Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 29, 2014
Study: Neuroscientists use lightwaves to improve brain tumor surgery
First-of-its-kind research by the Innovation Institute at Henry Ford Hospital shows promise for developing a method of clearly identifying cancerous tissue during surgery on one of the most common and deadliest types of brain tumor.

New app to monitor Ménière's Disease launched
A new mobile app has been launched this week to help researchers develop a better understanding of a rare condition affecting the inner ear.

First weather map of brown dwarf
ESO's Very Large Telescope has been used to create the first ever map of the weather on the surface of the nearest brown dwarf to Earth.

£3m drug safety center investment
The Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Drug Safety Science at the University of Liverpool has received three million pounds of new funding from MRC to allow it to continue reducing the impact of adverse reactions to medicinal drugs.

Cambridge and Norwich win major boost for synthetic biology
Plant scientists at Cambridge and Norwich have been awarded £12 million funding for a new UK synthetic biology center -- OpenPlant.

Imaging autoimmune diabetes
Researchers at Lund University have managed to develop a technique whereby they can study the inflammatory process that takes place in the pancreas during the natural development of type 1 diabetes, allowing for real time and repeated non-invasive imaging of individual islets of Langerhans.

Modeling buildings by the millions: Building codes in China tested for energy savings
PNNL scientists at the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a partnership with the University of Maryland in College Park, Md., have created a unique model that projects how much energy can be saved with changes to China's building energy codes.

FASEB announces 2014 Science Research Conference: Dynamic DNA Structures in Biology
This 2014 FASEB Science Research Conference focuses on dynamic DNA structures.

Rewards facilitate human cooperation under natural selection
A new study, by Faculty of Mathematics postdoctoral fellow Tatsuya Sasaki, provides insights into how voluntary rewarding promotes cooperation in joint enterprises.

Disappearing snow increases risk of collapsing ice shelves in Antarctica
A number of floating ice shelves in Antarctica are at risk of disappearing entirely in the next 200 years, as global warming reduces their snow cover.

Research finds elevated levels of DDT metabolite in patients with Alzheimer's
A UT Southwestern study published online in JAMA Neurology, found elevated levels of the DDT metabolite, DDE, that were 3.8 times higher in patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in comparison to control subjects.

Jamming in tumors
Formation of the messenger molecule Interferon-beta is increased in infections and cancer diseases.

Study uncovers molecular keys to invasive bladder cancer
The once sketchy landscape of the molecular defects behind bladder cancer now resembles a road map to new, targeted treatments thanks to the unified efforts of scientists and physicians at 40 institutions.

Closing mental-illness gap in Vietnam
A Simon Fraser University researcher is going to Vietnam to study how to address the shortage of accessible and adequate services for people with mental disorders like depression and anxiety.

UF researchers develop blood test for devastating disease of boas and pythons
University of Florida researchers have developed a simple immune-based screening test to identify the presence of a debilitating and usually fatal disease that strikes boas and pythons in captivity as well as those sold to the pet trade worldwide.

Rise in wildfires may significantly degrade air quality, health in the future
As the American West, parched by prolonged drought, braces for a season of potentially record-breaking wildfires, new research suggests these events not only pose an immediate threat to people's safety and their homes, but also could take a toll on human health, agriculture and ecosystems.

Kindergarten weight strong indicator of childhood obesity
A recent study by researchers from Emory's Rollins School of Public Health suggests that development of new childhood obesity cases, or incidence, is largely established by kindergarten.

Designer proteins provide new information about the body's signal processes
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen can radically alter the properties of proteins by redesigning their chemical structure.

UA researchers trace bat killer's path
As North American bats face a death toll approaching 7 million, University of Akron scientists reveal new clues about their killer, White Nose Syndrome, or WNS.

Study finds nutritional value for co-products from the human food industry in pig feed
Co-products from the human food industry offer a lower-cost alternative to cereal grains in diets fed to pigs.

Infection control practices not adequately implemented at many hospital ICUs: study
US hospital intensive care units show uneven compliance with infection prevention policies, according to a study in the February issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Dinosaur fossils from China help Penn researchers describe new 'Titan'
A team led by University of Pennsylvania paleontologists has characterized a new dinosaur based on fossil remains found in northwestern China.

From rivers to landslides: Charting the slopes of sediment transport
The slope of streambeds has dramatic and unexpected effects on sediment transport.

Measuring brain activity in premature infants
On Jan. 29, JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments, will publish a procedure to identify newborns and children at-risk for developmental problems, especially those born prematurely.

Identified a subgroup of schizophrenia patients with motor disorders
Researchers led by Marta Barrachina, Institute of Neuropathology of IDIBELL have identified a new subgroup of patients suffering from schizophrenia characterized by motor disorders.

Price Family Foundation gift will create groundbreaking structural biology institute
A $3 million gift from the Price Family Foundation to the University of Oklahoma and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University will create the first ever anaerobic structural biology program in the United States.

Vaccine used to treat cervical precancers triggers immune cell response
Preliminary results of a small clinical trial show that a vaccine used to treat women with high-grade precancerous cervical lesions triggers an immune cell response within the damaged tissue itself.

Study measures how well Asian carp prevention effort will work
Scientists from the University of Notre Dame, Resources for the Future, and the US Forest Service present their findings of the effectiveness of different Asian carp prevention barriers could be in a study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

'Rogue' asteroids may be the norm
MIT researchers find that a new map of the solar system's asteroids shows more diversity than previously thought.

Screening for transformed human mesenchymal stromal cells with tumorigenic potential
Spontaneous transformation of human mesenchymal stem/stromal cells has been observed during long-term expansion in cell culture, although it is rare.

A sensor detects salt on the road to avoid excess
Engineers at Carlos III University in Madrid, Spain, have designed an optical sensor that detects how much salt is on road surfaces in real time.

VIB scientists find new strategy to combat bacterial infections
Alvin Lo and Han Remaut (VIB/Vrije Universiteit Brussel) have identified a chemical substance with the potential of acting as a new drug to treat bacterial infections, particularly urinary tract infections.

The American Cancer Society and Stand Up To Cancer announce collaborative research effort
American Cancer Society (ACS)/Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) will collaborate and jointly fund a $20 million, three-year lung cancer

Don't forget the customers after mergers
Merging companies that focus on a dual-goal emphasis of simultaneously enhancing efficiency and customer satisfaction show the highest increase in long-term financial performance, according to a new study from Rice University, Kent State University and the University of Pittsburgh.

TCGA bladder cancer study reveals potential drug targets, similarities to several cancers
Investigators with The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network have identified new potential therapeutic targets for a major form of bladder cancer, including important genes and pathways that are disrupted in the disease.

Real glass that bends but doesn't break
Prof. François Barthelat and his team from McGill's Dept. of Mechanical Engineering have taken inspiration from the mechanics of natural structures like seashells in order to make glass 200 times less brittle.

Asteroid diversity points to a 'snow globe' solar system
Our solar system seems like a neat and orderly place, with small, rocky worlds near the sun and big, gaseous worlds farther out, all eight planets following orbital paths unchanged since they formed.

Neanderthals' genetic legacy
Remnants of Neanderthal DNA in modern humans are associated with genes affecting type 2 diabetes, Crohn's disease, lupus, biliary cirrhosis and smoking behavior.

NYU researchers take magnetic waves for a spin
Researchers at New York University have developed a method for creating and directing fast moving waves in magnetic fields that have the potential to enhance communication and information processing in computer chips and other consumer products.

China's reliance on lower-paid contract nurses may compromise patient care
Economic and health system reforms in China in recent decades have dramatically reduced the number of traditional hospital nursing jobs, known as

Engineer brings new twist to sodium-ion battery technology
A Kansas State University engineer has made a breakthrough in rechargeable battery applications.

More heart attack patients being treated more quickly using PCI , national audit finds
Expansion in the use of Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) -- the minimally invasive surgery performed on heart patients instead of using drugs -- is seeing more patients with acute coronary syndromes treated more quickly, according to the latest National Audit of PCI (covering 2012).

Researchers find novel approach for controlling deadly C. difficile infections
Researchers from the Alberta Glycomics Centre at the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta, in collaboration with researchers at the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa, have revealed the first molecular views showing how highly specific antibodies derived from llamas may provide a new method for controlling deadly infections from the opportunistic bacterial pathogen Clostridium difficile.

A digital test for toxic genes
Tel Aviv University researchers have developed a new computer algorithm that predicts which metabolic genes are lethal to cells when overproduced.

Slow reaction time linked with early death
Having a slow reaction time in midlife increases risk of having died 15 years later, according to new research published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Genetics Society of America selects 5 geneticists to receive society's 2014 awards
The Genetics Society of America is pleased to announce its 2014 Award Recipients.

Findings point to potential treatment for virus causing childhood illnesses
Researchers have discovered a potential treatment for a viral infection that causes potentially fatal brain swelling and paralysis in children.

Decibels and democracy
Voice votes, common in civic and political decision making at all levels, can be skewed by a single, loud voice, according to a study led by the University of Iowa.

A faster way to flag bacteria-tainted food -- and prevent illness
The regular appearance of food poisoning in the news, including a recent event that led to the recall of more than 33,000 pounds of chicken, drives home the need for better bacterial detection long before meats and produce make it to the dinner table.

Poor breakfast in youth linked to metabolic syndrome in adulthood
It is often said that breakfast is important for our health, and a study conducted by Umeå University in Sweden, published in Public Health Nutrition, supports this claim.

Penguin future uncertain in the face of climate change
Changes in average climatic conditions combined with the increasing frequency of unpredictable, extreme weather events may disrupt scientific predictions of the future penguin populations.

U of Maryland study: Partnership may help address cancer, health disparities
Robust partnerships between rural community health education centers and academic health care institutions can make substantial strides toward addressing race-, income- and geographically based health disparities in underserved communities by empowering both the community and leading University institutions, according to newly published research from the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

UFO cross-section gives snakes a lift
Snakes aren't usually renowned for their ability to fly, but Chrysopelea snakes from southeast Asia regularly launch themselves from trees into the air gliding for 10s of meters before touch down.

UM researchers find existence of large, deep magma chamber below Kilauea volcano
A new study led by scientists at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science uncovered a previously unknown magma chamber deep below the most active volcano in the world -- Kilauea.

Myriad's Prolaris significantly modifies treatment decisions for prostate cancer patients
Myriad's Prolaris® test significantly modifies treatment decisions for men with prostate cancer.

Two stressed people equals less stress
Does giving a speech in public stress you out? Or writing a big presentation for your boss?

Capitol chemistry: How Congress will alter the science landscape in 2014
The Congressional agenda for 2014 includes science issues with far-reaching implications for an array of issues including public health, job growth, pharmaceutical research and energy, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.

Protein synthesis and chance
In the process of protein synthesis there is a

Extended outcomes from APBI show tumor control, breast cosmesis and minimal late toxicity
Long-term (five-year) outcomes of breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) after breast-conserving surgery show excellent tumor control and breast cosmesis (cosmetic outcomes) with minimal late toxicity, according to a study published in the Feb.

Vilcek Foundation honors renowned neuroscientist and young researchers with creative promise
The Vilcek Foundation announces the 2014 Vilcek Prizewinners in Biomedical Science.

ADHD medication saves lives on the road
New research from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows that medication used to treat ADHD in adult men can save lives on the road.

NASA-NOAA satellite sees Tropical Cyclone 11P headed for Queensland
The NASA-NOAA Satellite known as Suomi NPP flew over newborn Tropical Cyclone 11P in the Coral Sea and captured a visible image of the newly developed storm as it moves toward a landfall in Queensland, Australia.

Neanderthal lineages excavated from modern human genomes
A substantial fraction of the Neanderthal genome persists in modern human populations.

Testosterone isn't the help some hoped for when women go through menopause early
With plummeting hormone levels, natural menopause before age 40 can put a damper on women's mental well being and quality of life.

Studies find individuals with ADHD have communicative difficulty
People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are less able to consider the perspective of their conversational partner, says research from the University of Waterloo.

Connectedness, human use of buildings shape indoor bacterial communities
The location, connectedness, and human use patterns in a building may influence the types of bacteria they house.

Researchers discover treatment for rare blood cancer
University of British Columbia researchers have discovered a potential new treatment for a rare blood cancer that may also point the way to treating other more common diseases.

Puzzling question in bacterial immune system answered
Berkeley researchers have answered a central question about Cas9, an enzyme that plays an essential role in the bacterial immune system and is fast becoming a valuable tool for genetic engineering: How is Cas9 able to precisely discriminate between non-self DNA that must be degraded and self DNA that may be almost identical within genomes that are millions to billions of base pairs long.

Less than half of children treated for anxiety achieve long-term relief
Fewer than one in two children and young adults treated for anxiety achieve long-term relief from symptoms, according to the findings of a study by investigators from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and five other institutions.

New analysis finds hempseed oil packed with health-promoting compounds
Long stigmatized because of its

Clemson researcher to present at Connecticut's youth concussion conference
Clemson University researcher Jimmy Sanderson was invited to present at a special session entitled

Use of testosterone therapy linked to heart attacks in men under 65, study shows
A joint study from UCLA, the NIH, and Consolidated Research, a private research firm, has observed a two-fold increase in the risk of a heart attack in men under 65 and with a history of heart disease, shortly after use of testosterone therapy; that is, the external application of testosterone.

UCSF receives $50 million gift
UCSF Medical Center will name its new women's hospital at Mission Bay in honor of Betty Irene Moore, a patient safety pioneer and advocate.

Weapons tied to repeat domestic abuse
Women are up to 83 percent more likely to experience repeat abuse by their male partners if a weapon is used in the initial abuse incident, according to a new study that has implications for victims, counselors and police.

Study: Oropharyngeal cancer on the rise in young adults
A new study reveals an alarming increase in oropharyngeal cancers among young adults.

Plyometric training can lead to a significant increase in the performance of sportspeople
Rodrigo Ramírez-Campillo, lecturer in physical education and Ph.D. holder in health sciences, has shown in his Ph.D. thesis how plyometric training -- exercises involving jumping, sprinting and throwing -- done by young football players can significantly increase their physical performance and thus, potentially, their competitive performance as well.

DNA nanoarchitecture research underway at Rutgers-Camden
Jinglin Fu, an assistant professor of chemistry in Rutgers-Camden's Center for Computational and Integrative Biology, is seeking ways to use natural DNA molecules to build DNA nanoarchitectures and use them as a template to aid in the study and improvement of disease diagnostics, as well as various biological functions, such as energy conversion.

Classification system for bladder cancer prognosis
Researchers at Lund University have developed a classification system to determine the prognosis for bladder cancer.

Obesity-induced fatty liver disease reversed in mice
Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered that valproic acid, a widely prescribed drug for treating epilepsy, has the additional benefits of reducing fat accumulation in the liver and lowering blood sugar levels in the blood of obese mice.

Intuitive number games boost children's math performance
A quick glance at two, unequal groups of paper clips leads most people to immediately intuit which group has more.

TRMM satellite peers at rainfall in developing low near Mozambique
The TRMM satellite flew above a System 91S, a tropical low pressure area, in the Mozambique Channel on Jan.

Oregon researchers show how building design impacts indoor bacteria
The Lillis Business Complex set the bar for sustainable buildings 10 years ago when it opened at the University of Oregon.

Altruistic acts more common in states with high well-being
People are much more likely to decide to donate a kidney to a stranger -- an extraordinarily altruistic act -- in areas of the United States where levels of well-being are high, according to a new study published in Psychological Science.

When populations collide
More than thirty thousand years ago, Homo sapiens migrating out of Africa began encountering Neanderthals, a lineage that had diverged from modern humans hundreds of thousands of years before.

Forests as Capital: International Society of Tropical Foresters Annual Conference in New Haven
The Yale Chapter of the International Society of Tropical Foresters will host its 20th annual conference at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies from Jan.

Prostate cancer signal reawakens 'sleeper agent' cells in bones
Dormant prostate cancer cells in bone tissue can be reawakened to cause secondary tumors, according to new research published in Endocrine-Related Cancer.

Study finds mammography beneficial for younger women
Researchers from University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have published new findings in the February issue of American Journal of Roentgenology that mammography remains beneficial for women in their 40s.

Universe's early galaxies grew massive through collisions
It has long puzzled scientists that there were enormously massive galaxies that were already old and no longer forming new stars in the very early universe, approximately 3 billion years after the Big Bang.

Sierra Leone will spur entrepreneurship with a business incubator modeled on NJIT's EDC
Following a decade-long civil war that decimated its fragile, emerging economy, Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, still lacks such basic infrastructure as paved roads and traffic lights.

Stem cell agency's grants to UCLA help set stage for revolutionary medicine
Five UCLA stem cell scientists receive CIRM Basic Biology V awards for four projects to achieve important milestones toward diverse stem cell therapies.

EBRT reduces risk of subsequent mastectomy in patients with invasive breast cancer
Standard external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) provided a higher breast preservation rate than brachytherapy in women age 66 and older with invasive breast cancer, according to a study published in the Feb.

Cooperative SO2 and NOx aerosol formation in haze pollution
In January 2013, a long-lasting episode of severe haze occurred in central and eastern China.

CONRAD wins USAID Science and Technology Pioneers Prize for development of first vaginal gel proven to reduce HIV
CONRAD, a leading reproductive health-research organization based at Eastern Virginia Medical School, today announced that they are a winner of the United States Agency for International Development Science and Technology Pioneers Prize for their work in developing tenofovir gel.

New prognostic tool accurately predicts mortality risk in pediatric septic shock
Researchers have developed a tool that allows caregivers to quickly and accurately predict the risk of death in children with septic shock -- one of the leading causes of death among hospitalized children.

Elsevier announces the launch of open access journal: Pathogenesis
Elsevier, world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announces the launch of open access journal, Pathogenesis.

Clinical study finds 'bubble CPAP' boosts neonatal survival rates
The first clinical study of a low-cost neonatal breathing system created by Rice University bioengineering students demonstrated that the device increased the survival rate of newborns with severe respiratory illness from 44 percent to 71 percent.

New theory may lead to more efficient solar cells
A new theoretical model developed by professors at the University of Houston and Université de Montréal may hold the key to methods for developing better materials for solar cells.

Oral immunotherapy for children's peanut allergy moves a step closer
Children and adolescents with peanut allergies could benefit from treatment with oral immunotherapy, in which peanut protein is consumed in increasingly larger amounts on a regular basis to build up tolerance, according to a phase 2 trial published in The Lancet.

Sponge bacteria, a chemical factory
A new, unknown strain of bacteria produces most of the bioactive substances that the stony sponge Theonella swinhoei exudes.

Improved ultrasound imaging provides alternate way to visualize tumors
Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine have combined ultrasound with a contrast agent to visualize tumors without using radiation.

Better sweet corn research, better production
While grain yield is economically important in field corn production, there are other metrics more important in sweet corn grown for processing, said Marty Williams, a US Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service ecologist and University of Illinois crop sciences researcher.

Lung and bladder cancers have common cell-cycle biomarkers
University of Colorado Cancer Center study shows bladder and lung cancers are marked by shared differences in the genetics that control the cell cycle.

Autism Speaks study finds advances towards universal early screening
A new study from researchers at Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, shows improvement towards universal early screening for autism.

Swaziland receives medical equipment to strengthen maternal and child health services
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation in collaboration with Project C.U.R.E (Commission on Urgent Relief and Equipment) today donated medical equipment and supplies worth more than U.S.

Deaths attributed directly to climate change cast pall over penguins
Climate change is killing penguin chicks from the world's largest colony of Magellanic penguins, not just indirectly -- by depriving them of food, as has been repeatedly documented for these and other seabirds -- but directly as a result of drenching rainstorms and, at other times, heat, according to new findings from the University of Washington.

Scientists shine spotlight on Herdwicks' origins
A new study highlights surprising differences between Herdwick sheep and their closest neighbouring UK upland breeds.

Single gene separates queen from workers
Scientists have identified how a single gene in honey bees separates the queens from the workers.

Sea level variations escalating along eastern Gulf of Mexico coast
Around the globe, sea levels typically rise a little in summer and fall again in winter.

Lighting up in uniform
Is it possible to predict which soldier will start smoking and which one will maybe quit?
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