Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 30, 2014
An electronic tongue can identify brands of beer
Spanish researchers have managed to distinguish between different varieties of beer using an electronic tongue.

Like the X-Men, a diversely talented group of cancer cells is hard to defeat
A multi-university research team, including researchers with the Fralin Life Science Institute at Virginia Tech, discovered that the unique physical differences among brain tumor cells were because of chromosomal abnormalities.

NSA pursues quantum technology
In this month's issue of Physics World, Jon Cartwright explains how the revelation that the US National Security Agency is developing quantum computers has renewed interest and sparked debate on just how far ahead they are of the world's major labs looking to develop the same technology.

A protein-production tale of the tape
Whitehead Institute researchers have determined that poly(A) tails on messenger RNAs shift their role in the regulation of protein production during early embryogenesis.

Gastric banding patients should closely monitor nutrition following surgery
Patients who have had bariatric surgery may need to take dietary supplements and pay closer attention to their nutritional intake, a UT Southwestern Medical Center study suggests.

Tracking Asian air pollution aids policymakers
New research from a team of scientists, that included Argonne's David Streets, a senior energy and environmental policy scientist, showed that several different air pollutants from China reach the shores of the western United States.

'Attention on the flight deck': What doctors can learn from pilots about communication
With the introduction of a

Nearly everyone uses piezoelectrics -- Be nice to know how they work
Piezoelectrics, materials that can change mechanical stress to electricity and back again, are everywhere in modern life.

New study suggests choline recommendations during pregnancy may be too low
Recent research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that during pregnancy, and particularly during the third trimester, large amounts of choline may be needed to support fetal development.

UK establishes 3 new synthetic biology research centers
Bristol, Nottingham and a Cambridge/Norwich partnership will be UK centers for synthetic biology.

Engineered virus is effective against triple negative breast cancer cells
Scientists have discovered a potential cure for one of the most aggressive and least treatable forms of breast cancer called

Forests in Central America paying the price of drug trafficking shift
A group of researchers focused on sustainable practices, geography and earth sciences found something unexpected during their work in Central America: the effects of drug trafficking are leaving deep scars on a sensitive landscape.

Video game teaches kids about stroke symptoms and calling 9-1-1
Children improved their knowledge of stroke symptoms and how to respond after playing a stroke education video game.

Mount Sinai researchers identify UHRF1 as oncogene driving liver cancer
Using a zebrafish model and patient data, investigators found that UHRF1 is a novel oncogene involved in the pathogenesis of liver cancer.

Immune drug helps patients with frequently replapsing kidney disease
Relapses of a particular form of kidney disease decreased approximately five-fold in children and young adults taking rituximab.

Having a baby after fertility issues improves couples chances of staying together
New research reveals that women who have a child after experiencing fertility problems are more likely to remain with their partner following infertility evaluations.

Rice lab clocks 'hot' electrons
Rice University scientists time

Up close and 3-dimensional: HIV caught in the act inside the gut
HIV infection has many unhealthy consequences on the body, but in particular it messes up the gut.

ASU professor Lawrence Krauss is elected to the International Academy of Humanists
Lawrence Krauss, an Arizona State University Foundation Professor in the School of Space and Earth Exploration and the Department of Physics, has been elected to the International Academy of Humanists.

What is ESTRO 33? ESTRO 33 will feature new research results in clinical radiation oncology, radiobiology, physics, technology, and brachytherapy, presented by top doctors and scientists from all over the world working together for the benefit of cancer patients.

Campus police officers' role in sex assault cases
With high rates of sexual assault at colleges and universities, campus law enforcement officers are important facets of a campus' response to this crime.

Scientists unveil a molecular mechanism that controls plant growth and development
A joint study published in Cell by the teams headed by Miquel Coll at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine and the Institute of Molecular Biology of CSIC, both in Barcelona, and Dolf Weijers at the University of Wageningen, in the Netherlands, unravels the mystery behind how the plant hormones called auxins activate multiple vital plant functions through various gene transcription factors.

Precise gene editing in monkeys paves the way for valuable human disease models
Monkeys are important for modeling diseases because of their close similarities to humans, but past efforts to precisely modify genes in primates have failed.

Vitamin A used in acne medicines may help autoimmune and transplant patients
The same form of Vitamin A used by teenagers to combat acne might offer benefits that are more than skin deep.

Stoptober 2012 encouraged an extra 350,000 attempts to quit smoking
More than a third of a million people in England took part in Stoptober 2012, a national campaign to encourage people to give up smoking, according to new research by UCL researchers published today in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

NYU WIRELESS welcomes Intel as industry affiliate
NYU WIRELESS announced that Intel Corporation has joined the center as an affiliate sponsor of research exploring a new generation of wireless technologies, often called

Worry on the brain
Previous studies of anxiety in the brain have focused on the amygdala, but a team of researchers led by biologists at Caltech had a hunch that understanding a different brain area, the lateral septum, could provide more clues into how the brain processes anxiety.

Could your relationship with your mom increase your child's chances of obesity?
Could the quality of your attachment to your parents affect your own child's risk for obesity?

Trick that aids viral infection is identified
Scientists have identified a way some viruses protect themselves from the immune system's efforts to stop infections, a finding that may make new approaches to treating viral infections possible.

Researchers create database to examine vast resources of health legacy foundations
Local communities can expect the number and asset size of philanthropic foundations to increase, due to the rise in health care consolidations driven by health care reform.

Discovery may lead to new drugs for osteoporosis
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have discovered what appears to be a potent stimulator of new bone growth.

Does caregiving cause psychological stress? UW study of female twins says it depends
The study,

FDA approves new MS treatment regimen developed at Wayne State University
Global research overseen by and conducted at the Wayne State University School of Medicine will immediately change the treatment regimen of millions of multiple sclerosis patients around the world.

Parkinson gene: Nerve growth factor halts mitochondrial degeneration
A new link has been discovered between processes associated with a Parkinson's-related gene defect.

Storage system for 'big data' dramatically speeds access to information
Using multiple nodes allows the same bandwidth and performance from a storage network as far more expensive machines.

Bioengineer studying stem cell diets to make better heart cells
What nutrients are needed for stem cells to grow and function as heart cells?

Cell cycle speed is key to making aging cells young again
Yale School of Medicine researchers identified a major obstacle to converting cells back to their youthful state -- the speed of the cell cycle, or the time required for a cell to divide.

Study finds brachytherapy offers lower rate of breast preservation compared to standard radiation for older women with breast cancer
When comparing treatments designed to enable long-term breast preservation for older women with invasive breast cancer, researchers found those treated with brachytherapy were at higher risk for a later mastectomy, compared to women treated with standard radiation therapy.

Geranium extracts inhibit HIV-1
Extracts of the geranium plant Pelargonium sidoides inactivate human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and prevent the virus from invading human cells.

Scientists discover that thyroid cancer cells become less aggressive in outer space
For those who think that space exploration offers no tangible benefits, new research involving thyroid cancer may prove otherwise.

Flying the not-so-friendly skies
MIT study shows that network carriers receive more complaints than cheaper airlines, regardless of actual service quality.

Signs point to sharp rise in drugged driving fatalities
The prevalence of non-alcohol drugs detected in fatally injured drivers in the US steadily rose from 1999 to 2010 and especially for drivers who tested positive for marijuana.

Early studies show microspheres may prevent bone infections after joint replacement
While total joint surgeries have a low risk of infection -- between 1 and 3 percent -- in those rare instances when bone infection sets in, it can be a devastating setback for patients.

New study examines the effects of catch-and-release fishing on sharks
A new study led by scientists at the University of Miami Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science investigated how several species of coastal sharks respond to stress from catch-and-release fishing.

RI Hospital researchers identify components in C. diff that may lead to better treatment
Rhode Island Hospital researchers have identified components in Clostridium difficile (C. diff) that may lead to new diagnostic tools, and ultimately more timely and effective treatment for this often fatal infection.

How DNA damage affects Golgi -- the cell's shipping department
In studying the impact of DNA damage on the Golgi, a research team from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research have discovered a novel pathway activated by DNA damage, with important consequences for the body's cellular response to chemotherapy.

NASA satellite sees System 91S undeveloped in Mozambique Channel
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite that observed the tropical low pressure area designated as System 91S earlier this week captured another look at a much weaker storm on Jan.

Diagnosis just a breath away with new laser
University of Adelaide physics researchers have developed a new type of laser that will enable exciting new advances in areas as diverse as breath analysis for disease diagnosis and remote sensing of critical greenhouse gases.

Large study confirms vodka as major cause of the extraordinarily high risk of early death in Russian men
The high and sharply fluctuating death rates in Russia are due mainly to alcohol, particularly vodka, a new prospective study of 151,000 adults confirms.

Faster X-ray technology paves the way for better catalysts
By using a novel X-ray technique, researchers have observed a catalyst surface at work in real time and were able to resolve its atomic structure in detail.

NASA gets 2 views of Tropical Cyclone Dylan making landfall in Australia
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Dylan and captured both visible and infrared imagery of the storm as it began landfalling.

Blood and lymphatic capillaries grown for the first time in the lab
Researchers at the University Children's Hospital Zurich and the University of Zurich have engineered skin cells for the very first time containing blood and lymphatic capillaries.

Yale program's agreement with Johnson & Johnson allows broad access to clinical trial data
In a move that promotes open science, the Yale University Open Data Access Project has entered an agreement with Johnson & Johnson that will enable scientists around the world to gain access to the company's clinical trial data assets.

Antipsychotic prescription for children and adolescents
Increasing numbers of children and adolescents are being given antipsychotic drugs in Germany, as Christian Bachmann and colleagues found out in a study published in the current issue of Deutsches Ă„rzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2014; 111(3): 25 - 40).

USF psychologist: Childhood depression may increase risk of heart disease by teen years
Children with depression are more likely to be obese, smoke and be inactive, and can show the effects of heart disease as early as their teen years, according to a newly published study by University of South Florida associate professor of psychology Jonathan Rottenberg.

First report of management of pediatric trauma in England and Wales
Over 4,700 children under the age of 16 suffered significant injuries in 2012.

Antibiotic 'smart bomb' can target specific strains of bacteria
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a de facto antibiotic

Penn study finds more than a third of women have hot flashes 10 years after menopause
Moderate to severe hot flashes continue, on average, for nearly five years after menopause, and more than a third of women experience moderate/severe hot flashes for 10 years or more after menopause.

CU-Boulder researchers sequence world's first butterfly bacteria, find surprises
For the first time ever, a team led by the University of Colorado Boulder has sequenced the internal bacterial makeup of the three major life stages of a butterfly species, a project that showed some surprising events occur during metamorphosis.

Self-aligning DNA wires for application in nanoelectronics
Since miniaturization in microelectronics is starting to reach physical limits, researchers seek new methods for device fabrication.

Study shows independent association between diabetes and depression and impulse control disorders including binge-eating and bulimia
New research published today shows that depression and impulse control disorders (eating disorders in particular) are independently associated with diabetes diagnosis, after adjustment for presence of other mental disorders.

Study examines effects of corporate downsizing on managerial diversity
A new study finds that corporate downsizing reduces managerial diversity, especially when layoff decisions consider workers' position or tenure.

Imaging technique shows brain anatomy change in women with multiple sclerosis, depression
A multicenter research team led by Cedars-Sinai neurologist Nancy Sicotte, MD, an expert in multiple sclerosis and state-of-the-art imaging techniques, used a new, automated technique to identify shrinkage of a mood-regulating brain structure in a large sample of women with MS who also have a certain type of depression.

Novel genes determine division of labor in insect societies
Novel or highly modified genes play a major role in the development of the different castes within ant colonies.

Research shows wallabies lose on the pokies
Biologists have recently discovered that a wallaby's perception of color is more similar to a dog than a quokka, sparking questions as to why marsupial color vision has evolved so selectively.

NAS report: Make childbirth safer in Indonesia
A joint report by US and Indonesian experts, including Dr.

PNNL recognized for transferring innovation to the marketplace
The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has been recognized for creating 3-D headset display technology that could improve the sight of soldiers in dark battlefields and gamers immersed in virtual reality.

Sea the future: New research on ocean conditions will aid planners
The Office of Naval Research Global announced this week a grant to the University of Melbourne that will provide new insights into ocean conditions -- crucial information for Navy planners involved in tactical and strategic decision-making.

UT Austin engineers build first nonreciprocal acoustic circulator: A 1-way sound device
Andrea Alu, associate professor at The University of Texas at Austin, and his team have built the first-ever nonreciprocal circulator for sound that is able to break sound wave reciprocity.

2014 dose-response, preconditioning: Adaptive responses in biology and medicine
The conference will provide the most current advances in the nature of the dose response with respect to chemical and radiation induced stresses as well as a host of effects of pharmaceutical agents that have profound biomedical and risk assessment implications.

Integration brings quantum computer a step closer
An international research group led by the University of Bristol has made an important advance towards a quantum computer by shrinking down key components and integrating them onto a silicon microchip.

Scientists develop an engineered cardiac tissue model to study the human heart
When it comes to finding cures for heart disease scientists have finally developed a tissue model for the human heart that can bridge the gap between animal models and human patients.

NIST cell membrane model studied as future diagnostic tool
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and in Lithuania have used a NIST-developed laboratory model of a simplified cell membrane to accurately detect and measure a protein associated with a serious gynecological disease, bacterial vaginosis, at extraordinarily low concentrations.

Scripps scientist awarded $1.8 million to develop new approaches to lung cancer therapy
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have been awarded approximately $1.8 million from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health to identify the signaling pathways that underlie lung cancer and to use this information to develop new therapeutic approaches.

WSU research study supports new safety rule for truck drivers
The US Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration today released the findings of a field study conducted by the Washington State University Sleep and Performance Research Center.

Scientists launch multi-million dollar battle against African disease killing 1 cow every 30 seconds
The Nairobi-based International Livestock Research Institute announced today that a global consortium supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been formed to develop a new vaccine against a disease that's devastating cattle herds in sub-Saharan Africa.

Highlights for 2014 national meeting of world's largest scientific society
Journalists registering for the American Chemical Society's 247th National Meeting & Exposition this winter will have a wealth of material to choose from with more than 10,000 presentations planned on science topics from astronomy to zoology.

Zebra fish fins help Oregon researchers gain insight into bone regeneration
University of Oregon biologists say they have opened the window on the natural process of bone regeneration in zebra fish, and that the insights they gained could be used to advance therapies for bone fractures and disease.

UD catalyst can convert CO2 to CO with 92 percent efficiency
A team of researchers at the University of Delaware has developed a highly selective catalyst capable of electrochemically converting carbon dioxide -- a greenhouse gas -- to carbon monoxide with 92 percent efficiency.

UCSF team reveals how the brain recognizes speech sounds
UC San Francisco researchers are reporting a detailed account of how speech sounds are identified by the human brain.

What your company can learn from NASA tragedies
BYU business professor Peter Madsen has been researching how NASA recognizes

Protein serves as a natural boost for immune system fight against tumors
Different molecular adjuvants, such as cytokines, are being studied as a way to increase the efficacy of vaccines.

Real-time video could improve effect of core stabilization exercise in stroke patients
About 80 percent of stroke survivors experience hemiparesis, which causes weakness or the inability to move one side of the body.

New data contradict current recommendations for management of breast biopsy abnormalities
Contrary to existing understanding, long-term follow-up of patients with two types of breast tissue abnormalities suggests that both types of abnormalities have the same potential to progress to breast cancer, according to a study published in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Scientists discover new genetic forms of neurodegeneration
In a study published in the Jan. 31, 2014, issue of Science, an international team led by scientists at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine report doubling the number of known causes for the neurodegenerative disorder known as hereditary spastic paraplegia.

Dartmouth researchers develop new tool to identify genetic risk factors
Dartmouth researchers developed a new biological pathway-based computational model, called the Pathway-based Human Phenotype Network, to identify underlying genetic connections between different diseases as reported in BioDataMining this week.

Third-hand smoke shown to cause health problems
Do not smoke and do not allow yourself to be exposed to smoke because second-hand smoke and third-hand smoke are just as deadly as first-hand smoke, says a scientist at the University of California, Riverside who, along with colleagues, conducted the first animal study of the effects of third-hand smoke.

Researchers reverse some lung diseases in mice by coaxing production of healthy cells
Introducing proteins that direct lung stem cells to grow the specific cell types needed to repair lung injuries could lead to new ways to treat some lung diseases, according to research from Boston Children's Hospital published in the journal Cell.

Study reports success in targeted therapy for common form of lung cancer
Dana-Farber researchers have found that a combination of two already-in-use drugs may have an effect on stopping the growth of the most common genetic subtype of lung cancer setting the stage for clinical trials.

A detailed look at HIV in action
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology are the first to have utilized high-resolution electron microscopy to look at HIV infection within the actual tissue of an infected organism, providing perhaps the most detailed characterization yet of HIV infection in the gut.

New ER examines arts education, NCLB, student risk factors
The January/February 2014 issue of Educational Researcher (ER), a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association, is now available on the association's website.

UC Irvine stem cell researchers awarded $1.54 million in state funding
Two UC Irvine research teams will receive $1.54 million to further studies on the fundamental structure and function of stem cells.

Edison electrifies scientific computing
The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center recently accepted

Don't believe everything you read on the net about vertebroplasty
Most websites with information on vertebroplasty do not paint the full picture about the pros, cons and alternatives of the treatment.

Drug trafficking leads to deforestation in Central America
Add yet another threat to the list of problems facing the rapidly disappearing rainforests of Central America: drug trafficking.

Women with mental health disability may face 4-fold risk of abusive relationship: Study
Women with a severe mental health-related disability are nearly four times more likely to have been a victim of intimate partner violence than those without a disability, according to a new study by Women's College Hospital researcher Janice Du Mont and co-author Tonia Forte.

Infants know plants provide food, but need to see they're safe to eat
Infants as young as six months old tend to expect that plants are food sources, but only after an adult shows them that the food is safe to eat, according to new research published in Psychological Science.

Johns Hopkins animal study reveals sex-specific patterns of recovery from newborn brain injury
Physicians have long known that oxygen deprivation to the brain around the time of birth causes worse damage in boys than girls.

At last: Mysterious ocean circles in the Baltic Ocean explained
Are they bomb craters from World War II? Are they landing marks for aliens?

Photon recoil provides new insight into matter
Quantum logic spectroscopy has been significantly extended: The new method is called 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