (pancakes and syrup) or skipping breakfast, in 18-55-year-old women.

Topical treatment for psoriasis targets deeper layers of the skin, improves healing
A novel combination anti-psoriasis therapy has potential for superior and longer-lasting therapeutic effects than current topical treatments by targeting genetic abnormalities in deeper layers of the skin.

Novel microbicide gel for vagina and rectum shows potential for HIV prevention
Researchers developed a first-of-its-kind microbicide gel formulation that shows promise for safe vaginal and rectal administration to prevent the sexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus.

Glowing worms illuminate the roots of behavior
Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and The Rockefeller University in New York have developed a system to image brain activity in multiple awake and unconstrained worms.

Prize will expand use of life-saving neonatal device in Africa
A low-cost device that Rice University bioengineering students invented to help premature babies breathe more easily will be rolled out to teaching hospitals in three African nations, thanks to a $400,000 award from pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and London-based charity Save the Children.

Pediatric ICU nurse staffing models with more experience and education cut inpatient mortality
Nursing leaders from 38 children's hospitals, led by Patricia Hickey, vice president of critical care and cardiovascular services at Boston Children's Hospital, demonstrated that nursing education and experience significantly impact outcomes for patients who underwent cardiac surgery.

Penn Medicine physician argues for mandatory flu vaccinations of health care workers
Should flu vaccines be mandatory for health care workers? That's the question raised this week in the British Medical Journal to two health care providers, including Penn Medicine's Amy J.

ARC Future Fellows awarded $2.2M for immune and inflammation studies
Scientists from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute have been awarded more than $2.2 million from the Australian Research Council to improve treatments for immune disorders and inflammatory diseases.

Understanding a protein's role in familial Alzheimer's disease
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have used genetic engineering of human induced pluripotent stem cells to specifically and precisely parse the roles of a key mutated protein in causing familial Alzheimer's disease, discovering that simple loss-of-function does not contribute to the inherited form of the neurodegenerative disorder.

Analysis of alcohol ads in magazines finds current codes and regulations do not protect consumers from risky content and messages
A new report from the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health calls into question whether existing federal and voluntary standards for alcohol advertisements curtail potentially damaging content and protect public health.

More than $3 million awarded to MUHC clinician-researchers
Continuing a more than 25-year tradition, the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), together with the Foundations of the MUHC, hosted the annual Research Awards Dinner on October 23 to distribute more than $3 million to some of the hospital's most promising clinician-researchers.

Primary care key to management of patients with HIV infection
The HIV Medicine Association of the Infectious Diseases Society of America has updated its HIV care guidelines to reflect the fact that people with HIV are now living normal life spans, and their physicians need to focus on preventive care, including screening for high cholesterol, diabetes and osteoporosis.

Nanotech researchers' 2-step method shows promise in fighting pancreatic cancer
A new method of microscopic drug delivery that could greatly improve the treatment of deadly pancreatic cancer has been proven to work in mice at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

1 in 7 students has dabbled in 'smart' drugs
One in seven Swiss students has already tried to enhance his or her performance with prescription medication or drugs.

Surprising image provides new tool for studying galaxy
A new, detailed radio image showed that what astronomers thought was one galaxy actually is two, superimposed on the sky.

Scientists nearing forecasts of long-lived wildfires
Scientists have developed a new computer modeling technique that offers the promise, for the first time, of producing continually updated daylong predictions of wildfire growth throughout the lifetime of long-lived blazes. 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