Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 07, 2014
Growing human GI cells may lead to personalized treatments
A method of growing human cells from tissue removed from a patient's gastrointestinal tract eventually may help scientists develop tailor-made therapies for inflammatory bowel disease and other GI conditions.

APA presents highest honor to Spelman College president
The American Psychological Association presented Spelman College President Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D., with its highest honor, the Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology, recognizing her path-breaking work in race relations and leadership in higher education.

New from CSHLPress, an essential guidebook for designing experiments
From CSHLPress, 'Experimental Design for Biologists' explains how to establish the framework for an experimental project, how to set up all of the components of an experimental system, design experiments within that system, determine and use the correct set of controls, and formulate models to test the veracity and resiliency of the data.

The economy of bitcoins
The massive spread of the cryptocurrency or digital currency, Bitcoin, opens up new pathways for researchers to study social action on markets.

Study shines new light on genetic alterations of aggressive breast cancer subtype
Researchers from the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at Baylor College of Medicine have uncovered new information about the genetic alterations that may contribute to the development of a subtype breast cancer typically associated with more aggressive forms of the disease and higher recurrence rates.

Acute psychological stress promotes skin healing in mice
Brief, acute psychological stress promoted healing in mouse models of three different types of skin irritations, in a study led by UC San Francisco researchers.

Notch developmental pathway regulates fear memory formation
Researchers at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, have learned that the molecule Notch, critical in many processes during embryonic development, is also involved in fear memory formation.

Can a new species of frog have a doppelganger? Genetics say yes
Two look-alike frogs were shown by researchers at the University of Kansas to be separate species through genetic analysis.

Gut microbiome analysis improved noninvasive colorectal cancer screening
Analysis of the gut microbiome more successfully distinguished healthy individuals from those with precancerous adenomatous polyps and those with invasive colorectal cancer compared with assessment of clinical risk factors and fecal occult blood testing, according to data published in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Designing better materials for the 21st century
The US Defense Department recently named Jian Luo, professor of nanoengineering and materials science and engineering at the University of California, San Diego as one of 10 new National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellows.

Slowing brain functions linked to increased risk of stroke, death
Declining memory and cognitive ability may increase the risk of stroke in adults over age 65.

Robot folds itself up and walks away
A team of engineers used little more than paper and Shrinky dinks -- the classic children's toy that shrinks when heated -- to build a robot that assembles itself into a complex shape in four minutes flat, and crawls away without any human intervention.

Mutations in a gene essential for cell regulation cause kidney cancer in children
Mutations in a gene that helps regulate when genes are switched on and off in cells have been found to cause rare cases of Wilms tumor, the most common kidney cancer occurring in children.

Laparoscopic surgical removal of the gallbladder in pediatric patients is safe
A recent study conducted by Mayo Clinic researchers recommends laparoscopic cholecystectomies, surgical removal of the gallbladder, for pediatric patients suffering from gallstones and other gallbladder diseases.

Newsroom journalists at increased risk of PTSD and depression from images of extreme violence
Journalists working with images of extreme violence submitted to newsrooms by the public are at increased risk of adverse psychological consequences, including post-traumatic stress disorder.

Elderly with depression, mild cognitive impairment more vulnerable to accelerated brain aging
People who develop depression and mild cognitive impairment after age 65 are more likely to have biological and brain imaging markers that reflect a greater vulnerability for accelerated brain aging, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Gut microbes browse along a gene buffet
A detailed examination of gene expression in the guts of mice raised under three different microbial conditions shows that the host organism controls which genes are made available to gut microbes at various portions of the intestine.

Excavation of ancient well yields insight into Etruscan, Roman and medieval times
During a four-year excavation of an Etruscan well at the ancient Italian settlement of Cetamura del Chianti, a team led by a Florida State University archaeologist and art historian unearthed artifacts spanning more than 15 centuries of Etruscan, Roman and medieval civilization in Tuscany.

Orally delivered compounds selectively modify RNA splicing, prevent deficits in SMA models
Today, the journal Science published results of a preclinical study demonstrating that treatment with orally available RNA splicing modifiers of the SMN2 gene starting early after birth is preventing deficits in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy.

Physical fitness can help prevent young adolescents' depression, study finds
Physically fit sixth-graders -- especially girls -- are less likely to report feeling depressed when they reach seventh grade, according to a study presented at the American Psychological Association's 122nd Annual Convention.

Hospitals could face penalties for missing electronic health record deadline
Many of the nation's hospitals struggled to meet a federally mandated electronic health records deadline, and as a result could collectively face millions of dollars in reduced Medicare payments this year, a University of Michigan study shows.

Fundamental plant chemicals trace back to bacteria
A fundamental chemical pathway that all plants use to create an essential amino acid needed by all animals to make proteins has now been traced to two groups of ancient bacteria.

How critically ill infants can benefit most from human milk
Human milk is infant food, but for sick, hospitalized babies, it's also medicine.

Dramatic growth of grafted stem cells in rat spinal cord injuries
Building upon previous research, scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Veteran's Affairs San Diego Healthcare System report that neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells and grafted into rats after a spinal cord injury produced cells with tens of thousands of axons extending virtually the entire length of the animals' central nervous system.

Eating at fast food, full service restaurants linked to more calories, poorer nutrition
Eating at both fast-food and full-service restaurants is associated with significant increases in the intake of calories, sugar, saturated fat, and sodium, according to a new study.

Expert insights on in vitro alternatives for drug and chemical toxicity testing
An insightful Roundtable Discussion focused on how to apply these novel toxicology models to everyday hazard prediction, risk assessment, and decision making in industry is published in the preview issue of the new journal Applied In Vitro Toxicology, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

Air traffic growth set to outpace carbon reduction efforts
Carbon reduction efforts in the airline industry will be outweighed by growth in air-traffic, even if the most contentious mitigation measures are implemented, according to new research by the University of Southampton.

Should women 'man up' for male-dominated fields?
Women applying for a job in male-dominated fields should consider playing up their masculine qualities, indicates new research by Michigan State University scholars that's part of a series of studies on bias in the hiring process.

New test predicts individual's risk of a second kidney stone
A new tool uses 11 questions to accurately calculate the probability that a patient will have another symptomatic kidney stone at two, five, or 10 years after the first stone.

Crash-testing rivets
Rivets have to reliably hold the chassis of an automobile together -- even if there is a crash.

Cell signaling pathway linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes
A Purdue University study shows that Notch signaling, a key biological pathway tied to development and cell communication, also plays an important role in the onset of obesity and type 2 diabetes, a discovery that offers new targets for treatment.

Scientists uncover stem cell behavior of human bowel for the first time
For the first time, scientists have uncovered new information on how stem cells in the human bowel behave, revealing vital clues about the earliest stages in bowel cancer development and how we may begin to prevent it.

Largest cancer genetic analysis reveals new way of classifying cancer
The work, led by researchers at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, UNC-Chapel Hill and other TCGA sites, revamps traditional ideas of how cancers are diagnosed and treated and could also have a profound impact on the future landscape of drug development.

NASA sees Hurricane Julio organize and emit a gamma-ray flash
NASA's Fermi satellite saw a gamma-ray flash from Julio, while NASA's Aqua satellite saw Julio become more structurally organized as a hurricane.

Presentations collectively prepared
Today, every speaker compiles his or her own presentations to accompany their lectures.

New treatment successful for the Mal de Debarquement Syndrome
People who suffer from a rare illness, the Mal de Debarquement Syndrome, now have a chance for full recovery thanks to treatment developed by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Dimethyl fumarate for MS: Added benefit is not proven
No added benefit of dimethyl fumarate for multiple sclerosis can be determined, as no suitable data are available, neither for a direct nor for an indirect comparison.

Stock prices of companies that use the same underwriter tend to move together
The stock prices of companies that use the same lead underwriter during their equity offerings tend to move together, according to a new study by financial economics experts at Rice University and the University of Alabama.

Wild sheep show benefits of putting up with parasites
In the first evidence that natural selection favors an individual's infection tolerance, researchers from Princeton University and the University of Edinburgh have found that an animal's ability to endure an internal parasite strongly influences its reproductive success.

University of Minnesota research finds key piece to cancer cell survival puzzle
An international team led by Eric A. Hendrickson of the University of Minnesota and Duncan Baird of Cardiff University has solved a key mystery in cancer research: What allows some malignant cells to circumvent the normal process of cell death that occurs when chromosomes get too old to maintain themselves properly?

The Lancet Neurology: Study highlights pervasive problem of sleep deprivation in astronauts
Astronauts suffer considerable sleep deficiency in the weeks leading up to and during spaceflight, according to the most extensive study of sleep during spaceflight ever conducted, published in The Lancet Neurology journal.

Pancreatic survival rates at standstill for 4 decades
Long-term survival from pancreatic cancer has failed to improve in 40 years -- with the outlook remaining the lowest of the 21 most common cancers, according to new figures published by Cancer Research UK.

Scientists uncover key piece to cancer cell survival puzzle
A chance meeting between two leading UK and US scientists could have finally helped solve a key mystery in cancer research.

Part of the brain stays 'youthful' into older age
At least one part of the human brain may be able to process information the same way in older age as it does in the prime of life, according to new research conducted at the University of Adelaide.

Role of Notch-1 signaling pathway in PC12 cell apoptosis induced by amyloid beta-peptide (25-35)
Recent studies have demonstrated that Notch-1 expression is increased in the hippocampus of Alzheimer's disease patients.

Researcher finds companies' religious affiliation can buffer negative reactions
While companies like Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A are at the forefront of debate over the religious rights of employers, a new study by a Grand Valley State University researcher shows religious affiliation can safeguard companies against negative reactions to store policies.

Synthesis of structurally pure carbon nanotubes using molecular seeds
For the first time, researchers at Empa and the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research have succeeded in 'growing' single-wall carbon nanotubes with a single predefined structure -- and hence with identical electronic properties.

Harry Atwater and Albert Polman receive the Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics 2014
This year's Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics will be awarded to Dr.

Ocean's most oxygen-deprived zones to shrink under climate change
Weakening trade winds with climate change are shrinking the size of the Earth's lowest-oxygen waters, in the tropical Pacific and Indian oceans.

Step closer to birth of the sun
Researchers are a step closer to understanding the birth of the sun.

White dwarfs crashing into neutron stars explain loneliest supernovae
A research team led by astronomers and astrophysicists at the University of Warwick have found that some of the Universe's loneliest supernovae are likely created by the collisions of white dwarf stars into neutron stars.

NASA sees Genevieve cross international date line as a Super-Typhoon
Tropical Storm Genevieve had ups and downs in the Eastern Pacific and Central Pacific over the last week but once the storm crossed the International Dateline in the Pacific, it rapidly intensified into a Super Typhoon.

NASA sees Typhoon Halong approaching Japan
NASA's Terra satellite grabbed a look at Typhoon Halong as it was nearing the Japanese islands of Minamidaito and Kitadaito and headed for a landfall in the main islands of southern Japan.

Study reveals dynamics of microbes and nitrate
Though we know that the environmental microbiome plays a key role in mediating the persistence of biologically usable nitrogen in the environment and that microbes can perform critically different chemistry in the process, the complexity of this environmental dynamic has prevented science from clearly defining the conditions steering microbial nitrogen mediation.

UTHealth researchers find infectious prion protein in urine of patients with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
The misfolded and infectious prion protein that is a marker for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease -- linked to the consumption of infected cattle meat -- has been detected in the urine of patients with the disease by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School.

Diamonds are a quantum computer's best friend
The quantum computer is not yet quite around the corner: calculations show that to implement a useful quantum algorithm, billions of quantum systems have to be used.

Team determines structure of a molecular machine that targets viral DNA for destruction
A Montana State University-led team has published a research article in Science that describes the molecular blueprint of a surveillance 'machine' that protects bacteria from viral infections.

Water 'microhabitats' in oil show potential for extraterrestrial life, oil cleanup
An international team of researchers has found extremely small habitats that increase the potential for life on other planets while offering a way to clean up oil spills on our own.

Largest cancer genomic study proposes 'disruptive' new system to reclassify tumors
After analyzing more than 3,500 tumors on multiple technology platforms TCGA researchers say cancers are more likely to be similar based on their cell type of origin as opposed to their tissue type of origin.

From the basics to the cutting edge of molecular biology and genomics in one small book
New from CSHLPress, 'Quickstart Molecular Biology' provides an introductory course in molecular biology that is designed specifically for mathematicians, physicists, and computational scientists.

Human skin cells reprogrammed as neurons regrow in rats with spinal cord injuries
While neurons normally fail to regenerate after spinal cord injuries, neurons formed from human induced pluripotent stem cells that were grafted into rats with such injuries displayed remarkable growth throughout the length of the animals' central nervous system.

LSUHSC awarded $5.6 million NCI grant to save lives and boost economy
LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans has been awarded a $5.6 million grant over five years to build a regional cancer clinical trials network.

Peer-reviewed paper says all ivory markets must close
The message is simple: to save elephants, all ivory markets must close and all ivory stockpiles must be destroyed, according to a new peer-reviewed paper by the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Northwest Territories on fire and smoke drifts over Labrador Sea
The fires on the shores of the Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories in Canada do not seem in any hurry to be extinguished.

Violent solar system history uncovered by WA meteorite
Curtin University planetary scientists have shed some light on the bombardment history of our solar system by studying a unique volcanic meteorite recovered in Western Australia.

How we form habits and change existing ones
Studies show that about 40 percent of people's daily activities are performed each day in almost the same situations.

The typhoid fever pathogen uses a cloaking mechanism to evade neutrophil neutralization
Typhoid fever is caused by systemic infection with Salmonella enterica Typhi.

Seven high school students receive opportunity to conduct digestive disease research
The American Gastroenterological Association Research Foundation has announced the 2014 American Gastroenterological Association-Eli and Edythe Broad Student Research Fellowship Award recipients.

Stanford researchers use fruit flies to unlock mysteries of human diabetes
For the first time, the tiny fruit fly can be used to study how mutations associated with the development of diabetes affect the production and secretion of the vital hormone insulin.

Climate warming may have unexpected impact on invasive species, Dartmouth study finds
Rising temperatures may be seen as universally beneficial for non-native species expanding northward, but a Dartmouth College study suggests a warmer world may help some invaders but hurt others depending on how they and native enemies and competitors respond.

Cancer categories recast in largest-ever genomic study
New research partly led by UC San Francisco-affiliated scientists suggests that one in 10 cancer patients would be more accurately diagnosed if their tumors were defined by cellular and molecular criteria rather than by the tissues in which they originated, and that this information, in turn, could lead to more appropriate treatments.

Finding the genetic culprits that drive antibiotic resistance
A powerful new tool has been developed to identify changes in the DNA of disease-causing bacteria that are responsible for antibiotic resistance.

NASA sees heavy rainfall in Iselle as the hurricane nears Hawaii
A NASA satellite has observed heavy rainfall in Hurricane Iselle on its approach to Hawaii.

Learning from origami to design new materials
A challenge increasingly important to physicists and materials scientists in recent years has been how to design controllable new materials that exhibit desired physical properties rather than relying on those properties to emerge naturally, says University of Massachusetts Amherst physicist Christian Santangelo.

Origami could lead to exotic materials, tiny transformers
Embracing the pleats, creases and tucks of the Japanese art of decorative paper folding, Cornell University researchers are uncovering how origami principles could lead to exotic materials, soft robots and even tiny transformers.

Small, origami-inspired pop-up robots function autonomously
Inspired by the traditional Japanese art form of origami or 'folding paper,' researchers have developed a way to coax flat sheets of composite materials to self-fold into complex robots that crawl and turn.

Ten-year study highlights sleep deficiency and sleep medication use in astronauts
In an extensive study of sleep monitoring and sleeping pill use in astronauts, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Harvard Medical School, and the University of Colorado found that astronauts suffer considerable sleep deficiency in the weeks leading up to and during space flight.

New research aims to improve energy efficiency, cut costs and carbon emissions
Against a world backdrop of increased concerns about energy security, price fluctuations and, of course, the need to address climate change, six new research projects that aim to gain a fuller understanding of how energy is managed in the country's non-domestic buildings are launched today.

Artificial retina: Physicists develop an interface to the optical nerve
Physicists at Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM) are using the special properties of graphene to produce key elements of an artificial retina.

Water-polluting anxiety drug reduces fish mortality
A drug that is commonly used to treat anxiety in humans and which regularly finds its way into surface waters through wastewater effluence has been shown to reduce mortality rates in fish.

A*Star scientists make breakthroughs in ovarian cancer research
Scientists at A*STAR's Institute of Medical Biology and the Bioinformatics Institute have found new clues to early detection and personalised treatment of ovarian cancer, currently one of the most difficult cancers to diagnose early due to the lack of symptoms that are unique to the illness.

Cancer study reveals powerful new system for classifying tumors
Cancers are classified primarily on the basis of where in the body the disease originates, as in lung cancer or breast cancer.

Caffeine intake associated with lower incidence of tinnitus
New research from Brigham and Women's Hospital finds that higher caffeine intake is associated with lower rates of tinnitus, often described as a ringing or buzzing sound in the ear when there is no outside source of the sounds, in younger and middle-aged women.

Northern Pacific's tropical anoxic zone might shrink from climate change
A commonly held belief that global warming will diminish oxygen concentrations in the ocean looks like it may not be entirely true.

Losing weight won't make you happy
Weight loss significantly improves physical health but effects on mental health are less straightforward, finds new UCL research funded by Cancer Research UK.

New disposable biosensor may help physicians determine which patients can safely be fed following surgery
A disposal, plastic listening device that attaches to the abdomen may help doctors definitively determine which post-operative patients should be fed and which should not.

Poor hearing confines older adults to their homes
Vision and hearing problems reduce the active participation of older people in various events and activities.

Study: Attending a more selective college doesn't mean a better chance of graduating
It is commonly argued that students should attend the most academically selective college possible, since, among other reasons, highly selective institutions graduate students at higher rates.

SLU scientists to examine regional climate change as part of $20 million Missouri consortium
Tim Eichler, Ph.D., assistant professor of earth and atmospheric sciences, is the principal investigator at SLU and will study changes to regional weather patterns as a part of the National Science Foundation study.

Origami robot folds itself up, crawls away
A prototype made almost entirely of printable parts demonstrates crucial capabilities of reconfigurable robots.

Neck manipulation may be associated with stroke
Manipulating the neck has been associated with cervical dissection, a type of arterial tear that can lead to stroke.

Boston Marathon bombing caregivers still grappling with tragedy one year later
Nearly a year after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, hospital staff, first responders and medical volunteers who cared for the injured and dying were still struggling to put the experience behind them, according to a Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare report that describes eight confidential sessions held to help caregivers process their emotions and feelings in the aftermath of this horrific event.

Cell mechanics may hold key to how cancer spreads and recurs
Cancer cells that break away from tumors to go looking for a new home may prefer to settle into a soft bed, according to new findings from researchers at the University of Illinois.

Microtubule-based strategies for promoting nerve regeneration after injury
After injury, damaged axons have the capacity to regenerate, but the regenerative capacity of the axon, particularly axons of the central nervous system, is quite limited.

Kentucky professor develops new tool to prevent heroin deaths
A new, lifesaving product aimed at reducing the death toll from heroin abuse -- developed by a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy -- is in its final round of clinical trials and has received Fast Track designation by the Food and Drug Administration.

Study shows Asian carp could establish in Lake Erie with little effect to fishery
According to a study published in the journal Conservation Biology by a group of scientists, if bighead and silver carp were to establish in Lake Erie, local fish biomass is not likely to change beyond observations recorded in the last three decades.

New book from CSHLPress provides a solution for 'informatics anxiety'
A more complete understanding of bioinformatics offered in 'A Bioinformatics Guide for Molecular Biologists' from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press will allow the reader to become comfortable with these techniques, encouraging their use -- thus helping to make sense of the vast accumulation of data.

Carnegie Mellon's new programming language accommodates multiple languages in same program
Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have designed a way to safely use multiple programming languages within the same program, enabling programmers to use the language most appropriate for each function while guarding against code injection attacks, one of the most severe security threats in Web applications today.

Is the gut microbiome a potential cause and therapeutic target for autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis?
Numerous risk factors are believed to contribute to the development of autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, and new research is focusing on the role that bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract as well as other cell stress-related chemical signals could have in stimulating inflammation in the central nervous system and activating immunostimulatory cytokines.

Regulations needed to identify potentially invasive biofuel crops
If the hottest new plant grown as a biofuel crop is approved based solely on its greenhouse gas emission profile, its potential as the next invasive species may not be discovered until it's too late. 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