Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 08, 2014
Scientists unravel mystery of brain cell growth
Dana-Farber scientists and international colleagues have discovered how a single protein can exert both a push and a pull force to nudge a neuron in the desired direction, helping neurons navigate to their assigned places in the developing brain.

Pinpointing genes that protect against frailty
Frailty is a common condition associated with old age, characterized by weight loss, weakness, decreased activity level and reduced mobility, which together increase the risk of injury and death.

Natural light in office boosts health
Office workers with more natural light exposure at the office had longer sleep duration, better sleep quality, more physical activity and better quality of life compared to office workers with less light exposure in the workplace.

Disney Research's interactive method synchronizes multiple videos
Disney Research Zurich has developed a new tool to help video editors synchronize multiple video clips based on the visual content of the videos, rather than relying on timecodes or other external markers.

Lead linked to obesity in mice exposed by mothers
When we think of ill effects from lead exposure various neurologic problems usually come to mind.

Editing HPV's genes to kill cervical cancer cells
Using the genome editing tool known as CRISPR, Duke University researchers were able to selectively silence two genes in human papilloma virus that are responsible for the growth and survival of cervical carcinoma cells.

Study measures steep coastal costs of China's GDP growth
Economic reforms declared in 1978 led to a surge of growth in China, but resulting increases in human impact activities are seriously degrading the nation's coastal ecosystems, according to a newly published analysis of economic and environmental data.

Living organisms in oil
Miniscule water droplets in oil provide a habitat for a number of microorganisms.

Disney Research process designs tops and yo-yos with stable spins despite asymmetric shapes
Tops and yo-yos are among the oldest types of playthings but researchers at Disney Research Zurich and ETH Zurich have given them a new spin with an algorithm that makes it easier to design these toys so that they have asymmetric shapes.

Kessler Foundation scientists confirm effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation in MS
Kessler Foundation researchers published long-term followup results of their MEMREHAB trial, which show that in individuals with MS, patterns of brain activity associated with learning were maintained at six months post training.

Study: Few juvenile suspects exercise constitutional rights during interrogations
Even when not under arrest, juvenile suspects being interrogated for a crime may be strikingly unaware of their constitutional rights and confess without legal counsel or even a parent present, according to research presented at the American Psychological Association's 122nd Annual Convention.

New Nano3 microscope will allow high-resolution look inside cells
The University of California, San Diego's Nanofabrication Cleanroom Facility is the first institution to obtain a novel FEI Scios dual-beam microscope, with an adaptation for use at cryogenic temperatures.

What's the best way to brush teeth? Even dentists and dental associations don't agree
Advice on how we should brush our teeth from dental associations and toothpaste companies is 'unacceptably inconsistent', finds new University College London research.

New culprit identified in metabolic syndrome
A new study suggests uric acid may play a role in causing metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors that increases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

The immediate aftermath of an oil spill
The fate of oil during the first day after an accidental oil spill is still poorly understood, with researchers often arriving on the scene only after several days.

Rare frogs holding their own despite drought conditions
A recent survey of mountain yellow-legged frogs released into the wild by San Diego Zoo Global wildlife conservationists indicates that the populations are showing signs of stress related to drought conditions in California.

Behind the scenes of genetics, leukemia in Down syndrome
A group of geneticists working in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Geneva have focused for many years on the genetic characteristics of Down syndrome.

What does 'diversity' mean to you? The answer may depend on your race
Researchers from the University of California at Irvine, the University of Virginia, and the University of California at Los Angeles collaborated to study how whites, Asian-Americans, and African-Americans evaluate diversity.

Study shows type 2 diabetics can live longer than people without the disease
Patients treated with a drug widely prescribed for type 2 diabetes can live longer than people without the condition, a large-scale study involving over 180,000 people has shown.

Ancient shellfish remains rewrite 10,000-year history of El Nino cycles
Piles of ancient shells provide the first reliable long-term record for the powerful driver of year-to-year climate changes.

Parents part of problem in distracted teen driving, study finds
Parents play a direct role in distracted teen driving, with more than half of teens talking on cellphones with their mother or father while driving, according to new research presented at the American Psychological Association's 122nd Annual Convention.

Chu, Selvamanickam honored at superconductivity conference
Two of the University of Houston's leading superconductivity researchers will be honored this month at the Applied Superconductivity Conference in Charlotte, N.C.

UTMB receives over $6 million to develop treatment for deadly Ebola and Marburg viruses
A University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researcher virologist Alex Bukreyev, professor of pathology, has been awarded two National Institutes of Health grants and a Department of Defense grant totaling more than $6 million to develop experimental drugs against both Ebola and Marburg.

Do women and men ride differently?
Scientists at the Vetmeduni in Vienna have analysed how horses are affected by the sex of their riders.

Individual genotype influences effectiveness of HIV vaccine
A new study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation reveals that an individual's genotype correlates with their ability to develop immunity to HIV in response to vaccination.

Improving lymphatic function protects mice from experimental colitis
A new study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation indicates that improving lymphatic function relieves experimental inflammatory bowel disease in mice.

Electrons moving in a magnetic field exhibit strange quantum behavior
Researchers Franco Nori and Konstantin Bliokh from the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science in Japan, in collaboration with an experimental team in Austria, have made the first direct observations of free-electron Landau states -- form of quantized states that electrons adopt when moving through a magnetic field -- and found that the internal rotational dynamics of quantum electrons, or how they move through the field, is surprisingly different from the classical model, and in line with recent quantum-mechanical predictions made at RIKEN.

Disney Research method automatically edits footage from cameras into coherent videos
Video cameras that people wear to record daily activities are creating a novel form of creative and informative media.

Disney Researchers develop method to capture stylized hair for 3-D-printed figurines
Perhaps no aspect of 3-D printing has captured the popular imagination more than personalized figurines with the facial features of real people.

UTHealth's Dr. William Margolin named distinguished lecturer for microbiology
William Margolin, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School, has been selected to serve as a distinguished lecturer for the American Society for Microbiology.

Cedars-Sinai immunotherapy expert honored for work in kidney transplantation
Ashley Anh Vo, PharmD, administrative director of the Transplant Immunotherapy Program at the Comprehensive Transplant Center at Cedars-Sinai, has been named the 2014 Clinician of Distinction by the American Society of Transplantation for her work in developing anti-rejection drug protocols for patients.

Musical training offsets some academic achievement gaps, research says
Learning to play a musical instrument or to sing can help disadvantaged children strengthen their reading and language skills, according to research presented at the American Psychological Association's 122nd Annual Convention.

UK study shows promise for new nerve repair technique
A multicenter study including University of Kentucky researchers found that a new nerve repair technique yields better results and fewer side effects than other existing techniques.

Work-related stress is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes
Job strain can significantly increase the risk of developing diabetes.

Which structure has optimal resistive switching characteristics?
Researchers fabricated Pt/TiOx/ZnO/n+-Si structures and investigated the effects of TiOx interlayer with different thickness on the resistance switching of Pt/TiOx/ZnO/n+-Si structures.

Four faculty members honored with UT System Regents' Outstanding Teaching Awards
Four faculty members from the University of Texas at Arlington are among 96 educators recognized this year by the University of Texas System Board of Regents for excellence in the classroom.

Stem cells show promise for stroke in pilot study
A stroke therapy using stem cells extracted from patients' bone marrow has shown promising results in the first trial of its kind in humans.

Expecting to teach enhances learning, recall
People learn better and recall more when given the impression that they will soon have to teach newly acquired material to someone else, suggests new research from Washington University in St.

Disney Research leads development of tool to design inflatable characters and structures
The air pressure that makes inflatable parade floats, foil balloons and even inflatable buildings easy to deploy and cost effective can be challenging to designers of those same inflatables due to limitations in today's fabrication process, but a new interactive computational tool enables even non-experts to create intricate inflatable structures.

Water's reaction with metal oxides opens doors for researchers
A multi-institutional team has resolved a long-unanswered question about how two of the world's most common substances interact.

Disney Research software systems add motion to physical characters
New 3-D printing techniques have made it possible for just about anybody to fabricate fanciful plastic characters and sculptures, two new computational design methods developed by Disney Research Zurich are making it possible for even casual users to bring these creations to life by adding mechanical motion.

CU Denver study shows links between city design and health
In a rare study of how street network design affects public health, researchers at the University of Colorado Denver and the University of Connecticut have discovered that older, more compact cities promote more walking and biking and are generally healthier than many newer cities.

Photo editing algorithm changes weather, seasons automatically
A computer algorithm being developed by Brown University researchers enables users to instantly change the weather, time of day, season, or other features in outdoor photos with simple text commands.

Wiggly microRNA binding implies a more complex genome regulation
Non-standard microRNA silencing interactions appear more prevalent in human biology than previously believed, suggesting more complex roles for microRNAs, and helping explain why it's been difficult to translate microRNAs into human therapy.

Scientists enhance synthesis of chromium dioxide (100) epitaxial thin film growth
High quality CrO2 film on the (100)-oriented TiO2 substrate was fabricated by using a simple route under ambient pressures.

Disney Researchers develop 'feel effect' vocabulary to tell stories with sense of touch
Sound effects and visual effects have long been standard tools for entertaining audiences, but even as storytellers increasingly turn to haptic feedback to engage the sense of touch in games, theme park rides and movies, they have lacked a common vocabulary to describe or access these 'feel effects.' Researchers at Disney Research Pittsburgh are beginning to fill that gap.
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