Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 19, 2014
The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Oldest ever schistosomiasis egg found may be first proof of early human technology exacerbating disease burden
The discovery of a schistosomiasis parasite egg in a 6200-year-old grave at a prehistoric town by the Euphrates river in Syria may be the first evidence that agricultural irrigation systems in the Middle East contributed to disease burden, according to new Correspondence published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

NASA and NAU researchers welcome unexpected asteroid findings
What seemed to be rock-solid assumptions about the nature of small asteroids may end in rubble or even a cloud of dust.

Possible new combination treatment for cancer
Scientists at the Sahlgrenska Academy have developed a new cancer treatment that has proved to be effective in mice.

Spotlight on important agricultural pests
Hemipteran insects include many important economically damaging pests such as aphids, whiteflies, psyllids, leafhoppers, and thrips.

Stanford bioengineers invent a way to speed up drug discovery
The 500 or so kinase proteins are particularly important to drug discovery.

Astronomers pierce galactic clouds to shine light on black hole development
Using a large array of satellites and space observatories, an international team spent more than a year training their instruments on the brightest and most studied of the 'local' black holes -- the one situated at the core of Type I Seyfert Galaxy NGC 5548.

New monkey model for AIDS offers promise for medical research
Rockefeller University researchers announce that they have coaxed a slightly modified form of the HIV-1 virus to not only infect pigtailed macaques but to cause full blown AIDS in the primates, an accomplishment that could accelerate the search for new AIDS treatments or vaccines.

United European Gastroenterology calls for increase in nurse endoscopy training across Europe
United European Gastroenterology calls for increase in nurse endoscopy training across Europe to reduce the number of deaths from colorectal cancer.

Small but significant
They may only be little, but they pack a star-forming punch: new observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope show that starbursts in dwarf galaxies played a bigger role than expected in the early history of the Universe.

Iconic Minnesota conifers may give way to a more broad-leafed forest in the next century
A new assessment describes effects of climate change that have already been observed; projected changes in the climate and the landscape; and forest vulnerabilities in a 23.5-million-acre region of forest in northeastern Minnesota.

Science magazine publishes study on new fossil human skulls from Spanish site
The study focuses on a collection of 17 fossil human skulls excavated from the Sima de los Huesos (Pit of the Bones) in the Atapuerca hill, and comes 21 years after the announcement of the first three skulls from the site.

Far north at risk unless Ontario adopts new, inclusive planning process: Report
With the Ontario government poised to spend $1 billion to promote development in the Ring of Fire, a new paper from Wildlife Conservation Society Canada and Ecojustice identifies risks inherent in the current planning legislation and provides a solution.

Finding the Achilles' Heel of ovarian tumor growth
A team of scientists, led by principal investigator David D.

BICEP2 researchers publish nuanced account of stunning patterns in the microwave sky
Following a thorough peer-review process, the researchers who previously announced the detection of B-mode polarization in a patch of the microwave sky have published their findings today in the journal Physical Review Letters.

Recreational football reduces high blood pressure in mature women
The World Cup in Brazil may be attracting a global armchair audience of millions, but new research has shown that playing football could help lower blood pressure in women aged 35-50.

In hairless man, arthritis drug spurs hair growth -- lots
A man with almost no hair on his body has grown a full head of it after a novel treatment by doctors at Yale University.

Neurons get their neighbors to take out their trash
Biologists have long considered cells to function like self-cleaning ovens, chewing up and recycling their own worn out parts as needed.

NASA's Hubble finds dwarf galaxies formed more than their fair share of universe's stars
They may be little, but they pack a big star-forming punch.

Diabetes susceptibility gene regulates health of cell's powerhouse
A team of researchers found that a susceptibility gene for type 1 diabetes regulates self-destruction of the cell's energy factory.

Georgia Tech research identifies Android security weaknesses caused by performance design
Georgia Tech researchers have identified a weakness in one of Android's security features.

Who's your daddy? UCF team programs computer to find out
A University of Central Florida research team has developed a facial recognition tool that promises to be useful in rapidly matching pictures of children with their biological parents and in potentially identifying photos of missing children as they age.

New driver of atherosclerosis offers potential as therapeutic target
A new driver of atherosclerosis has been identified by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

A shorter time to the first cigarette of the day is associated with risk of lung cancer
Standard markers of nicotine dependency include cigarettes smoked per day, duration of smoking, and cumulative exposure (pack years), but another marker of addiction, time to first cigarette of the day, may also be associated with the risk of getting lung cancer in both heavy and light smokers, according to a study published June 19 in the JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Mechanism discovered for attaching an 'on' switch that helps cells accessorize proteins
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have discovered how an important 'on' switch is attached to the machinery that cells rely on to adapt thousands of proteins to meet changing conditions.

A new tool to confront lung cancer
Published online in Cell Reports on June 19, Huntsman Cancer Institute investigators report that misregulation of two genes, sox2 and lkb1, drives squamous cell lung cancer in mice.

Stanford scientists tie social behavior to activity in specific brain circuit
A team of Stanford University investigators has linked a particular brain circuit to mammals' tendency to interact socially.

UV-induced beta-endorphin production causes addiction-like symptoms in mice
A new study from Massachusetts General Hospital investigators adds important support to the theory that ultraviolet light can actually be addictive, finding that chronic UV exposure raises circulating levels of beta-endorphin in mice and that UV-habituated mice exhibit withdrawal symptoms if beta-endorphin activity is blocked.

Tiny molecule could help diagnose and treat mental disorders
Weizmann Institute scientists 'fingerprint' a culprit in depression, anxiety and other mood disorders.

UCI researchers learn how botulism-causing toxin enters bloodstream
UC Irvine School of Medicine researchers have discovered the mechanism by which bacterial toxins that cause food-borne botulism are absorbed through the intestinal lining and into the bloodstream.

Cochrane Review -- Effectiveness of antimicrobial drugs to treat cholera
Researchers from the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group, co-ordinated through the editorial base in LSTM, conducted an independent review of the effects of treating cholera with antimicrobial drugs, published in The Cochrane Library today.

Invention prevents contamination of food packaging by bacterial biofilms
Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have discovered a way to disrupt the bacterial biofilms that adhere to food packaging, causing millions of food-borne illnesses each year.

Study offers evidence that sunscreen use in childhood prevents melanoma in adults
Research conducted at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, published in the latest issue of the scientific journal Pigment Cell and Melanoma, has established unequivocally in a natural animal model that the incidence of malignant melanoma in adulthood can be dramatically reduced by the consistent use of sunscreen in infancy and childhood.

Next Media created new digital services for the media sector
The media sector has undergone a major transformation, turning itself into a business taking advantage of various digital terminals at international, national and local level.

Cleveland Clinic researchers discover protein that inhibits tumor growth
A previously unknown variant of an extensively studied protein has been found to inhibit the growth of tumors and slow the development of new blood vessels necessary for cancers to metastasize, according to Cleveland Clinic research published today in Cell.

NASA's swift satellite tallies water production of Mars-bound comet
In late May, NASA's Swift satellite imaged comet Siding Spring, which will brush astonishingly close to Mars later this year.

NJIT engineering professor spurs interest in sanitary landfills throughout Asia
Uncontrolled landfills are a growing problem in the developing world, polluting groundwater and emitting foul odors, while also boosting greenhouse gas emissions.

New mobile app provides faster, more accurate measurement of respiratory rate
According to findings published this month in PLOS One, a new mobile app developed by researchers at the Child & Family Research Institute at BC Children's Hospital and the University of British Columbia can reliably measure respiratory rate in an average of 9.9 seconds.

Criminal profiling technique targets killer diseases
A mathematical tool used by the Metropolitan Police and FBI has been adapted by researchers at Queen Mary University of London to help control outbreaks of malaria, and has the potential to target other infectious diseases.

Swiftly moving gas streamer eclipses supermassive black hole
An international team of astronomers has discovered that the supermassive black hole at the heart of the galaxy NGC 5548 has recently undergone strange, unexpected behavior rarely seen in the heart of active galaxies.

Scientists identify link between stem cell regulation and the development of lung cancer
UCLA researchers led by Dr. Brigitte Gomperts have discovered the inner workings of the process thought to be the first stage in the development of lung cancer.

Genetic risk for type 1 diabetes driven by faulty cell recycling
Rather than innocent bystanders to a malfunctioning immune system, study shows beta cells may be central players in type 1 diabetes.

Synaptic levels of clathrin protein are important for neuronal plasticity
Researchers of the group of cellular and molecular neurobiology of the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute and the University of Barcelona, led by researcher Artur Llobet, have shown that synaptic levels of the protein clathrin are a determinant factor for synaptic plasticity of neurons.

Children consuming a Mediterranean diet are 15 percent less likely to be overweight
A study of eight European countries presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity in Sofia, Bulgaria, shows that children consuming a diet more in line with the rules of the Mediterranean one are 15 percent less likely to be overweight or obese than those children who do not.

Swiftly moving gas streamer eclipses supermassive black hole
An international team of astronomers, using data from several NASA and European Space Agency space observatories, has discovered unexpected behavior from the supermassive black hole at the heart of the galaxy NGC 5548, located 244.6 million light-years from Earth.

The sweetest calculator in the world
Chemists of Jena University let fluorescent sugar sensors 'calculate'. As the chemists Alexander Schiller, Martin Elstner and Joerg Axthelm recently described in the new edition of the science journal 'Angewandte Chemie International Edition' they developed a molecular computer on the basis of sugar.

Haters spend more time...hating?
We already know haters are predisposed to be that way.

MA healthcare reform does not have early impact on disparities in cardiovascular care
Published in the June 17, 2014, issue of Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, these findings indicate that healthcare reform in Massachusetts has not yet impacted the likelihood of receiving coronary interventions by gender, race/ethnicity or socioeconomic status.

Researchers develop genetic control mechanism for major livestock pest
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a technique to control populations of the Australian sheep blowfly -- a major livestock pest in Australia and New Zealand -- by making female flies dependent upon a common antibiotic to survive.

Humans & monkeys of one mind when it comes to changing it
Covert changes of mind can be discovered by tracking neural activity when subjects make decisions, researchers from New York University and Stanford University have found.

Cybersecurity center earns DHS, NSA designation
Kansas State University's cybersecurity center is receiving national recognition for its dedication to software security and cyber defense.

New cocaine tracking system could lead to better drug enforcement
Law enforcement authorities need to better understand trafficking patterns of cocaine in the United States to address one of the world's largest illegal drug markets, according to a Michigan State University researcher whose new methodology might help.

New graphene research centre to open at the University of Surrey
The University of Surrey is to establish a graphene centre within its Advanced Technology Institute, expanding and consolidating the University's graphene research and manufacturing capabilities.

Report shows citizen-designed county redistricting worked
The citizen-designed redistricting plan for the Ventura County supervisorial districts has brought fairer representation, according to a study by a California Lutheran University professor published June 19 by SAGE Open, an open-access journal by SAGE.

A better imager for identifying tumors
Researchers have developed a new technique that could improve surgeons' ability to identify cancerous tumors and remove them in real-time in the operating room.

Can we see the arrow of time?
Algorithm can determine, with 80 percent accuracy, whether video is running forward or backward.

Swiftly moving gas streamer eclipses supermassive black hole
Astronomers have discovered strange and unexpected behavior around the supermassive black hole at the heart of the galaxy NGC 5548.

Stem cell-based transplantation approach improves recovery from stroke
Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in developed countries, and there is an urgent need for more clinically effective treatments.

One step to solar-cell efficiency
Rice University scientists have created a one-step process for producing highly efficient materials that let the maximum amount of sunlight reach a solar cell.

Stem cell mobilization therapy may effectively treat osteoarthritis
Peripheral blood stem cells, mobilized by a special preparation of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) prior to their injection into rats modeling osteoarthritis (OA), stimulated bone marrow to produce stem cells, leading to the inhibition of OA progression.

RNA aptamers targeted to plasminogen activator inhibitor
Plasminogen activators are proteins involved in the breakdown of blood clots, and an elevated level of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 is associated with an increased risk for clotting and cardiovascular disease.

New digital fabrication technique creates interlocking 3D-printed ceramic PolyBricks
An innovative system using automated 3D printing technology and advanced digital tools to create customized, prefabricated ceramic building blocks, called PolyBricks, is enabling the construction of mortar-less brick building assemblies at much greater scales than was previously possible.

Important differences in hospitalization rates among racial and ethnic groups on dialysis
During the first year of dialysis, white patients overall had higher hospitalization rates than blacks and Hispanics, but younger black patients, older black patients, and older Hispanic patients had increased hospitalization rates compared with whites of similar ages.

The genes tell crows to choose partners that look alike
Crows like to select mates that look alike. In a large-scale genomic study, published in Science today, a team of researchers led by Uppsala University found that this behavior might be rooted in their genetic make-up, revealing a likely common evolutionary path that allows for separating populations into novel species.

Seeing the inner workings of the brain made easier by new technique from Stanford
Bio-X scientists have improved on their original technique for peering into the intact brain, making it more reliable and safer.

DOE renews Energy Frontier Research Center at PNNL
The Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis is poised to take on new scientific challenges exploring chemical reactions at the core of technologies such as solar energy and fuel cells.

Limb regeneration: Do salamanders hold the key?
The secret of how salamanders successfully regrow body parts is being unravelled by UCL researchers in a bid to apply it to humans.

Long-term follow-up after bariatric surgery shows greater rate of diabetes remission
In a study that included long-term follow-up of obese patients with type 2 diabetes, bariatric surgery was associated with more frequent diabetes remission and fewer complications than patients who received usual care, according to a study in the June 11 issue of JAMA, a diabetes theme issue.

Single tick bite can pack double pathogen punch
People who get bitten by a blacklegged tick have a higher-than-expected chance of being exposed to more than one pathogen at the same time.

Strict diet suspends development, doubles lifespan of worms
Researchers at Duke University found that taking food away from C. elegans triggers a state of arrested development: while the organism continues to wriggle about, foraging for food, its cells and organs are suspended in an ageless, quiescent state.

ASTRO and AAPM announce launch of RO-ILS: Radiation Oncology Incident Learning System
The American Society for Radiation Oncology and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine today announced the launch of RO-ILS: Radiation Oncology Incident Learning System, a new, national patient safety initiative to facilitate safer and higher quality radiation oncology care.

Computer-designed protein triggers self-destruction of Epstein-Barr-infected cancer cells
A protein molecule, BINDI, has been built to trigger self-destruction of cancer cells infected with the Epstein-Barr virus.

Scientists identify additional challenges in KRAS-driven cancers
Scientists have redoubled efforts to disable the mutated cancer gene KRAS, which confers an especially poor prognosis and has proved extraordinarily difficult to target.

Rice's Thomann wins CAREER grant to study photocatalysis
Rice University scientist Isabell Thomann's research encompasses chemistry, optics, electrical engineering and other areas, but a new CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation will give her the chance to focus her energies on finding new ways to use sunlight to reduce the carbon footprint of power plants.

Football improves strength in men with prostate cancer
Men with prostate cancer aged 43‒74 achieve bigger and stronger muscles, improve functional capacity, gain positive social experiences and the desire to remain active through playing football for 12 weeks.

Stroke hospitalizations are up among middle-aged blacks in South Carolina
Stroke hospitalizations in South Carolina are increasing among middle-aged blacks.

Feel-good hormones could cause UV addiction
Sun lovers eagerly flock to the beach every summer, despite widespread awareness of the risk of skin cancer.

Improving academic performance with physical fitness
Physical fitness in childhood and adolescence is beneficial for both physical and mental health throughout life.

Kids with strong bonds to parents make better friends, can adapt in relationships
What social skills does a three-year-old bring to interactions with a new peer partner?

Drug shows promise for the first time against metastatic melanoma of the eye
For the first time, a therapy has been found that can delay progression of metastatic uveal melanoma, a rare and deadly form of melanoma of the eye.

Can injuries to the skin be painless?
Inserm researchers and their collaborators have studied lesions in patients with Buruli ulcer, a tropical disease.

Humans have been changing Chinese environment for 3,000 years
A widespread pattern of human-caused environmental degradation and related flood-mitigation efforts began changing the natural flow of China's Yellow River nearly 3,000 years ago, setting the stage for massive floods that toppled the Western Han Dynasty, suggests new research from Washington University in St.

Penn study reveals a common genetic link in fatal autoimmune skin disease
Autoimmune disease occurs when the body's own natural defense system rebels against itself.

Tracking how breast cancer spreads: Einstein receives $10M NIH grant
The National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded a $10 million grant to researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University to fund research into how breast cancer cells move and spread in the body, and how to predict which breast cancer tumors will metastasize.

Emerging HIV epidemics among people who inject drugs in the Middle East and North Africa
HIV epidemics are emerging among people who inject drugs in several countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

LLNL, MIT researchers develop new ultralight, ultrastiff 3D printed materials
Imagine a material with the same weight and density as aerogel -- a material so light it's called 'frozen smoke' -- but with 10,000 times more stiffness.

New ultrastiff, ultralight material developed
Nanostructured material, based on repeating units, has record stiffness at low density.

New target: Researchers identify pancreatic cancer resistance mechanism
Pancreatic cancer tumors addicted to mutant Kras signaling for their growth and progression have a ready-made substitute to tap if they're ever forced to go cold-turkey on the mutant oncogene, scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center report in the journal Cell.

NYSCF and eagle-i Network co-develop iPS cell database
The New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute and the eagle-i Network will make NYSCF iPS cell lines and related information available to the public on a user-friendly, web-based, searchable database.

Skulls with mix of Neandertal and primitive traits illuminate human evolution
Researchers have analyzed the largest collection of ancient fossil hominin species ever recovered from a single excavation site, shedding light on the origin and evolution of Neandertals.

Evolution of equine influenza led to canine offshoot which could mix with human influenza
Equine influenza viruses from the early 2000s can easily infect the respiratory tracts of dogs, while those from the 1960s are only barely able to, according to research published ahead of print in the Journal of Virology.

Gene study points to novel pathway for diabetes treatment
New research describes details of how a diabetes-related gene functions on a biological pathway that affects the release of insulin.

Researcher discovers ovarian cancer treatment
Doctors at the University of Arizona Cancer Center at St.

African American women with breast cancer less likely to have newer, recommended surgical procedure
African American women with early stage, invasive breast cancer were 12 percent less likely than Caucasian women with the same diagnosis to receive a minimally invasive technique, axillary sentinel lymph node biopsy, even as the procedure had become the standard of surgical practice, according to research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

DOE awards $100 million for innovative energy research
U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced the awarding of $100 million for Energy Frontier Research Centers to accelerate the scientific breakthroughs needed to build the 21st-century energy economy.

Top engineering development and technology maturation projects from International Space Station for 2013
Three of the best technology applications from 2013 were recognized at the third annual International Space Station Research and Development conference on June 18, 2014.

Federal funding cliff could cause health safety net clinics to shrink by one-quarter
A special federal fund to support community health centers expires after September 2015.

Exploring how the nervous system develops
The circuitry of the central nervous system is immensely complex and, as a result, sometimes confounding.
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