Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 13, 2014
New research offers hope for HIV vaccine development
In a scientific discovery that has significant implications for HIV vaccine development, collaborators at the Boston University School of Medicine and Duke University School of Medicine have uncovered novel properties of special HIV antibodies.

Smoke from Russian fires over Arctic Sea
Numerous wildfires have dotted the Russian landscape this past summer fire season.

Researchers uncover how Ebola virus disables immune response
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has brought a lot of attention to the deadly virus.

With advances in HIV care, survivors face other disease risks
As effective treatments for HIV become more widely available in low-income and middle-income countries, there's an urgent need to assess and manage health risks in the growing number of people living with HIV.

Exercise associated with reduced risk of breast cancer in African-American women
Regular exercise, including brisk walking, is associated with a decrease in the incidence of breast cancer in African American women.

University of Tennessee research uncovers forces that hold gravity-defying near-earth asteroid together
A University of Tennessee research team studied near-Earth asteroid 1950 DA and discovered that the body, which rotates so quickly it defies gravity, is held together by cohesive forces called van der Waals, never detected before on an asteroid.

New blood: Tracing the beginnings of hematopoietic stem cells
In a paper published online this week in Nature, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine elaborate upon a crucial signaling pathway and the role of key proteins, which may help clear the way to generate HSCs from human pluripotent precursors, similar to advances with other kinds of tissue stem cells.

Passengers who survived terrifying Air Transat flight in 2001 help psychologists uncover new clues about post-traumatic stress vulnerability
An extraordinary opportunity to study memory and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a group of Air Transat passengers who experienced 30 minutes of unimaginable terror over the Atlantic Ocean in 2001 has resulted in the discovery of a potential risk factor that may help predict who is most vulnerable to PTSD.

New material could enhance fast and accurate DNA sequencing
Gene-based personalized medicine has many possibilities for diagnosis and targeted therapy, but one big bottleneck: the expensive and time-consuming DNA-sequencing process.

Cell discovery brings blood disorder cure closer
A cure for a range of blood disorders and immune diseases is in sight, according to scientists who have unraveled the mystery of stem cell generation.

Ebola protein blocks early step in body's counterattack on virus
The newly published study explains for the first time how the production by the virus of a protein called Ebola Viral Protein 24 stops the interferon-based signals from ramping up immune defenses.

Gene that controls nerve conduction velocity linked to multiple sclerosis
A new study published in The American Journal of Pathology identifies a novel gene that controls nerve conduction velocity.

Young blue sharks use central North Atlantic nursery
Blue sharks may use the central North Atlantic as a nursery prior to males and females moving through the ocean basin in distinctly different patterns.

Can our computers continue to get smaller and more powerful?
From their origins in the 1940s as sequestered, room-sized machines designed for military and scientific use, computers have made a rapid march into the mainstream, radically transforming industry, commerce, entertainment and governance while shrinking to become ubiquitous handheld portals to the world.

US army award to further University of Tennessee bioenergy research
In faraway places around the world, US soldiers are challenged with carrying out missions despite the lack of access to energy supplies.

Fire danger extreme in British Columbia, Canada
In parts of British Columbia, Canada, the Canadian Wildfire Information System's interactive map shows extreme wildfire danger.

Virginia Tech unmanned aircraft test site 'fully operational,' FAA says
The Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership's Unmanned Aircraft Systems test site program is fully operational and ready to conduct research vital to integrate unmanned aircraft into the nation's airspace, Federal Aviation Administration officials announced Wednesday.

NIH-led scientists boost potential of passive immunization against HIV
Scientists are pursuing injections or intravenous infusions of broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies (bNAbs) as a strategy for preventing HIV infection.

Minke whales lunge 100 times/hour to feed under sea ice
Minke whales are one of the most common whales in Antartica, but also one of the most vulnerable.

Coming soon: Genetically edited fruit?
Recent advances that allow the precise editing of genomes now raise the possibility that fruit and other crops might be genetically improved without the need to introduce foreign genes, according to researchers writing in the Cell Press publication Trends in Biotechnology on Aug.

Foreshock series controls earthquake rupture
A long lasting foreshock series controlled the rupture process of this year's great earthquake near Iquique in northern Chile.

Bones from nearly 50 ancient flying reptiles discovered
Scientists discovered the bones of nearly 50 winged reptiles from a new species, Caiuajara dobruskii, that lived during the Cretaceous in southern Brazil.

Treatment with lymph node cells controls dangerous sepsis in animal models
An immune-regulating cell present in lymph nodes may be able to halt severe cases of sepsis, an out-of-control inflammatory response that can lead to organ failure and death.

How useful is economics -- how is economics useful?
What insights do the models, experiments and econometric regressions of scientific research provide about the economy -- and why and under what conditions are they useful in dealing with real-world problems?

Many older emergency department patients are malnourished
More than half of emergency department patients age 65 and older who were seen at UNC Hospitals during an eight-week study were either malnourished or at risk for malnutrition.

Common household chemicals decrease reproduction in mice, Virginia Tech study finds
Virginia Tech researchers who were using a disinfectant when handling mice have discovered that two active ingredients in it cause declines in mouse reproduction.

IUPUI chemist to receive $600,000 early career development award from NSF
IUPUI's Haibo Ge, Ph.D. is the recipient of a an NSF award to fund research that may one day contribute to drug discoveries.

NERSC launches next-generation code optimization effort
With the promise of exascale supercomputing looming on the horizon, questions about infrastructure and hardware design tend to dominate implementation discussions.

Youth football study receives $3.8 million from National Institutes of Health
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has received a $3.8 million, five-year grant from the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health, to continue studying the effects of head impacts in youth league football.

Scientists make major breakthrough in understanding leukemia
Scientists from Queen Mary University of London have discovered mutations in genes that lead to childhood leukemia of the acute lymphoblastic type -- the most common childhood cancer in the world.

Single gene controls jet lag
Salk researchers have discovered a master gene responsible for sleep and wake cycles, offering hope for a drug that could help reset sleep.

Novel chip-based platform could simplify measurements of single molecules
Researchers at UC Santa Cruz have developed a new approach for studying single molecules and nanoparticles by combining electrical and optical measurements on an integrated chip-based platform.

Bacteria growing less susceptible to common antiseptic
Bacteria that cause life-threatening bloodstream infections in critically ill patients may be growing increasingly resistant to a common hospital antiseptic, according to a recent study led by investigators at Johns Hopkins.

Henry Ford Hospital replaces heart valve outside the heart
For the first time in the United States, doctors at Henry Ford Hospital used a minimally invasive procedure to replace a failing, hard-to-reach heart valve with a new one -- and placed it just outside the heart

ASTRO awards $35,500 in individual grants to 43 researchers presenting at the 2014 Annual Meeting
The American Society for Radiation Oncology has selected 43 recipients to receive a total of $35,500 for the 2014 Annual Meeting Abstract Awards.

Researchers uncover clues about how the most important TB drug attacks its target
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health say they have discovered a new clue to understanding how the most important medication for tuberculosis (TB) works to attack dormant TB bacteria in order to shorten treatment.

Native Northwest prairie plants being grown at 3 sites under future climate conditions
University of Oregon-led research in prairies of the Pacific Northwest could be a roadmap for the conservation of native plants facing stresses from projected climate changes and invasive species.

Three radars are better than one: Field campaign demonstrates two new instruments
Putting three radars on a plane to measure rainfall may seem like overkill -- and never before had NASA flown more than two.

Pitt engineer turns metal into glass
Materials scientists have long sought to form glass from pure, monoatomic metals.

Involuntary eye movement a foolproof indication for ADHD diagnosis
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed -- and misdiagnosed -- behavioral disorder in American children.

New progress in long bone fracture evaluation using ultrasound
With the advantages of quantitative ultrasound, such as low-expense, portability, and non-ionizing radiation, ultrasonic guided waves can also reflect the geometry of long cortical bone and material information.

Lithium-based neutron detector named among Top 100 technologies of the year
Kansas State University engineers have developed a lithium-based neutron detector that is being recognized as one of the year's Top 100 newly developed technologies.

Rooting out skin creams that contain toxic mercury
As most countries try to rid themselves of mercury pollution, some people are massaging creams containing the metal directly onto their skin to lighten it, putting themselves and others at risk for serious health problems.

Story ideas from NCAR: Seasonal hurricane forecasts, El NiƱo, wind energy, and more
Researchers at NCAR and partner organizations are making significant headway in predicting the behavior of the atmosphere on a variety of fronts.

MRSA colonization common in groin and rectal areas
Colonization of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus allows people in the community to unknowingly harbor and spread this life-threatening bacteria.

Statistical model predicts performance of hybrid rice
A research team led by plant geneticists at the University of California, Riverside and Huazhong Agricultural University, China, has used 'genomic prediction' to predict the performance of hybrid rice.

New program bridges gap between research and market
Four UC Davis researchers have been awarded $50,000 each in the first year of a competitive grant program aimed at taking university research into commercial applications.

Bacterial biosurgery shows promise for reducing the size of inoperable tumors
Deep within most tumors lie areas that remain untouched by chemotherapy and radiation.

Flexible tapes from the nanoworld
Dr. Wilhelm Auwaerter and his team are working on a research project to develop tiny flat molecule tapes at the Department of Physics of Technische Universitaet Muenchen.

From eons to seconds, proteins exploit the same forces
Energy landscapes for protein folding operate on evolutionary processes that take eons as well as folding that takes microseconds, according to new research at Rice University.

Next generation sequencing shakes up genotype/phenotype correlation, disease discoveries
With the ability to use next generation sequencing technology, researchers have a broadened understanding of the association of genetic changes and disease causation to a much greater resolution, driving new discoveries, said clinical geneticists from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and the University of Montreal in Canada in a perspective published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Hurricane Julio and 2 tropical lows 'bookend' Hawaii
Infrared satellite imagery from NOAA's GOES-West satellite shows three tropical system s in the Central Pacific Ocean that appears like bookends with Hawaii in between.

York survey highlights ocean research priorities
Declines in ocean productivity, increases in ocean acidification, and the cumulative effects of multiple stressors on ocean health are among the most pressing issues facing coastal and maritime countries, according to a survey of scientists by a University of York researcher.

Researchers identify tests to diagnose invasive aspergillosis with 100 percent accuracy
The fungal infection invasive aspergillosis can be life threatening, especially in patients whose immune systems are weakened by chemotherapy or immunosuppressive drugs.

NTU gene research promises better treatment procedures for children with leukemia
A research team led by Nanyang Technological University scientists have made a key finding which is expected to open up improved treatment possibilities for children suffering from leukemia.

Little penguins forage together
Most little penguins may search for food in groups, and even synchronize their movements during foraging trips.

Gut flora influences HIV immune response
Normal microorganisms in the intestines appear to play a pivotal role in how the HIV virus foils a successful attack from the body's immune system, according to new research from Duke Medicine.

How is computer vision applied in robotics and the industry?
'Human-computer interfacing has become a major scientific aspect in the design of systems and machines that are capable of performing complex and possibly even autonomous tasks,' said Dominik Sankowski and Jacek Nowakowski, authors of World Scientific's latest book 'Computer Vision in Robotics and Industrial Applications.'

Teachers play key role in program to fight childhood obesity
An innovative physical activities guide developed at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute is helping North Carolina fight childhood obesity.

Study identifies EU policy shift on tobacco control after massive industry lobbying
A study has tracked how the dominance of language that first appeared in tobacco industry's submissions gradually crept into the final drafts of the European tobacco directive through using a word coding analysis of European Union drafts and stakeholder documents.

Stimuli-responsive drug delivery system prevents transplant rejection
A global collaboration including researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital; Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in Bangalore, India; and University Hospital of Bern, Switzerland, have developed a way to deliver immunosupressant drugs locally and when prompted, with the use of a biomaterial that self-assembles into a hydrogel (jello-like) material.

Giant Amazon fish becoming extinct in many fishing communities, saved in others
An international team of scientists, including researchers from Virginia Tech, compared mainstream bioeconomic theory with the lesser-known 'fishing-down' theory, to discover that a large, commercially important fish from the Amazon Basin has become extinct in some local fishing communities.

Why seniors don't eat: It's complicated
More than half of older adults who visit emergency departments are either malnourished or at risk for malnutrition, but not because of lack of access to health care, critical illness or dementia.

Up-regulation of neuronal alpha-1 adrenoceptors after peripheral nerve injury
After nerve and tissue injury, inflammatory mediators could either directly, or through the induction of neurotrophic factors, trigger increased alpha-1-adrenoceptor expression on neurons and other cells around the site of injury.

Are patients being discharged from hospice care to save money?
How live discharge rates differ between hospice programs and geographic regions, and when those rates should raise red flags are among the issues explored in the article 'A National Study of Live Discharges from Hospice.'

Embalming study 'rewrites' key chapter in Egyptian history
Researchers from the Universities of York, Macquarie and Oxford have discovered new evidence to suggest that the origins of mummification started in ancient Egypt 1,500 years earlier than previously thought.

Estimated 1.65 million global cardiovascular deaths each year linked to high sodium consumption
More than 1.6 million cardiovascular-related deaths per year can be attributed to sodium consumption above the World Health Organization's recommendation of 2.0 grams per day, researchers have found in a new analysis of populations across 187 countries, to be published in the Aug.

Join A.S.P.E.N. for Clinical Nutrition Week 2015, Feb. 14-17, 2015 in Long Beach, Calif.
Beginning on Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015, the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) will be in Long Beach, Calif., for Clinical Nutrition Week 2015 (CNW).

The Lancet Psychiatry: reclassification of PTSD diagnosis potentially excludes soldiers diagnosed under previous criteria
A new head-to-head comparison of screening questionnaires for post-traumatic stress disorder, published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, shows a worrying discordance between the previous version of the post-traumatic stress disorder definition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder -- fourth edition and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -- fifth edition, released in 2013.

Ebola outbreak highlights global disparities in health-care resources
The outbreak of Ebola virus disease that has claimed more than 1,000 lives in West Africa this year poses a serious, ongoing threat to that region: the spread to capital cities and Nigeria -- Africa's most populous nation -- presents new challenges for healthcare professionals.

UC Davis ramps up ventures with 14 startups in a year
UC Davis launched 14 commercial startups during the past year to June 30 -- the largest number of new ventures based on UC Davis technology to be started in a single year.

Dolphins and whales experience pleasure
Whales and dolphins squeal when they receive a reward, but do they squeal to inform nearby members of the pod that they have found food, or are the squeals expressions of delight?

Clinical trial tests COXEN model to predict best treatment for bladder cancer
A computer model, COXEN, matches cancer genetics to best treatments.

Eco-friendly 'pre-fab nanoparticles' could revolutionize nano manufacturing
A team of materials chemists, polymer scientists, device physicists and others at the University of Massachusetts Amherst today report a breakthrough technique for controlling molecular assembly of nanoparticles over multiple length scales that should allow faster, cheaper, more ecologically friendly manufacture of organic photovoltaics and other electronic devices.

Dust -- and the microbes hitching rides on it -- influences rain, climate
Dusty air blowing across the Pacific from Asia and Africa plays a critical role in precipitation patterns throughout the drought-stricken western US Today, a scientist will present new research suggesting that the exact chemical make-up of that dust, including microbes found in it, is key to making better rain event predictions and explaining how air pollution influences regional climate.

Reduction of tau protein improves symptoms in model of severe childhood epilepsy
Researchers at the Gladstone Institutes have shown that reducing brain levels of the protein tau effectively blocks the development of disease in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome, a severe intractable form of childhood epilepsy.

Monitoring meteor showers from space
Planned for launch on Orbital Sciences' third commercial resupply flight to the space station, the Meteor investigation will help scientists better understand asteroids and comets crossing Earth's orbit and how these objects affect our planet.

UT Arlington team's work could lead to earlier diagnosis, treatment of mental diseases
A computer science and engineering associate professor and her doctoral student graduate are using a genetic computer network inference model that eventually could predict whether a person will suffer from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or another mental illness.

Anal sex between young men and women often seems coercive and painful
Anal sex between young men and women often seems coercive and painful, suggests research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Poor sleep quality associated with increased suicide risk in older adults
Reported poor sleep quality, independent of a depressed mood, appears to be associated with an increased risk for suicide in older adults.

New test reveals purity of graphene
A new test using terahertz waves can check graphene for atmospheric and other contaminants that affect its electronic performance.

Vanderbilt-led study shows high-dose flu vaccine more effective in elderly
High-dose influenza vaccine is 24 percent more effective than the standard-dose vaccine in protecting persons ages 65 and over against influenza illness and its complications, according to a Vanderbilt-led study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Injected bacteria shrink tumors in rats, dogs and humans
A modified version of the Clostridium novyi (C. novyi-NT) bacterium can produce a strong and precisely targeted anti-tumor response in rats, dogs and now humans, according to a new report from Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers.

Why aren't campus emergency alerts taken more seriously?
Well-publicized tragedies on college campuses across the United States have prompted university officials to implement alert systems that broadcast real-time warnings to students, faculty, and staff.

Poor sleep quality increases suicide risk for older adults, Stanford researcher finds
Older adults suffering from sleep disturbances are more likely to die by suicide than well-rested adults, according to a study led by a researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial identifies men mostly likely to undergo challenging study procedure
Healthy men participating in the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial who actively participate in all steps of the clinical trial are most likely to undergo a biopsy, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention -- a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Mind and body: Scientists identify immune system link to mental illness
Children with high everyday levels of a protein released into the blood in response to infection are at greater risk of developing depression and psychosis in adulthood, according to new research which suggests a role for the immune system in mental illness.

Unhealthy culture around anal sex encouraging coercion and pain
Young men are not always concerned about getting consent from young women to have anal sex, and pain for women is considered normal, according to new research from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Care facility choice after hospital discharge about more than location, location, location
Deciding on the right post-hospital discharge rehabilitation destination is important to future health and quality of life.

Gut microbiota affects intestinal integrity
Ellen Gerd Christensen, Ph.D. student at the National Food Institute at Technical University of Denmark, has examined whether a change in gut bacterial composition affects intestinal integrity.

HPV vaccine could help 'close the gap' on Indigenous health
In the most comprehensive assessment of its type, UNSW Australia-led research has found that in just four years, the HPV vaccine has resulted in a dramatic drop in genital warts in young Australians from a range of backgrounds, a result that could herald further good news for cervical cancer rates in future.

Stem cells in the skeletal muscle promote the regeneration of severe nerve peripheral injury
Skeletal muscle derived-multipotent stem cells were transplanted for the peripheral nerve injury, having the irreversible long nerve gap, using acellular conduit bridging.

Tick-tock: How to quite literally speed up a woman's biological clock
The metaphor of a ticking clock is often used to refer to a woman's growing urge -- from puberty onwards to menopause -- to conceive before her childbearing years are over.

Antarctica could raise sea level faster than previously thought
Ice discharge from Antarctica could contribute up to 37 centimeters to the global sea level rise within this century, a new study shows.

A new look at what's in 'fracking' fluids raises red flags
As the oil and gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing proliferates, a new study on the contents of the fluids used raises concerns over several ingredients.

The Lancet: Overweight and obesity linked to 10 common cancers and over 12,000 cases every year in the UK
A higher body mass index increases the risk of developing 10 of the most common cancers, the largest study of its kind on body mass index and cancer, involving more than 5 million adults in the UK, published in The Lancet shows.

'Shape-shifting' material could help reconstruct faces
Injuries, birth defects or surgery to remove a tumor can create large gaps in bone.

What are the advantages of being married to a physician?
Doctors share their strategies for success for balancing demanding careers alongside marriage and family obligations.

How are queueing systems analyzed?
'In the analysis of a physical system, the first step is to derive a mathematical model for the system.

University of Michigan forest preserve joins Smithsonian global network
A 57-acre research plot at a University of Michigan forest preserve northwest of Ann Arbor has been added to a Smithsonian Institution global network used to study tropical and temperate forest function and diversity.

University of California brings researchers together for statewide autism summit
Bringing together the research prowess of the University of California to address the increase in autism incidence, its public health impacts, and the need to speed the development of treatments for affected individuals and their families, internationally respected scientists from UC campuses.

Snow has thinned on Arctic sea ice
Modern measurements and historic observations provide a decades-long record showing that the snowpack on Arctic sea ice is thinning.

NIH announces winners of 2014 Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering Competition
Four winning teams were announced in the Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams challenge, a biomedical engineering design competition for teams of undergraduate students.

Tattoo biobatteries produce power from sweat (video)
In the future, working up a sweat by exercising may not only be good for your health, but it could also power small electronic devices.

Patent examiners more likely to approve marginal inventions when pressed for time
The less time patent examiners are given to review an application, the more likely they are to grant patent protection to inventions 'on the margin,' says a study co-authored by Melissa Wasserman, the Richard and Anne Stockton Faculty Scholar and Richard W. and Marie L.

UTSA microbiologist Karl Klose receives Department of Defense contract to study tularemia
Microbiologist Karl Klose, a professor in the University of Texas San Antonio College of Sciences' Department of Biology and a member of the South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, has received a contract from the US Department of Defense to conduct research that would bring scholars one step closer to developing a vaccine against tularemia.

Embalming study 'rewrites' chapter in Egyptian history
The origins of mummification may have started in ancient Egypt 1,500 years earlier than previously thought.

New insights into the survival and transmission strategy of malaria parasites
Malaria parasites exploit the function of the epigenetic regulator HP1 to promote survival and transmission between human hosts, a new study shows. 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