Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 04, 2014
Recurrent head and neck tumors have gene mutations that could be vulnerable to cancer drug
An examination of the genetic landscape of head and neck cancers indicates that while metastatic and primary tumor cells share similar mutations, recurrent disease is associated with gene alterations that could be exquisitely sensitive to an existing cancer drug.

Tracking sperm whales' ecology through stomach contents
'Understanding what resources support populations of these incredibly rare animals is important to conservation,' the lead author says of the pygmy and dwarf sperm whales she studied.

Toward a clearer diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies, in collaboration with Osaka City University and Kansai University of Welfare Sciences, have used functional PET imaging to show that levels of neuroinflammation, or inflammation of the nervous system, are higher in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome than in healthy people.

Antioxidants can protect against omega 6 damage -- or promote it
Given omega 6 fatty acid's reputation for promoting cancer -- at least in animal studies -- researchers are examining the role that antioxidants play in blocking the harmful effects of this culprit, found in many cooking oils.

New study on the crime risk on London Underground
A University of Huddersfield criminologist who has been working closely with authorities in London to cut crime on one of the world's busiest transport systems will appear before a House of Commons select committee to describe his findings.

£800,000 grant to create the computers of the future
Dr. Patmore was the recipient of one of the small number of University Research Fellowships bestowed annually by the Royal Society, which was founded in the 1660s.

Genetic testing beneficial in melanoma treatment
Genetic screening of cancer can help doctors customize treatments so that patients with melanoma have the best chance of beating it, according to the results of a clinical trial by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, a partner with UPMC CancerCenter.

Undocked working dogs at greatest risk of tail injuries in Scotland
Undocked working dogs in Scotland are at greatest risk of tail injuries, indicates a survey of their owners, published in this week's Veterinary Record.

Young faculty honored with Early Researcher Awards
Four Perimeter Institute faculty have received Early Researcher Awards from the Ontario government.

Brachytherapy helps maintain erectile function in prostate cancer patients without compromising treatment outcomes
The use of permanent brachytherapy, a procedure where radioactive sources are placed inside the prostate, into or near to the tumor, preserves erectile function in approximately 50 percent of patients with prostate cancer.

UN climate report: Pricing of CO2 emissions critical
Despite climate change, most polluters still pay little or nothing when they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Does a junk food diet make you lazy? UCLA psychology study offers answer
A new University of California Los Angeles psychology study provides evidence that being overweight makes people tired and sedentary, rather than vice versa.

New algorithm aids in both robot navigation and scene understanding
An algorithm for determining the orientation of objects could aid robots in navigation, scene understanding.

GSA Bulletin: Rock avalanches, ancient weather, astronomical clocks, anoxia, and volcanism
Highlights from GSA Bulletin articles published online on March 20-April 1, 2014, include a discussion of a catastrophic rock avalanche in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco 4,500 years ago and that village situated there now; evidence of rain and humidity in ancient soils in the western United States; a contribution to the on-going EarthTime initiative, which is working to refine and calibrate deep time geochronometers; and a call for intensive field studies in volcanic areas.

Some long non-coding RNAs are conventional after all
Researchers have come full circle and predicted that some long non-coding RNAs can give rise to small proteins that have biological functions.

Common breast cancer subtype may benefit from personalized treatment approach
The second-most common type of breast cancer is a very different disease than the most common and appears to be a good candidate for a personalized approach to treatment, according to a multidisciplinary team led by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, a partner with UPMC CancerCenter.

To bridge LEDs' green gap, scientists think small... really small
Nanostructures half the breadth of a DNA strand could improve the efficiency of light emitting diodes, especially in the 'green gap,' simulations at the US Department of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center have shown.

Nowhere to hide: Kids, once protected, now influenced by tobacco marketing
New study finds teenagers and young adults are exposed and influenced by direct mail and web coupons from tobacco manufacturers.

Grandparents may worsen some moms' baby blues
Does living with grandparents ease or worsen a mother's baby blues?

Combining cell replication blocker with common cancer drug kills resistant tumor cells
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, a partner with UPMC CancerCenter, have found that an agent that inhibits mitochondrial division can overcome tumor cell resistance to a commonly used cancer drug, and that the combination of the two induces rapid and synergistic cell death.

Researchers receive $1.14 million to study threats to honey bees
Scientists in the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State received three grants from the US Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation to study various threats to honey bees, including disease, pesticides and the extinction and invasion of other species into their habitats.

Loneliness impacts DNA repair
Scientists at the Vetmeduni Vienna examined the telomere length of captive African grey parrots.

2014-2015 Genzyme/ACMG Foundation Medical Genetics Training Award announced
Paldeep S. Atwal, MD of Stanford University/Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and Jamie J.

Researchers empower parents to inspire first-generation college-goers
Parents who have not attended college are at a disadvantage when it comes to talking about higher education with their kids -- yet these are the students who most need a parent's guidance.

Plant-derived anti-cancer compounds explained at national conference
Compounds derived from plant-based sources -- including garlic, broccoli and medicine plants -- confer protective effects against breast cancer, explain researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), partner with the UPMC CancerCenter.

Flipping the switch on scleroderma
Scleroderma is a rare and often fatal disease, causing the thickening of tissue, that currently lacks a cure and any effective treatments.

Age-related diseases and adversary risk analysis are the 2 new AXA Research Fund Chairs
The AXA Research Fund has created the permanent AXA Chair in Risk Prediction in Age-related Diseases, given to Ben Lehner, from the Center for Genomic Regulations; the permanent Chair in Adversary Risk Analysis was given to David Rios from the Spanish National Research Council's Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

Scientists generate 3-D structure for the malaria parasite genome
A research team led by a University of California Riverside scientist has generated a 3-D model of the human malaria parasite genome at three different stages in the parasite's life cycle -- the first time such 3-D architecture has been generated during the progression of the life cycle of a parasite.

IOF Medal of Achievement awarded to professor Rene Rizzoli
Today, at the World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases, professor Rene Rizzoli of the University Hospital of Geneva was awarded the International Osteoporosis Foundation Medal of Achievement.

Chemists' work with small peptide chains may revolutionize study of enzymes and diseases
Chemists in Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences have, for the first time, created enzyme-like activity using peptides that are only seven amino acids long.

NASA sees Tropical Depression 05W's bulk west of center
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Tropical Depression 05W on April 4 at 07:09 UTC/3:09 a.m.

New CNS Medal recognizes dedication to osteoporosis prevention and advocacy
Today, Dr. Vladyslav Povoroznyuk, President of the Ukrainian Osteoporosis Association, was awarded the first Committee of National Societies (CNS) Medal.

International consortium discovers 2 genes that modulate risk of breast and ovarian cancer
The paper has been authored by 200 researchers from 55 research groups from around the world and describes two new genes that influence the risk of women developing breast and ovarian cancer when they are carriers of BCRA1 and BCRA2 mutations.

Light-activated neurons from stem cells restore function to paralyzed muscles
A new way to artificially control muscles using light, with the potential to restore function to muscles paralysed by conditions such as motor neuron disease and spinal cord injury, has been developed by scientists at UCL and King's College London.

Huma Rana, M.D., receives 2014 Richard King Award for best publication, Genetics in Medicine
Huma Q. Rana, M.D. of Harvard Medical School's Dana Farber Cancer Institute is the recipient of the 2014 Richard King Trainee Award.

In mice, obese dads produce heavier daughters with epigenetically altered breast tissue
Obese male mice and normal weight female mice produce female pups that are overweight at birth and in childhood, and have increased number of 'terminal end buds' in their breast tissue -- the site where breast cancer often develops in rodents.

Key genetic mutations could be new hope for adrenocortical tumor patients
Chinese scientists discover key genetic mutations, providing new hope for adrenocortical tumor patients.

A new species of horseshoe worm discovered in Japan after a 62-year gap
A team of Japanese scientists, lead by Dr. Hirose recently described a new species of horseshoe worm Phoronis emigi from sandy bottom at 33 m depth in Amakusa, Japan.

Identifying strategies for cultivating microalgae more efficiently to produce biodiesel
The Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development, Neiker-Tecnalia, the public body that reports to the Sub-ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Policy of the Government of the Basque Autonomous Community, has coordinated a research project to cultivate microalgae to produce lipids for obtaining biodiesel in a more cost-effective and more environmentally sustainable way.

Math modeling integral to synthetic biology research
A long-standing challenge in synthetic biology has been to create gene circuits that behave in predictable and robust ways.

Indoor tanning by teens linked to unhealthy weight control methods
High school students who use indoor tanning also have higher rates of unhealthy weight control behaviors -- such as taking diet pills or vomiting to lose weight, reports a study in the April Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, the official journal of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

New risk factors for avalanche trigger revealed
The amount of snow needed to trigger an avalanche in the Himalayans can be up to four times smaller than in the Alps, according to a new model from a materials scientist at Queen Mary University of London.

Swedish researchers show impact of long-term vitamin D insufficiency on fracture risk
The results of a study presented today at the World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases suggest that long-term low levels of vitamin D intake are associated with higher 10-year fracture risk in elderly women.

Panel issues exercise recommendations for people with osteoporosis and spine fractures
Experts from the Too Fit to Fracture Initiative presented the results of an international consensus process to establish exercise recommendations for people with osteoporosis, with or without spine fractures.

Does too much time at the computer lead to lower bone mineral density in adolescents?
Results of a study presented today at the World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases, showed that in boys, higher screen time was adversely associated to bone mineral density at all sites even when adjusted for specific lifestyle factors.

ENTEGA research team wins INFORMS 2013-2014 Gary Lilien ISMS-MSI Practice Prize Award
The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences today announced that the 2013-2014 Gary L.

Bacterial gut biome may guide colon cancer progression
At the 2014 American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in San Diego, researchers from the Wistar Institute present findings that suggest that gut bacteria can change the microenvironment in a way that promotes the growth and spread of tumors.

New test developed to detect men at high risk of prostate cancer recurrence
A new genetic 'signature' to identify prostate cancer patients who are at high risk of their cancer recurring after surgery or radiotherapy has been developed by researchers in Canada, the 33rd conference of the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology in Vienna will hear on Saturday.

The Trayvon Martin case: Lessons for education researchers
A 2014 American Educational Research Association annual meeting panel will look at lessons from the 2012 slaying of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin in order to see how issues of race, class, and gender intersect and the challenges that poses to researchers.

Scientists unmask the climate uncertainty monster
Increasing uncertainty in the climate system compels a greater urgency for climate change mitigation, according to new research from the University of Bristol.

Analysis finds less research attention given to diseases of the poor
Death is not distributed equally around the world. In high-income countries, people typically die in old age of chronic diseases such as cancer or cardiovascular problems.

Major genetic study links liver disease gene to bladder cancer
A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published today in Journal of the National Cancer Institute (with related research being presented this weekend at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Conference 2014) details the discovery of a new genetic driver of bladder cancer: silencing of the gene AGL.

Higher social class linked to fewer bone fractures among non-white women
Social class may play a significant role in how likely middle-aged African-American or Asian women are to suffer bone fractures.

'Like a giant elevator to the stratosphere'
An international team of researchers headed by the German Alfred Wegener Institute has discovered a previously unknown atmospheric phenomenon over the tropical West Pacific.

EAGeR medical trial: Low-dose aspirin won't prevent pregnancy loss
The Effects of Aspirin in Gestation and Reproduction medical trial has found that, in general, low-dose aspirin is not beneficial for future pregnancy outcomes in women with prior pregnancy loss.

Screening reveals additional link between endometriosis and ovarian cancer
Some women with endometriosis, a chronic inflammatory disease, are predisposed to ovarian cancer, and a genetic screening might someday help reveal which women are most at risk, according to a University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) study, in partnership with Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI).

Disease-free survival estimates for ovarian cancer improve over time
The probability of staying disease-free improves dramatically for ovarian cancer patients who already have been disease-free for a period of time, and time elapsed since remission should be taken into account when making follow-up care decisions, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, a partner with UPMC CancerCenter.

Guelph researchers solve part of hagfish slime mystery
University of Guelph researchers have unraveled some of the inner workings of slime produced by one of nature's most bizarre creatures -- hagfish.

Depression increases heart failure risk by 40 percent
Moderate to severe depression increases the risk of heart failure by 40 percent, a study of nearly 63,000 Norwegians has shown.

Inspired by moth eyeballs, UC Irvine chemists develop gold coating that dims glare
All that's gold does not glitter, thanks to new work by UC Irvine scientists that could reduce glare from solar panels and electronic displays and dull dangerous glints on military weapons. 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