Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 28, 2014
Drug shows promise against Sudan strain of Ebola in mice
Researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and other institutions have developed a potential antibody therapy for Sudan ebolavirus (SUDV), one of the two most lethal strains of Ebola.

Recognition for Monash rheologist
Vice President of Monash University's Indian and Chinese initiative, professor Tam Sridhar, has been awarded the prestigious ASR Medallion by the Australian Society of Rheology for his exceptional and distinguished service to rheology science and technology.

High dietary salt may worsen multiple sclerosis symptoms
High dietary salt intake may worsen multiple sclerosis symptoms and boost the risk of further neurological deterioration, indicates a small observational study published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

Copper shines as flexible conductor
By turning instead to copper, both abundant and cheap, researchers at Monash University and the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication have developed a way of making flexible conductors cost-effective enough for commercial application.

Researchers use NASA and other data to look into the heart of a solar storm
Scientists found that the CME contained a rare piece of dense solar filament material.

Study finds marine protected areas inadequate for protecting fish and ocean ecology
A new study reports that an expansion of marine protected areas is needed to protect fish species that perform key ecological functions.

Quantum physics enables revolutionary imaging method
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology, and the University of Vienna have developed a fundamentally new quantum imaging technique with strikingly counter-intuitive features.

New filter technology -- uses inert gas to bore holes in high-quality steel
Two early-stage venture capital investors are joining the i3 Membrane GmbH startup in August 2014.

Watching the structure of glass under pressure
Glass has many applications that call for different properties, such as resistance to thermal shock or to chemically harsh environments.

NYU researchers ID process producing neuronal diversity in fruit flies' visual system
NYU biologists have identified a mechanism that helps explain how the diversity of neurons that make up the visual system is generated.

Mobile app makes ID of harmful plants, insects in Texas a snap
A free mobile app from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center helps ID harmful organisms in Texas.

Breastfeeding study shows need for effective peer counseling programs
The support of peer groups and clinicians is critical to the development of effective breastfeeding programs, according to recent University of Georgia research.

UTHealth researchers find up to 3,000 times the bacterial growth on hollow-head toothbrushes
Solid-head power toothbrushes retain less bacteria compared to hollow-head toothbrushes, according to researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Dentistry.

BMC Ecology Image Competition winners reveal the private lives of animals and plants
Out in the field, ecologists get a chance to see intimate moments in the lives of the animals and plants they study.

Penn-NIH team discover new type of cell movement
In a new study from the University of Pennsylvania and National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, scientists used an innovative technique to study how cells move in a three-dimensional matrix, similar to the structure of certain tissues, such as the skin.

Cellphone addiction 'an increasingly realistic possibility,' Baylor study finds
Women college students average 10 hours a day on their cellphones and men students spend nearly eight.

CPRIT awards UT Southwestern faculty $26 million in prevention, research, and recruitment grants
UT Southwestern faculty have received 19 grants totaling more than $26 million from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas to expand cancer screenings, investigate the effectiveness and viability for cancer therapies and radiation.

Study finds shortcomings in doctor-patient discussions about transplantation
When dialysis patients reported discussions about transplantation with clinicians, they had a nearly 3-fold increased likelihood of being listed for transplantation, but clinician-reported discussions did not increase a patient's likelihood of being listed.

New analytical technology reveals 'nanomechanical' surface traits
A new research platform uses a laser to measure the 'nanomechanical' properties of tiny structures undergoing stress and heating, an approach likely to yield insights to improve designs for microelectronics and batteries.

Radio telescopes settle controversy over distance to Pleiades
A worldwide network of radio telescopes measured the distance to the famous star cluster the Pleiades to an accuracy within 1 percent.

Research shows how premalignant cells can sense oncogenesis and halt growth
What happens inside cells when they detect the activation of a cancer-inducing gene?

University of Montana cicada study discovers 2 genomes that function as 1
University of Montana researchers discovered that Hodgkinia had subtly become more complex through a speciation event, in which the original lineage split to produce two separate but interdependent species of Hodgkinia.

Socially-assistive robots help kids with autism learn by providing personalized prompts
In a pilot study led by Maja Mataric at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, researchers found that children with autism spectrum disorders showed improved or maintained performance in learning imitative behavior by interacting with humanoid robots that provided graded cueing, an occupational therapy technique that shapes behavior by providing increasingly specific cues to help a person learn new skills.

The Lancet: Respiratory infection controls being used for ebola patients are unnecessary and may contribute to public panic
Respiratory infection control measures -- which have been adopted by most health agencies to deal with the Ebola epidemic in west Africa -- are unnecessary, and may heighten panic and fear among the public, according to the authors of a new letter, published in The Lancet, and written by professor Jose M.

Healthy Moms program helps women who are obese limit weight gain during pregnancy
A new study finds that women who are obese can limit their weight gain during pregnancy using conventional weight loss techniques including attending weekly group support meetings, seeking advice about nutrition and diet, and keeping food and exercise journals.

Females ignored in basic medical research
A new study from Northwestern Medicine has found that surgical researchers rarely use female animals or female cells in their published studies -- despite a huge body of evidence showing that sex differences can play a crucial role in medical research.

Arthritis patients failing to take expensive medication, according to new research
Large numbers of people with severe rheumatoid arthritis are failing to take expensive medication as prescribed, according to a new multicenter study led by researchers in Manchester.

MARC travel awards announced for: 2014 ASBMR annual meeting
FASEB MARC Program has announced the travel award recipients for the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research from Sept.

MARC travel awards announced for GSA: Mouse Molecular Genetics Conference
FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for the Genetics Society of America's 27th Annual Mouse Molecular Genetics Conference from Sept.

Inter-dependent networks stress test
Energy production systems are good examples of complex systems. Their infrastructure equipment requires ancillary sub-systems structured like a network -- including water for cooling, transport to supply fuel, and ICT systems for control and management.

Socioeconomic status and gender are associated with differences in cholesterol levels
A long-term lifestyle study reports differences between the sexes when it comes to fat profiles associated with socioeconomic status.

MARC travel awards announced for: ACSM Conference on Integrative Physiology of Exercise
FASEB MARC Program has announced the travel award recipients for the American College of Sports Medicine's Conference on Integrative Physiology of Exercise from Sept.

Climate change puts endangered Devils Hole pupfish at risk of extinction
Climate change is hurting reproduction of the endangered Devils Hole pupfish, threatening the survival of this rare species that has numbered as few as 35 individuals, new research by the University of Nevada, Reno and Desert Research Institute shows.

Informing NASA's Asteroid Initiative: A citizen forum
An innovative project between NASA (the US government's space agency) and a group led by Arizona State University called ECAST -- Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology -- is planning to hold citizen forums to engage ordinary citizens in active dialogue about NASA's Asteroid Initiative.

Second-hand e-cig smoke compared to regular cigarette smoke
Second-hand e-cig smoke has 10 times less particulate matter than regular cigarette smoke; but higher levels of certain toxic metals.

This is your brain's blood vessels on drugs
Researchers from Stony Brook University and NIH used a laser-based method to produce the first-ever set of images clearly and directly detailing how cocaine shuts down blood flow in the brain.

Flapping baby birds give clues to origin of flight
The origin of flight is a contentious issue: some argue that tree-climbing dinosaurs learned to fly in order to avoid hard falls.

Electric current to brain boosts memory
Stimulating a region in the brain via non-invasive delivery of electrical current using magnetic pulses, called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, improves memory.

Paleontology: Oldest representative of a weird arthropod group
Biologists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich have assigned a number of 435-million-year-old fossils to a new genus of predatory arthropods.

Indoor mold poses health risk to asthma sufferers
By critically reviewing the findings from 17 studies in eight different countries, the research has found that the presence of several types of mould can lead to breathing problems in asthma sufferers, as well as increasing the likelihood of developing the condition.

MARC travel awards announced for: American Society of Human Genetics 2014 Annual Meeting
FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for the American Society of Human Genetics from Oct.

From bite site to brain: How rabies virus hijacks and speeds up transport in nerve cells
Rabies is usually transmitted through the bite of an infected animal into muscle tissue of the new host.

Zombie bacteria are nothing to be afraid of
Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have obtained the first experimental evidence that there are at least two fail-safe points in the bacterial cell cycle.

Circulating tumor cell clusters more likely to cause metastasis than single cells
Circulating tumor cell (CTC) clusters -- clumps of from two to 50 tumor cells that break off a primary tumor and are carried through the bloodstream -- appear to be much more likely to cause metastasis than are single CTCs, according to a study from investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.

New research reveals how wild rabbits were genetically transformed into tame rabbits
The genetic changes that transformed wild animals into domesticated forms have long been a mystery.

New solutions needed to recycle fracking water
Rice University scientists have produced a detailed analysis of water produced by hydraulic fracturing of three gas reservoirs and suggested environmentally friendly remedies are needed to treat and reuse it.

Getting graffiti off a masterpiece (video)
Works of art can take years to create and just seconds to deface.

Research demonstrates potential method to better control lung cancer using radiotherapy
Researchers at the University of Manchester and the Christie NHS Foundation Trust -- both part of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre -- have looked at ways to personalize and increase the dose to the tumor while minimizing the effect on healthy tissue.

Non-adaptive evolution in a cicada's gut
Organisms in a symbiotic relationship will often shed genes as they come to rely on the other organism for crucial functions.

Bradley Hospital collaborative study identifies genetic change in autism-related gene
A new study from Bradley Hospital has identified a genetic change in a recently identified autism-associated gene, which may provide further insight into the causes of autism.

Quentin Bryce receives first Alliance honorary doctorate
The former Australian Governor-General the Honourable Quentin Bryce AD CVO has received the first joint honorary doctorate from the Monash Warwick Alliance.

Prions can trigger 'stuck' wine fermentations, researchers find
A biochemical communication system that crosses from bacteria to yeast, making use of prions, has been discovered.

Yale study identifies possible bacterial drivers of IBD
Yale University researchers have identified a handful of bacterial culprits that may drive inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, using patients' own intestinal immune responses as a guide.

Dyslexic readers have disrupted network connections in the brain
Dyslexia, the most commonly diagnosed learning disability in the United States, is a neurological reading disability that occurs when the regions of the brain that process written language don't function normally.

NASA's TRMM satellite adds up Cristobal's heavy rainfall in the Caribbean
The Caribbean Islands of Turks and Caicos were drenched from Tropical Storm Cristobal before the storm moved north and intensified into a hurricane.

Plain cigarette packs don't hurt small retailers or boost trade in illicit tobacco
Plain packs for tobacco products don't hurt small retailers, flood the market with very cheap cigarettes, or boost the trade in illicit tobacco, finds research on the early experience of the policy in Australia, and published in the online journal BMJ Open.

A VA exit strategy
As the federal government plans its exit strategy from the war, now may be the time for it to rethink its role in providing health care to veterans, says a Perspective piece in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Ontario has one of the highest rates of IBD in the world
New population-based study puts puts Ontario in the 90th percentile for IBD prevalence in the world; 'Dr.

Home is where the microbes are
A study published today in Science reports provides a detailed analysis of the microbes that live in houses and apartments.

The Lancet: China-themed issue
China's rapid emergence as a global power has coincided with a series of unprecedented challenges to Chinese people's health.

The universal 'anger face'
Each element of the anger face makes the person expressing it appear physically stronger and more formidable.

New analysis of old HIV vaccines finds potentially protective immune response
Applying the benefit of hindsight, researchers at Duke Medicine have reanalyzed the findings of two historic pediatric HIV vaccine trials with encouraging results.

How the zebrafish gets its stripes
Max Planck scientists uncover how beautiful color patterns can develop in animals.

Sensory-tested drug-delivery vehicle could limit spread of HIV, AIDS
A unique method for delivering compounds that could positively impact the global battle against HIV and AIDS may be possible, thanks to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Synthesis produces new antibiotic
Scientists at Rice University synthesize a natural, fungus-derived antibiotic that could someday help wage the battle against resistant superbugs.

Berkeley-Haas professor wins American Accounting Association Best Paper Award
Yaniv Konchitchki, assistant professor in the Accounting Group at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, has received a prestigious 2014 Best Paper Award from the American Accounting Association, the world's largest community of accountants in academia.

After Great Recession, Americans are unhappy, worried, pessimistic, Rutgers study finds
The protracted and uneven recovery from the Great Recession has led most Americans to conclude that the US economy has undergone a permanent change for the worse, according to a new national study at Rutgers.

Drug shows promise for subset of stage III colon cancer patients
A subset of patients with stage III colon cancer had improved survival rates when treated with irinotecan-based therapy, according to a new study in Gastroenterology.

TGen receives approval for patient enrollment in brain cancer clinical trial
In 2012, The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation awarded $10 million in grants for two groundbreaking brain cancer research projects at the Translational Genomics Research Institute.

Ames Laboratory scientists named 'Most Influential Scientific Minds'
Three Ames Laboratory physicists, Paul Canfield, Sergey Bud'ko, and Costas Soukoulis, were recently named to Thomson Reuters' World's Most Influential Scientific Minds 2014.

Are cigarette substitutes a safe alternative? It depends on user habits
A recent literature review study by researchers at the University of Miami suggest that small dosages of nicotine found in cigarette substitutes could be harmful to human musculoskeletal system, due to overuse.

Canadians rank highly when it comes to public science knowledge, attitudes, and engagement
A new expert panel report, Science Culture: Where Canada Stands, released today by the Council of Canadian Academies, helps to paint the clearest picture of Canada's science culture and science culture support system in 25 years.

UMN researchers find animal model for understudied type of muscular dystrophy
Researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed an animal research model for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) to be used for muscle regeneration research as well as studies of the effectiveness of potential therapies for FSHD.

Together, humans and computers can figure out the plant world
Recent research applying bioinformatics and biometrics to the study of plant form and function is presented in a special issue on Bioinformatic and Biometric Methods in Plant Morphology, published in Applications in Plant Sciences.

NASA's TRMM analyzes Hurricane Cristobal
NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM Satellite provided a look under the hood of Hurricane Cristobal as it continues moving north and paralleling the US East Coast.

Complications of tube insertion in ears not worse for kids with cleft lip/palate
Children with cleft lip and/or palate have no worse complications from ventilation tube insertion in their ears to treat otitis media with effusion or acute otitis media, two conditions which can result in hearing loss.

How does it feel to be old in different societies?
People aged 70 and over who identify themselves as 'old' feel worse about their own health in societies where they perceive they have lower value than younger age groups.

A new, tunable device for spintronics
Recently, the research group of Professor Jairo Sinova from the Institute of Physics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in collaboration with researchers from the UK, Prague, and Japan, has for the first time realised a new, efficient spin-charge converter based on the common semiconductor material GaAs.

NIH to Launch human safety study of Ebola vaccine candidate
Initial human testing of an investigational vaccine to prevent Ebola virus disease will begin next week by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Less than $200 million would conserve precious Atlantic Forest in Brazil, say researchers
Brazil could conserve its valuable Atlantic Forest by investing just 0.01 percent of its annual GDP, according to a new study.

NASA sees a weaker Tropical Storm Marie
When NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured an image of what is now Tropical Storm Marie, weakened from hurricane status on Aug.

Ebola vaccine trials fast-tracked by international consortium
A candidate Ebola vaccine could be given to healthy volunteers in the UK, The Gambia and Mali as early as September, as part of an series of safety trials of potential vaccines aimed at preventing the disease that has killed more than 1,400 people in the current outbreak in West Africa.

DeVincenzo study breakthrough in RSV research
Le Bonheur Children's Hospital and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center researcher John DeVincenzo, M.D., is lead author of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Deadly remedy: Warning issued about Chinese herbal medicine
A herbal preparation prescribed by a Chinese herbal medication practitioner in Melbourne for back pain resulted in life-threatening heart changes, prompting a team of intensive care and emergency physicians to call for appropriate patient education by practitioners who prescribe complementary medications.

Genomic sequencing reveals mutations, insights into 2014 Ebola outbreak
In response to an ongoing, unprecedented outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, a team of researchers from the Broad Institute and Harvard University, in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation and researchers across institutions and continents, has rapidly sequenced and analyzed more than 99 Ebola virus genomes.

Some women still don't underststand 'overdiagnosis' risk in breast screening
A third of women who are given information about the chance of 'overdiagnosis' through the NHS breast screening programme may not fully understand the risks involved.

Small molecule acts as on-off switch for nature's antibiotic factory
Duke biochemists have identified the developmental on-off switch for Streptomyces, a group of soil microbes that produce more than two-thirds of the world's naturally derived antibiotic medicines.

Nanoscale assembly line
ETH researchers have realized a long-held dream: inspired by an industrial assembly line, they have developed a nanoscale production line for the assembly of biological molecules.

From nose to knee: Engineered cartilage regenerates joints
Human articular cartilage defects can be treated with nasal septum cells.

New DNA study unravels the settlement history of the New World Arctic
A new DNA study unravels the settlement history of the New World Arctic.

New technique uses fraction of measurements to efficiently find quantum wave functions
Just two years ago, with the advent of a technique called direct measurement, scientists discovered they could reliably determine a system's wave function by 'weakly' measuring one of its variables (e.g. position) and 'strongly' measuring a complementary variable (momentum).

Study shows where on the planet new roads should and should not go
Researchers have created a 'large-scale zoning plan' that aims to limit the environmental costs of road expansion while maximizing its benefits for human development.

Ancient metal workers were not slaves but highly regarded craftsmen
In the course of ongoing excavations at Timna Valley, Tel Aviv University archaeologists analyzed remnants of food eaten by copper smelters 3,000 years ago.

Saddam Hussein -- a sincere dictator?
Are political speeches manipulative and strategic? They could be -- when politicians say one thing in public, and privately believe something else, political scientists say.

Warm thanks: Gratitude can win you new friends
Parents have long told their children to mind their Ps and Qs, and remember to say thank you.

New tool aids stem cell engineering for medical research
A Mayo Clinic researcher and his collaborators have developed an online analytic tool that will speed up and enhance the process of re-engineering cells for biomedical investigation.

Computer games give a boost to English
If you want to make a mark in the world of computer games you had better have a good English vocabulary.

New model predicts patients with type 1 diabetes who will go on to develop major complications
New research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) presents a new model for predicting which patients with type 1 diabetes will go on to develop major complications, through easily and routinely measured risk factors.

How studying damage to the prefrontal lobe has helped unlock the brain's mysteries
Until the last few decades, the frontal lobes of the brain were shrouded in mystery and erroneously thought of as nonessential for normal function.

Fred Baxendale selected as Honorary Member of the Entomological Society of America
The Entomological Society of America is pleased to announce the selection of Dr.

'K-to-M' histone mutations: How repressing the repressors may drive tissue-specific cancers
A paper from a laboratory at the Stowers Institute of Medical Research reports the first animal model created to assess the molecular effects of two different histone H3.3 mutations in the fruit fly Drosophila. 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