Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 16, 2014
Preventing cell death from infection: Scientists demonstrate method to find new therapies
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have demonstrated the power of a new drug discovery technique, which allows them to find -- relatively quickly and cheaply -- antibodies that have a desired effect on cells.

Narcissism and leadership: Does it work to be a jerk?
Researchers at the University of Illinois and University of Nebraska conduct meta-analysis to learn connection between narcissism -- a

Drinking and driving: Unsafe at any level
UC San Diego study finds that even

Dartmouth, other researchers report new method to detect key indicator of heart diseases
A team that includes Dartmouth College researchers has discovered a new way to detect cardiolipin, a key indicator of heart diseases and some genetic disorders.

Stem cell therapy following meniscus knee surgery may reduce pain, restore meniscus
A single stem cell injection following meniscus knee surgery may provide pain relief and aid in meniscus regrowth, according to a novel study appearing in the January issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Renewable chemical ready for biofuels scale-up
Using a plant-derived chemical, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have developed a process for creating a concentrated stream of sugars that's ripe with possibility for biofuels.

Targeting a cell cycle inhibitor promotes beta cell replication
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Klaus Kaestner and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania demonstrate that silencing the gene encoding p57Kip2 in isolated adult human islets promotes beta cell replication and that these new cells exhibit many properties associated with beta cells.

Streamflow alteration impacts fish diversity in local rivers
A US Geological Survey study quantifies change in fish diversity in response to streamflow alteration in the Tennessee River basin.

Increased mobility thanks to robotic rehab
After a stroke, patients often struggle with persistent paresis. ETH researchers examined whether robot-assisted therapy can help stroke patients.

Scientists reveal steps leading to necrotizing fasciitis
Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Faculty of Medicine have discovered the mechanism by which Streptococcus pyogenes, or Group A streptococcus bacteria, cause life-threatening diseases such as necrotizing fasciitis (commonly known as flesh-eating disease) and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.

Traditional Chinese medicines stall progression of diabetes
Traditional Chinese herbal medicines hold promise for slowing the progression from prediabetes to an official diabetes diagnosis, according to new research accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Researchers target sea level rise to save years of archaeological evidence
Prehistoric shell mounds found on some of Florida's most pristine beaches are at risk of washing away as the sea level rises, wiping away thousands of years of archaeological evidence.

Research sheds new light on heritability of disease
A group of international researchers, led by a research fellow in the Harvard Medical School-affiliated Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife, published a paper today in Cell describing a study aimed at better understanding how inherited genetic differences, or variants, predispose certain individuals to develop diseases such as type 2 diabetes.

Save the date for opportunity in Orlando to report on health issues affecting adults and adolescents
Journalists can report on a broad array of clinical and practice management topics and interview expert physician leaders at Internal Medicine 2014, the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Physicians, in Orlando April 10 - 12 (Thursday through Saturday) at the Orange County Convention Center.

Genomes of modern dogs and wolves provide new insights on domestication
Dogs and wolves evolved from a common ancestor between 9,000 and 34,000 years ago, before humans transitioned to agricultural societies, according to an analysis of modern dog and wolf genomes from areas of the world thought to be centers of dog domestication.

Novel technology reveals aerodynamics of birds flying in a V-formation
Researchers using custom-built GPS and accelerometer loggers, developed with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and attached to free-flying birds on migration, have gained ground-breaking insights into the mysteries of bird flight formation.

How much does it cost to have a baby in a hospital?
Women giving birth in California can face a huge cost difference in their hospital bills, according to a new UC San Francisco study.

Chronic intestinal damage raises hip-fracture rate in celiac disease patients
Celiac disease patients who experience chronic damage in the small intestine may be more likely to break a hip than those whose intestinal tissues have begun healing, according to new research accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Warning! Warning labels can be dangerous to your health
Many products are stamped with warning labels alerting consumers to their risks, and common sense suggests these warnings will encourage safer choices.

Carbon nanotube sponge shows improved water clean-up
A carbon nanotube sponge capable of soaking up water contaminants, such as fertilisers, pesticides and pharmaceuticals, more than three times more efficiently than previous efforts has been presented in a new study published today.

Urban night shift police more likely to suffer long-term job injuries, study finds
Police officers working the night shift are significantly more likely to suffer long-term on-the-job injuries than officers on day and afternoon shifts, according to new research conducted at the University at Buffalo.

Monitoring inactive hepatitis B patients is cost-effective strategy for Shanghai
A novel study determined that monitoring inactive chronic hepatitis B carriers is a cost-effective strategy for China.

National Park Service and outside experts collaborate to conserve migratory wildlife
A new paper details a collaboration between the National Park Service and outside experts, including Wildlife Conservation Society scientists, in developing recommendations to conserve aerial, marine, and terrestrial populations of migrating wildlife that move in and out of US national parks, often coming from distant regions of the globe.

1 step at a time, researchers learning how humans walk
Humans and some of our hominid ancestors such as Homo erectus have been walking for more than a million years, and researchers are close to figuring out how we do it.

CCNY team models sudden thickening of complex fluids
A new model by a team of researchers with The City College of New York's Benjamin Levich Institute may shed new understanding on the phenomenon known as discontinuous shear thickening (DST), in which the resistance to stirring takes a sudden jump.

Research finds finds potential treatment for drug-resistant H7N9 influenza virus
A research project supervised by Kansas State University's Juergen Richt is showing promise in fighting the deadly novel avian H7N9 influenza virus.

45 years on: How serotonin makes schistosome parasites move
Schistosoma mansoni and its close relatives are parasitic flatworms that affect millions worldwide and kill an estimated 250,000 people a year.

JCI early table of contents for Jan. 16, 2014
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Jan.

Findings bolster fiber's role in colon health
Scientists have more reasons for you to eat fiber and not abuse antibiotics.

Important discovery for the diagnosis of genetic diseases
A study conducted by Marie Kmita's team at the IRCM, in collaboration with Josée Dostie at McGill University, shows the importance of the chromatin architecture in controlling the activity of genes, especially those required for proper embryonic development.

Large numbers of patients in South Africa with untreatable tuberculosis are discharged into community with potential for spread of infectionare discharged into community with potential for spread of infection
Substantial numbers of patients in South Africa with extensively-drug resistant TB and totally resistant TB, who have exhausted available treatment options, are being discharged from hospital, potentially exposing the wider community to infection, according to new research published in The Lancet.

Soil microbes alter DNA in response to warming
Scientists studying grasslands in Oklahoma have discovered that an increase of 2 degrees Celsius in the air temperature above the soil creates significant changes to the microbial ecosystem underground.

Silencing inhibitor of cell replication spurs beta cells to reproduce
Researchers replicated human pancreatic beta cells -- which produce insulin -- in a mouse model in which donor cells were transplanted.

Stem cells overcome damage in other cells by exporting mitochondria
A research team has identified a protein that in-creases the transfer of mitochondria from mesenchymal stem cells to lung cells.

BUSM study associates pro-inflammatory molecules with early death in HIV patients
A study led by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine provides new insight into the impact that pro-inflammatory molecules have on early death in HIV patients who abuse alcohol.

Human arm sensors make robot smarter
Using arm sensors that can

New discovery on Giant Cell Arteritis sheds light on cause
New research from Queen Mary University of London has revealed -- for the first time -- how the condition Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA) may be caused by a certain group of white blood cells called 'neutrophils'.

The way to a chimpanzee's heart is through its stomach
Chimpanzees who share their food with others have higher levels of the hormone oxytocin in their urine.

Natural 3-D counterpart to graphene discovered
A natural 3-D counterpart to 2-D graphene with similar or even better electron mobility and velocity has been discovered at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source.

$1.6 million grant will use nanotechnology to fight prostate cancer
Nanotechnology for diagnosing and treating prostate cancer will be the focus of a five-year, $1.58 million grant by the National Institutes of Health to Penn State and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Study finds troubling relationship between drinking and PTSD symptoms in college students
The estimated 9 percent of college students who have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are likely to drink more alcohol than peers without the psychological condition.

Immune cells may heal an injured heart
The immune system plays an important role in the heart's response to injury.

In the blink of an eye
MIT neuroscientists find the brain can identify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds.

Fighting flies
According to the latest studies from the fly laboratory of California Institute of Technology (Caltech) biologist David Anderson, male Drosophilae, commonly known as fruit flies, fight more than their female counterparts because they have special cells in their brains that promote fighting.

Same cell death pathway involved in three forms of blindness, Penn team finds
A Penn Vet team used canine disease models to closely examine how retinal gene activity varied during the progression of three different forms of inherited vision disease.

Sarcophagus leads Penn Museum team in Egypt to the tomb of a previously unknown pharaoh
Archaeologists working at the southern Egyptian site of Abydos, led by the University of Pennsylvania's Josef Wegner, have discovered the tomb of a previously unknown pharaoh: Woseribre Senebkay -- and the first material proof of a forgotten Abydos Dynasty, ca.

The symphony of life, revealed
Like the strings on a violin or the pipes of an organ, the proteins in the human body vibrate in different patterns, scientists have long suspected.

International recognition for Queen's microneedles research
Scientists from Queen's University Belfast, whose research into microneedles is taking the pain out of injections, have received international recognition from one of the world's leading pharmaceutical science journals.

NCCS and Clearbridge Biomedics open the region's first circulating tumor cell center
A collaboration between National Cancer Centre Singapore and Clearbridge BioMedics, in partnership with the Pathology Department at Singapore General Hospital has resulted in the establishment of the region's first Circulating Tumour Cell Centre of Research Excellence.

Researchers 'detune' a molecule
Rice University scientists discover they can control the bonds between atoms in a molecule.

Soil production breaks geologic speed record
New measurements from mountains in New Zealand show that rock can transform into soil more than twice as fast as previously believed possible.

NASA sees deadly System 91W still soaking Philippines
The tropical low pressure area known as System 91W that has been plaguing the central and southern Philippines for the last couple of days continues to bring floods and heavy rainfall today, January 16.

Ice-loving sea anemones discovered in Antarctica
Engineers using a camera-equipped robot to explore the waters beneath 250 meters of ice discover thousands of small sea anemones living on the underside of the ice.

NASA catches development of Tropical Cyclone 09S in Southern Indian Ocean
The ninth tropical cyclone of the Southern Indian Ocean season was born hours after NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead and gathered important infrared data on the developing storm.

McClelland and Spelke awarded first NAS Prizes in psychological and cognitive sciences
James L. McClelland and Elizabeth Shilin Spelke are the inaugural recipients of the National Academy of Sciences Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences.

Geography plays a major role in access to pediatric kidney transplantation in the US
There is substantial geographic variation in deceased donor kidney waiting times for children across the United States, with median waiting time ranging from as little as two weeks to as long as three years.

EU could cut emissions by 40 percent at moderate cost
The costs of achieving a more ambitious EU climate target are estimated to be moderate.

EARTH Magazine: Humans are influencing some extreme weather events, but not all
It has often been said that individual weather events cannot be attributed to global climate change, but recent advances in the science of attribution are challenging that notion.

Alternative energy patent issued to Kansas State University
Kansas State University was issued a patent for a catalyst that more efficiently converts biomass made from straw and other grasses into syngas.

Special yeast reduce alcohol, improve wine
A team of Australian researchers has taken a giant step towards controlling a growing problem in the wine community.

Understanding collective animal behavior may be in the eye of the computer
An international team of researchers is the first to successfully apply machine learning toward understanding collective animal behavior from raw data such as video without tracking each individual.

Parietal gray matter volume changes may be associated with early PD memory deficits
Research by a team of investigators in Finland suggests that the free recall memory deficits common even in early stages Parkinson's disease are related to structural changes in the brain, specifically parietal cortical gray matter volume.

Space station MAXI-mizing our understanding of the universe
The Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI) collects data that help researchers discover, study and understand the physics behind the lifecycle of our universe.

Scientists discover 2 proteins that control chandelier cell architecture
Chandelier cells are neurons that use their unique shape to act like master circuit breakers in the brain.

Loss of biodiversity limits toxin degradation
You might not think of microbes when you consider biodiversity, but it turns out that even a moderate loss of less than 5 percent of soil microbes may compromise some key ecosystem functions and could lead to lower degradation of toxins in the environment.

Astrophysicist Piero Madau wins 2014 Dannie Heineman Prize
The American Institute of Physics and the American Astronomical Society are pleased to announce that astrophysicist Piero Madau has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics, which is given annually to recognize outstanding work in the field.

Fetal exposure to nicotine increases long-term risk of obesity
Many women are encouraged to quit smoking when they become pregnant using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) whether as gum, transdermal patches, nasal spray or lozenges.

Study: University rankings influence number and competitiveness of applicants
How universities fare on reputational quality-of-life and academic rankings -- such as those published by the Princeton Review or U.S.

Dartmouth-led team gets $8 million grant to research arsenic in children
The Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center at Dartmouth and its partner universities have received an $8 million grant to expand their research into arsenic toxicity in children and pregnant women.

5,900 natural gas leaks discovered under Washington, D.C.
More than 5,893 leaks from aging natural gas pipelines have been found under the streets of Washington, D.C. by a research team from Duke University and Boston University.

Innovative Cedars-Sinai researcher receives prestigious National Academy of Sciences award
Ueli Rutishauser, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurosurgery and director of human neurophysiology research in the Department of Neurosurgery and the Department of Neurology at Cedars-Sinai, will receive a 2014 Troland Research Award at the National Academy of Sciences annual meeting April 27.

Thousands of potentially harmful natural gas leaks found in Washington, DC
High levels of natural gas are escaping from the aging pipes beneath the streets of the nation's capital, creating potentially harmful concentrations in some locations, a new study has found.

Typhoid fever -- A race against time
The life-threatening disease typhoid fever results from the ongoing battle between the bacterial pathogen Salmonella and the immune cells of the body.

Early warning: Internet surveillance predicts disease outbreak
The habit of Googling for an online diagnosis before visiting a GP can provide early warning of an infectious disease epidemic.

Kids teased in PE class exercise less a year later
Psychologists found that kids who got teased during PE were less physically active 12 months later -- whether or not the child is overweight.

Discovery of quantum vibrations in 'microtubules' corroborates theory of consciousness
A review and update of a controversial 20-year-old theory of consciousness published in Physics of Life Reviews claims that consciousness derives from deeper level, finer scale activities inside brain neurons.

The life cycle of a jellyfish (and a way to control it)
Those free-swimming jellyfish in the sea don't start out in that familiar medusa form, but rather start as sessile and asexual polyps.

MU researchers find receptors that help plants manage environmental change, pests and wounds
Gary Stacey, an investigator in the University of Missouri Bond Life Sciences Center and professor of plant sciences in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, and fellow researchers found adenosine triphosphate receptor in plants and believe it to be a vital component in the way plants respond to dangers, including pests, environmental changes and plant wounds.

Altering the community of gut bacteria promotes health and increases lifespan
Having the right balance of gut bacteria may be the key to enjoying a long healthy life.

Survival rates of kids suffering cardiac arrest improve with new training approach
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford have found a new way to boost the survival of pediatric patients whose hearts stop while they are hospitalized.

A CNIO study finds a 'molecular scaffolding' that maintains skin structure and organisation
A study by the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, featured on the cover of the Journal of Cell Biology, shows how interactions between skin stem cells -- the cells responsible for the constant renewal of skin -- maintain the architecture of this organ.

Fires in South Australia Jan. 16, 2014
According to ABC News Channel 24 in Australia:

How metabolism and brain activity are linked
A new study by scientists at McGill University and the University of Zurich shows a direct link between metabolism in brain cells and their ability to signal information.

NASA satellite imagery shows some punch left in System 94S
The tropical low pressure area known as System 94S still has some punch in it as the low-level center of circulation continues to track over Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Waterfowl poisoning halved by lead shot prohibition
The pollution of waterfowl meat and their poisoning by lead shot has dropped by 50 percent since this type of munitions was prohibited in wetlands in 2001.

Macrophages target tumor cells following monoclonal antibody therapy
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Marjolein van Egmond and colleagues at the VU University Medical Center found that macrophage populations mediate tumor cell removal following monoclonal antibody treatment by actively phagocytosing tumor cells.

Arctic cyclones more common than previously thought
Scientists have analyzed huge troves of data synthesized at the Ohio Supercomputer Center by Ohio State's Dr.

Study reveals the role of sex in spread of deadly disease
Research involving scientists at the University of York has provided important new information about transmission of human leishmaniasis, a group of infectious diseases which kills more than 100,000 people a year.

With NSF CAREER Award, Virginia Tech engineer pursues development of 5-dimensional image
Virginia Tech biomedical engineering faculty member Guohua Cao, director of the X-Ray Systems Laboratory, is leading an effort to develop a new type of X-ray scanner that is an unprecedented five dimensional technology.

How vision captures sound now somewhat uncertain
Contrary to previous research, Duke University researchers have found that neurons in a particular brain region respond differently, not similarly, based on whether the stimuli is visual or auditory.

Drugs that weaken traumatic memories hold promise for PTSD treatment
Memories of traumatic events often last a lifetime because they are so difficult to treat through behavioral approaches.

Media alert: Society of Interventional Radiology's Annual Scientific Meeting
From Saturday, March 22-Thursday, March 27, 2014 at the San Diego Convention Center, nearly 5,300 doctors/scientists/allied health professionals will attend SIR 2014, the world's most comprehensive meeting dedicated to research that directly benefits patients with image-guided, minimally invasive medicine.

New, 'designer' fiber may help address fiber intolerance and ease IBS symptoms
A newly-developed,

Prion discovery could help keep deadly brain diseases in check
New research from David Westaway, Ph.D., of the University of Alberta and Jiri Safar, Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has uncovered a quality control mechanism in brain cells that may help keep deadly neurological diseases in check for months or years.

Academy honors 15 for major contributions to science
The National Academy of Sciences will honor 15 individuals with awards in recognition of their extraordinary scientific achievements in a wide range of fields spanning the physical, biological, and medical sciences.

Sludge as new sentinel for human health risks
In a new study, a strong overlap is observed between chemicals found in biological samples taken from the human population and those detected in municipal biosolids.

Unraveling misfolded molecules using 'reprogrammed' yeast protein
At the heart of brain diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease is protein misfolding, in which distorted proteins are unable to perform their normal functions.

Single class of queen pheromones stops worker reproduction in ants, bees and wasps
A new study by a team of KU Leuven and international researchers has found that the chemical structure of queen pheromones in wasps, ants and some bees is strikingly similar, even though these insects are separated by millions of years of evolution and each evolved eusociality independently of the other.

Penn Museum team finds evidence for 3,000+-year-old 'Nordic grog' tradition
Research led by University of Pennsylvania scholars has found that, from northwest Denmark, circa 1500-1300 BC, to the Swedish island of Gotland as late as the first century AD, Nordic peoples were imbibing an alcoholic

Medicaid expansion improves health care services for prison population
National study finds that prison systems are increasingly aiding prisoners' enrollment in Medicaid, both during incarceration and in preparation of release.

Meltwater from Tibetan glaciers floods pastures
The earth is warming up, the glaciers are shrinking. However, not all meltwater is causing sea-level rise as feared.

Higher vitamin D levels associated with better cognition and mood in PD patients
A new study exploring vitamin D levels in patients with Parkinson's disease opens up the possibility of a new avenue of early intervention that may delay or prevent the onset of cognitive impairment and depression.

Big-headed fossil flies track major ecological revolution
Simon Fraser University's Bruce Archibald and Rolf Mathewes are part of a team of biologists, including Christian Kehlmaier from Germany's Senkenberg Natural History Collections, that has discovered three new, extinct fossil species of big-headed flies.

2014 ASMCUE and ASM General Meeting collaborate to offer the latest in teaching and research
The 21st Annual American Society for Microbiology Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASMCUE) will take place on May 15-18, 2014, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Boston North Shore in Danvers, Mass.

Silver nanowire sensors hold promise for prosthetics, robotics
North Carolina State University researchers have used silver nanowires to develop wearable, multifunctional sensors that could be used in biomedical, military or athletic applications, including new prosthetics, robotic systems and flexible touch panels.

Study identifies drug that could improve treatment of PTSD
New study identifies drug that could improve treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Does taking multiple medicines increase your risk of being admitted to hospital?
Patients with a single illness who take many drugs have an increased risk of being admitted to hospital, but for patients with multiple conditions, taking many medicines is now associated with a near-normal risk of admission.

Cleveland Clinic, CWRU School of Medicine team discovers key mechanisms to inhibit
A team of researchers from the Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve School of Medicine have identified critical complex mechanisms involved in the metastasis of deadly

Fathers' diet, bodyweight and health at conception may contribute to obesity in offspring
Research involving rats suggests a biological link between paternal diet, bodyweight and health at the time of conception and the health of his offspring.

Brain on autopilot
The structure of the human brain is complex, reminiscent of a circuit diagram with countless connections.
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