Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 01, 2014
Subtle change in DNA, protein levels determines blond or brunette tresses, study finds
A molecule critical to stem cell function plays a major role in determining human hair color, according to a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

New report estimates nearly 19 million cancer survivors in the US by 2024
The number of cancer survivors in the United States, currently estimated to be 14.5 million, will grow to almost 19 million by 2024.

International collaboration replicates amplification of cosmic magnetic fields
Astrophysicists have established that cosmic turbulence could have amplified magnetic fields to the strengths observed in interstellar space.

Leptin also influences brain cells that control appetite, Yale researchers find
Twenty years after the hormone leptin was found to regulate metabolism, appetite, and weight through brain cells called neurons, Yale School of Medicine researchers have found that the hormone also acts on other types of cells to control appetite.

Drug combination extends survival by more than a year in metastatic prostate cancer
Men with newly diagnosed metastatic, hormone-sensitive prostate cancer lived more than a year longer when they received a chemotherapy drug as initial treatment instead of waiting to for the disease to become resistant to hormone-blockers, report scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Eastern Co-operative Oncology Group.

Shining a light on memory
Using a flash of light, scientists have inactivated and then reactivated a memory in genetically engineered rats.

Newly identified brain cancer mutation will aid drug development
A collaborative effort between Duke Medicine researchers and neurosurgeons and scientists in China has produced new genetic insights into a rare and deadly form of childhood and young adult brain cancer called brainstem glioma.

Lasers create table-top supernova
Laser beams 60,000 billion times more powerful than a laser pointer have been used to recreate scaled supernova explosions in the laboratory as a way of investigating one of the most energetic events in the universe.

CSIC develops a software able to identify and track an specific individual within a group
It is easy to follow the route traced by an animal by using video recordings of the animal.

Study identifies new genetic cause of male reproductive birth defects
Baylor College of Medicine scientists defined a previously unrecognized genetic cause for two types of birth defects found in newborn boys, described in a report published today in the journal Nature Medicine.

A single DNA tweak leads to blond hair
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have found that a single-letter change in the genetic code is enough to generate blond hair in humans.

Physics in Brazil takes center stage as World Cup comes to town
As Brazil gets set to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup this month amid concerns about the amount of public money being used to stage the world's largest sporting event, Physics World's editorial team reveals in a new special report how physicists are taking full advantage of the four-fold increase in science funding that the government has invested over the past 10 years.

Improving bystander resuscitation following cardiac arrest outside hospital could save 100,000 lives across Europe each year
A session at this year's Euroanaesthesia meeting will discuss how improving the skills of members of the public, including schoolchildren, in resuscitation following cardiac arrest could save up to 100,000 lives per year.

Reducing emissions will be the primary way to fight climate change, UCLA-led study finds
An interdisciplinary team led by a UCLA geographer looked at a range of possible approaches to slowing down global warming and found no substitute for reducing emissions.

Paired enzyme action in yeast reveals backup system for DNA repair
The combined action of two enzymes, Srs2 and Exo1, prevents and repairs common genetic mutations in growing yeast cells, according to a new study led by scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Smokers with gene defect have 1 in 4 chance of developing lung cancer
Around a quarter of smokers who carry a defect in the BRCA2 gene will develop lung cancer at some point in their lifetime, a large-scale, international study reveals.

Deletions and duplications in the exome can help pinpoint cause of unexplained genetic diseases
Analysis of genetic variation in the exome, the DNA sequence of genes that are translated into protein, can aid in uncovering the cause of conditions for which no genetic cause could previously be found, and that this can directly impact clinical management.

Graphene's multi-colored butterflies
Combining black and white graphene can change the electronic properties of the one-atom thick materials, University of Manchester researchers have found.

World's best thermometer made from light
University of Adelaide physics researchers have produced the world's most sensitive thermometer -- three times more precise than the best thermometers in existence.

Major advances in breast, prostate, colorectal cancer featured at ASCO Annual Meeting
Findings from four phase III clinical trials in breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers were released today at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

ALTTO test of dual HER2 blockade finds single agent remains the gold standard
In the largest clinical trial testing the effectiveness of one versus two drugs to treat HER2-positive breast cancer, lapatinib did not add benefit to the standard trastuzumab adjuvant therapy, researchers report at the 50th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Mayo Clinic: Ovarian cancer subtypes may predict response to bevacizumab
Molecular sequencing could identify ovarian cancer patients who are most likely to benefit from treatment with bevacizumab (Avastin), a Mayo Clinic-led study has found.

Pitt team first to detect exciton in metal
University of Pittsburgh researchers have become the first to detect a fundamental particle of light-matter interaction in metals, the exciton.

Researchers discover hormone that controls supply of iron in red blood cell production
A UCLA research team has discovered a new hormone called erythroferrone, which regulates the iron supply needed for red blood-cell production.

'Quadrapeutics' works in preclinical study of hard-to-treat tumors
A Rice University-led study in this week's Nature Medicine reports the first preclinical tests for a novel anti-cancer technology called 'quadrapeutics' that converts current clinical treatments to instantaneously detect and kill only cancer cells.

Oncologists: How to talk with your pathologist about cancer molecular testing
Aisner suggests close communication, systems approaches, keeping special requests to a minimum, and patience on the part of requesting oncologists.

Chemotherapy following radiation treatment improves progression-free survival
A chemotherapy regimen consisting of procarbazine, CCNU, and vincristine administered following radiation therapy improved progression-free survival and overall survival in adults with low-grade gliomas, a form of brain cancer, when compared to radiation therapy alone.

New genes involved in food preferences will revolutionize diets and improve health
New understanding of the genes involved in taste perception and food preferences can lead to personalised nutrition plans effective not just in weight loss but in avoiding diseases such as cancer, depression, and hypertension.

New research shows parental presence improves the quality of child anesthesia
New research presented at this year's Euroanaesthesia meeting in Stockholm shows that having parents present during the induction of their child's anaesthesia improves the quality of that anesthesia.

Prostate cancer drug delivers benefits before chemotherapy
A drug used to treat men with late-stage prostate cancer proved effective in stemming progression of the disease in research participants who had not yet received chemotherapy and extended their survival, according to results from a multi-national Phase III clinical trial led by the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University.

How to erase a memory -- and restore it
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have erased and reactivated memories in rats, profoundly altering the animals' reaction to past events.

Children exposed to secondhand tobacco or cooking smoke have very high rates of pain and complications after tonsillectomy
New research presented at this year's Euroanaesthesia meeting in Stockholm shows that children exposed to indoor coal-burning stoves and/or second-hand tobacco smoke are much more likely to suffer postoperative complications and excessive pain after tonsillectomies.
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