Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 08, 2014
Gay and bisexual youth can thrive with positive family relationships
Gay and bisexual youth who are supported by their family and feel comfortable talking to them about their lifestyle are less likely to become involved in high-risk sexual behaviors, according to a recent Rutgers study.

Making sure antibiotics work as they should
Researchers at ETH Zurich are decoding the structure of the large ribosomal subunit of the mitochondria at an atomic level, thereby providing insight into the molecular architecture of this ribosome with implications for a better understanding of the mode of action of antibiotics.

Patient's dramatic response and resistance to cancer drug traced to unsuspected mutations
Patients with lethal thyroid cancer experienced response for 18 months on clinical trial of everolimus.

Gluing chromosomes at the right place
A new study by Raquel Oliveira, from the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of California, Santa Cruz, now shows that the dislocation of particular DNA segments perturbs proper chromosome separation.

Assuring good nutrition for astronauts
Maintaining the nutritional value of astronauts' food in space over long periods without refrigeration is a challenge, particularly for the essential vitamins.

Professor Daniel G. Cyr receives the Gabriel L. Plaa Award of Distinction
Professor Daniel G. Cyr of the Centre INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier is the recipient of the highest award given by the Society of Toxicology of Canada, the Gabriel L.

Country's economy plays role in Internet file-sharing patterns
Peer-to-peer file sharing over the Internet is a popular alternative approach for people worldwide to get the digital content they want.

Dietary fat under fire
As there are currently no harmonized dietary guidelines in Canada for the prevention of CVD, the authors urge the Canadian nutrition community to revisit the guidelines and develop recommendations that reflect both the current food reality and the latest science.

Mind-controlled prosthetic arms that work in daily life are now a reality
For the first time, robotic prostheses controlled via implanted neuromuscular interfaces have become a clinical reality.

NASA sees newborn Tropical Storm Hudhud in Northern Indian Ocean
The Northern Indian Ocean has awakened after a tropical slumber and created Tropical Storm Hudhud on Oct.

NIH-supported scientists unveil structure, dynamics of key HIV molecules
New research has illuminated the movement and complete structure of the spikes on HIV that the virus uses to bind to the cells it infects.

Scientists question fundamental theory about education of immune police
A fundamental theory about how our thymus educates our immune police appears to be wrong, scientists say.

GW physician helps launch HerStory app for women experiencing breast cancer, mastectomy
Neal Sikka, M.D., director of the Section of Innovative Practice and associate professor of emergency medicine at the George Washington University, helped launch the app HerStory, which provides a platform for women affected by breast cancer and mastectomy to share their stories and give emotional support to other patients.

UW fusion reactor concept could be cheaper than coal
University of Washington engineers have designed a concept for a fusion reactor that, when scaled up to the size of a large electrical power plant, would rival costs for a new coal-fired plant with similar electrical output.

Stanford's GCEP awards $10.5 million for research on renewable energy
Stanford scientists and an international research group receive funding to advance solar cells, batteries, renewable fuels and bioenergy.

Teenage girls are exposed to more stressors that increase depression risk
Adolescence is often a turbulent time, and it is marked by substantially increased rates of depressive symptoms, especially among girls.

Active aging is much more than exercise
The global population is aging rapidly, and the growing numbers of elderly challenge our societal structures, not least the health sector, which is why authorities encourage the elderly to lead active and healthy life styles.

Wildlife refuge plans show strengths and weaknesses for adaptation to climate change
Despite a plenitude of general advice for land managers facing climate change, few studies have examined what might be practical for conservation reserves.

UCI to lead $8 million effort to create library of brain cell activity
UC Irvine will receive $8 million from the National Institutes of Health to establish one of six national centers dedicated to creating a database of human cellular responses that will accelerate efforts to develop new therapies for many diseases.

Young and old professionals join forces against youth unemployment
Young professionals who are starting their own business create new jobs not only for themselves, but potentially also for other people in the same age bracket.

Insomnia among older adults may be tied to sleep quality, not duration
Reports of insomnia are common among the elderly, but a new study finds that sleep problems may stem from the quality of rest and other health concerns more than the overall amount of sleep that patients get.

Robotic surgery: More complications, higher expense for some conditions
For benign gynecologic conditions, robot-assisted surgery involves more complications during surgery and may be significantly more expensive than conventional laparoscopic surgery, according to a study by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center.

Automated imaging system looks underground to help improve crops
Researchers have developed an automated imaging technique for measuring and analyzing the root systems of mature plants.

Study: Indian government health insurance reduced mortality among the poor
A government program provided free, targeted health insurance to the poor -- resulting in a significant saving of lives.

Community justice court associated with lower rearrest rates
Community justice courts, which bring judges and social services into neighborhoods with high crime rates, are a novel approach to address low-level criminal offenders.

Kessler Foundation researcher awarded $457,921 grant from National MS Society
Kessler Foundation's Lauren Strober, Ph.D., was awarded a National Multiple Sclerosis Society grant totaling $457,921 over three years.

Radio telescopes unravel mystery of nova gamma rays
Highly-detailed radio-telescope images have pinpointed the locations where a stellar explosion called a nova emitted gamma rays.

EARTH Magazine: How the Spanish Invasion altered the Peruvian Coast
Spanish conquistadors actually changed the shoreline of northern Peru by ending a several-thousand-year cycle of anthropogenic alteration in the October issue of EARTH magazine.

More appropriate use of cardiac stress testing with imaging could reduce health costs
In a new study recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center concluded that overuse of cardiac stress testing with imaging has led to rising healthcare costs and unnecessary radiation exposure to patients.

Managers can boost creativity by 'empowering leadership' and earning employees' trust
Managers can promote creativity in employees by 'empowering leadership' and earning employees' trust, according to a new study by Rice University and American University.

Childhood psychological abuse as harmful as sexual or physical abuse
Children who are emotionally abused and neglected face similar and sometimes worse mental health problems as children who are physically or sexually abused, yet psychological abuse is rarely addressed in prevention programs or in treating victims, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association.

Smartphone understands hand gestures
Professor Otmar Hilliges and his staff at ETH Zurich have developed a new app enabling users to operate their smartphone with gestures.

NuSTAR discovers impossibly bright dead star
Astronomers working with NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, led by Caltech's Fiona Harrison, have found a pulsating dead star beaming with the energy of about 10 million suns.

Cellular 'power grid' failure triggers abnormal heart rhythms after a heart attack
Heart attack survivors often experience dangerous heart rhythm disturbances during treatment designed to restore blood flow to the injured heart muscle, a common and confounding complication of an otherwise lifesaving intervention.

New study finds hospital patients are not washing their hands
Health technology company Infonaut, a MaRS client, has released a study showing that hospital patients may be at significant risk of infection due to their own poor hand hygiene.

What's your status?
The health risks of low social status are due in part to the chronic psychosocial stress of perceived social subordination, whether by other individuals or by institutions.

Novel protein in heart muscle linked to cardiac short-circuiting and sudden cardiac deaths
Cardiovascular scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center have identified in mouse models a protein known as Pcp4 as a regulator of the heart's rhythm.

Hungry black hole eats faster than thought possible
Astronomers have discovered a black hole that is consuming gas from a nearby star 10 times faster than previously thought possible.

Four centuries of history, imitation played a role in modern violin design
Four families likely influenced violin shape over four centuries, with many imitating famous designs like Stradivarius.

Zeroing in on a source of gamma rays
Gamma rays are the highest-energy form of radioactive waves known in the universe.

Price gap between more and less healthy foods grows
Novel use of UK national data finds a growing gap between the prices of more and less healthy foods between 2002 and 2012.

Smallest world record has 'endless possibilities' for bio-nanotechnology
Scientists from the University of Leeds have taken a crucial step forward in bio-nanotechnology, a field that uses biology to develop new tools for science, technology and medicine.

Plant scientist discovers basis of evolution in violins
Dr. Dan Chitwood, scientist at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center has quantified the refined shapes of violins allowing us to hone our skills to describe the complexity and diversity among plant species, and to use its genetic basis for crop improvement in a study released Oct.

Flies with colon cancer help to unravel the genetic keys to disease in humans
The scientists identify a human gene that favors the proliferation of tumor cells in early stages of colon cancer.

2014 Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology
The 2014 Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology, sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society for Radiation Oncology, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer and The University of Chicago, will provide a clinically relevant, multidisciplinary update on the scientific progress in treating thoracic malignancies.

MU researchers identify epigenetic changes caused by binge drinking
Researchers at the University of Missouri School of Medicine have identified epigenetic protein changes caused by binge drinking, a discovery that could lead to treatments for alcohol-related liver diseases.

Study looks at cardiometabolic risk, schizophrenia and antipsychotic treatment
The duration of psychiatric illness and treatment for patients after first-episode schizophrenia spectrum disorders appears to be associated with being fatter and having other cardiometabolic abnormalities.

Gene therapy shows promise for severe combined immunodeficiency
Researchers have found that gene therapy using a modified delivery system, or vector, can restore the immune systems of children with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID-X1), a rare, life-threatening inherited condition that primarily affects boys.

A highway runs through it: Mountain lions in southern California face genetic decay
Cut off by freeways and human development, mountain lions in southern California are facing a severe loss of genetic diversity, according to a new study led by the University of California, Davis.

UCLA Egyptologist gives new life to female pharaoh from 15th century BC
In a new mainstream biography, University of California Los Angeles Egyptologist Kara Cooney sets out to rehabilitate the image of female pharaoh Hatshepsut, who presided over Ancient Egypt's most peaceful and prosperous period in generations but whose successes were later erased or reassigned to male forbearers.

New award accelerates Biodesign's efforts in synthetic biology
John Chaput, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and research investigator in the Biodesign Institute will lead ASU's effort to evolve TNA molecules that fold into novel 3D shapes with ligand binding affinity and catalytic activity.

Fine-tuning of bitter taste receptors may be key to animal survival
Authors Behrens et al, showed that chicken taste receptors are 'broadly tuned' for bitter taste, whereas six frog taste receptors are mixed, consisting of broadly as well as narrowly tuned receptors.

Two NASA satellites get data on category 5 Super Typhoon Vongfong
Two NASA satellites provided data on clouds, rainfall and the diameter of the eye of Super Typhoon Vongfong as it turned north in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

Researchers watch, in real time, the dynamic motion of HIV as it readies an attack
Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have developed technologies that allow investigators, for the first time, to watch what they call the 'dance' of HIV proteins on the virus' surface, which may contribute to how it infects human immune cells.

Teens still sending naked selfies
A new study from the University of Utah confirms that substantial numbers of teens are sexting -- sending and receiving explicit sexual images via cellphone.

Ancient rhino-relatives were water-loving
The discovery of new bones from a large land mammal that lived about 48 million years ago has led scientists to identify a new branch of mammals closely related to modern horses, rhinos, and tapirs.

Drug-infused nanoparticle is right for sore eyes
For the millions of sufferers of dry eye syndrome, their only recourse to easing the painful condition is to use drug-laced eye drops three times a day.

Nursing home infection rates on the rise, study finds
Nursing home infection rates are on the rise, a study from Columbia University School of Nursing found, suggesting that more must be done to protect residents of these facilities from preventable complications.

Deficits in tactile-based learning linked to Fragile X Syndrome
Researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles have described for the first time a specific perceptual learning deficit in mice with a mutation of the same gene as found in children with Fragile X Syndrome.

NIH funds research consortia to study more than 200 rare diseases
Physician scientists at 22 consortia will collaborate with representatives of 98 patient advocacy groups to advance clinical research and investigate new treatments for patients with rare diseases.

UCLA researchers find that drug used for another disease slows progression of Parkinson's
A new study from University of California Los Angeles found that a drug being evaluated to treat an entirely different disorder helped slow the progression of Parkinson's disease in mice.

'FREE:' Why science hasn't disproved free will
Is free will just an illusion? The question has fueled debates across disciplines ranging from philosophy to psychology and religion.

Universal screening for MRSA may be too costly
Universal MRSA screening and isolation of high-risk patients will help prevent MRSA infections but may be too economically burdensome for an individual hospital to adopt, researchers find.

Moore Foundation selects Matthew Stephens for Data-Driven-Discovery grant
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation today announced the University of Chicago's Matthew Stephens as the recipient of a Moore Investigator in Data-Driven Discovery award.

Women who eat fried food regularly before conceiving are at increased risk of developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy
New research published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, shows that women who eat fried food regularly before conceiving are at increased risk of developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy.

Chicxulub didn't do it all by itself
Geoscientists now overwhelmingly agree that a single large asteroid or comet impact, such as Chicxulub in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, could not have been the sole cause of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction.

TGen and NAU patent for new pandemic flu test is approved
The federal government has awarded a patent to the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Northern Arizona University (NAU) for a test that can detect -- and assist in the treatment of -- the H1N1 pandemic flu strain.

Online intervention tool for physician trainees may improve care of substance users
Online learning interventions and small group debriefings can improve medical residents' attitudes and communication skills toward patients with substance use disorders, and may result in improved care for these patients, according to a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University College of Medicine published online in Academic Medicine.

NASA sees Simon spreading over US Southwest
The remnants of Hurricane Simon were fanning out over the desert Southwestern US on Oct.

Colorado pediatrician helps lead new NIH-funded research network
Glenn T. Furuta, M.D., professor of pediatrics and director of the Gastrointestinal Eosinophilic Diseases Program at Children's Hospital Colorado, will serve as the administrative director and site investigator of the Consortium of Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disease Researchers, funded by a $6.25 million NIH grant to research eosinophilic and allergic disorders and to train investigators in how to conduct clinical research.

Increased health risks linked to first-episode psychosis
Many patients with psychosis develop health risks associated with premature death early in the course of their mental illness.

Scientists identify method of eradicating harmful impacts from manufacturing process
Scientists at Plymouth University have established that a novel technique for applying high-quality finishes in engineering industries could reduce the human and environmental impact by up to 98 percent.

Support for Medicaid expansion strong among low-income adults
Low-income adults overwhelmingly support Medicaid expansion and think the government-sponsored program offers health care coverage that is comparable to or even better in quality than private health insurance coverage, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health researchers.

Invasive plant wins competition against its native cousin
Because of its aggressive behavior and its harmful effects, the invasive prairie plant Lespedeza cuneata has been added to several noxious weed lists.

Media celebrate female NFL referee, but fumble deeper issues
The sports media's positive reaction to the hiring of a female referee in professional football is a good sign, according to a Penn State researcher, but did little to help expose deeper issues that hinder greater acceptance of women in sports.

Conspicuous tRNA lookalikes riddle the human genome
A new discovery suggests that the number of human genomic loci that might be coding for tRNAs is nearly double what is currently known.

Treasure trove of ancient genomes helps recalibrate the human evolutionary clock
To improve the modeling and reading of the branches on the human tree of life, authors Francois Balloux et al, compiled the most comprehensive DNA set to date, a new treasure trove of 146 ancient (including Neanderthal and Denisovian) and modern human full mitochondrial genomes (amongst a set of 320 available worldwide).

Zoos exonerated in baby elephant deaths; Data support new branch of herpesvirus family
After the death of a young elephant in a zoo, Gary Hayward of Johns Hopkins University and collaborators published their results identifying a novel herpesvirus, EEHV1 as the cause.

Researchers develop reproducibility score for SNPs associated with human disease in GWAS
Dartmouth researchers have identified nine traits that are not dependent on P values to predict single nucleotide polymorphisms reproducibility in genome-wide association studies and reduce false positives.

More deadly than Ebola: Clemson biologist fights malaria parasite
A team of molecular biologists, jointly led by Clemson University professor Jim Morris, was awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health to identify new compounds with anti-malarial activity for a deadly parasite species that kills hundreds of thousands of people each year.

Can life continue for eternity?
'Elephants in Space -- The Past, Present and Future of Life and the Universe' takes us on a journey from the beginning of time to the end of the universe to uncover our origins and reveal our destiny.

In a battle of brains, bigger isn't always better
It's one of those ideas that seems to make perfect sense: the bigger the brain, the more intelligent the creature.

UCSF, UC Berkeley scientists join forces in new Glenn Center for Aging Research
Researchers at UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley have teamed up to create an innovative, integrated center for research on neurodegenerative diseases.

Skin exposure may contribute to early risk for food allergies
Many children may become allergic to peanuts before they first eat them, and skin exposure may be contribute to early sensitization, according to a study in mice led by Mount Sinai researchers and published today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Food price gap between 'more' and 'less' healthy foods increased over 10-year period
Healthier foods and beverages have been consistently more expensive than unhealthier ones from 2002-2012, with a gap that's growing.

NASA's GPM satellite's find before Hurricane Simon was caught rapidly intensifying
Hurricane Simon appeared to be keeping a secret before it rapidly intensified on Oct.

Trying to fool a kindergartner? Not so fast
A new study published in PLOS ONE by psychology researchers from Concordia University and the University of British Columbia shows that by the age of five, children become wary of information provided by people who make overly confident claims.

Amputees discern familiar sensations across prosthetic hand
Patients connected to a new prosthetic system said they 'felt' their hands for the first time since they lost them in accidents.

Tick-borne disease research aims to develop new vaccines
A Kansas State University researcher has received a four-year $1.8 million National Institutes of Health grant to continue studying the tick-borne bacterium Ehrlichia chaffeensis.

Circulating tumor cells provide genomic snapshot of breast cancer
Tumor cells isolated from the blood of patients with triple negative breast cancer reveal similar cancer-driving mutations as those detected from standard biopsy, suggesting that circulating cells could one day replace tissue biopsies.

Large chain restaurants appear to be voluntarily reducing calories in their menu items
New research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health finds that large chain restaurants, whose core menu offerings are generally high in calories, fat and sodium, introduced newer food and beverage options that, on average, contain 60 fewer calories than their traditional menu selections in 2012 and 2013.

Designing rivers: Environmental flows for ecosystem services in rivers natural and novel
Authors discuss different approaches to achieving 'environmental flows' of water to sustain river ecosystems, from controlled releases designed with specific objectives for ecology and ecosystem services in mind, like the recent experiment on the Colorado River, to hands-off policies that minimize or reverse alterations to the natural flow of the river, like the recent demolition of dams on the Elwha River in Washington State.

University of Michigan announces first implant in study of CoreValve Evolut R
University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center announced its first implant of the latest minimally-invasive advancement to treat patients with failing aortic heart valves.

Astronomers see right into heart of exploding star
An international team of astronomers has been able to see into the heart of an exploding star, by combining data from telescopes that are hundreds or even thousands of kilometers apart.

Grapefruit juice stems weight gain in mice fed a high-fat diet, study finds
A new study found that mice fed a high-fat diet gained 18 percent less weight when they drank clarified, no-pulp grapefruit juice compared with a control group of mice that drank water.

GW professor aims to 3-D print smart vascularized tissue
A George Washington University researcher doing pioneering work toward the goal of 3-D printing complex tissues aims to help revolutionize the way the medical field conducts transplants.

Study: Talking while driving safest with someone who can see what you see
A new study offers fresh insights into how talking on a cellphone or to a passenger while driving affects one's performance behind the wheel.

Cost sensitive bushmeat hunters help out conservering hunted wildlife species
Research has shown that consumers of wildlife are price sensitive and that the quantity of meat purchased is influenced by the cost of bushmeat and its substitutes.

Putting patient's voice in center of health care
David Cella, Northwestern Medicine chair of medical social sciences, has received a prestigious international award for his contributions as a pioneer in the field of patient-reported outcome measures and his mission to put the patient's voice in the center of health care.

Benaroya Research Institute receives $2.2 million to discover biomarker that triggers allergies
Scientists at Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason recently received a $2.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to find a unique biomarker that initiates and drives allergies.

Fruit flies reveal features of human intestinal cancer
Researchers in Spain have determined how a transcription factor known as Mirror regulates tumor-like growth in the intestines of fruit flies.

Timing of epidural is up to the mother
When a woman is in labor, the appropriate time to give an epidural during childbirth is when she asks for it, a new study suggests.

Mortality risk of overweight and obesity similar for blacks, whites
A study from American Cancer Society researchers finds the increased risk of premature death associated with a higher body mass index is similar for African-Americans and whites.

UT Arlington researchers to build wearable interface to make prosthetics more comfortable
UT Arlington researchers have been awarded a $744,300 grant from the Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Orthapaedic Research Program to create an adaptive interface that fits between a prosthetic and a patient's limb so that the fit and comfort of the prosthetic are improved.

Healthy lifestyle may cut stroke risk in half for women
Women with a healthy diet and lifestyle may be less likely to have a stroke by more than half, according to a study published in the Oct.

Study finds potential link between breast cancer genes and salivary gland cancer
The risk of developing cancer in a salivary gland might be higher in people with mutations in either of two genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer.

Researchers capture images of elusive protein HIV uses to infect cells
HIV is adept at eluding immune system responses because the protein it uses to infect cells is constantly changing.

Mangroves protecting corals from climate change
Corals are finding refuge within the red mangroves at Hurricane Hole, a mangrove habitat in the US Virgin Islands, from threats such as warming ocean temperatures, solar radiation and increased ocean acidification.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2014 for Max Planck researcher Stefan Hell
Stefan W. Hell, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, has been awarded this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Neuroscientists use snail research to help explain 'chemo brain'
It is estimated that as many as half of patients taking cancer drugs experience a decrease in mental sharpness.

NHAES scientists share in $10 milion USDA research grant
New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station scientists at the University of New Hampshire are among those who have been awarded a $10 million, five-year federal grant to develop and apply modern DNA-based tools to deliver new cultivated varieties of rosaceous crops such as apples, peaches, strawberries, and cherries with superior product quality and disease resistance.

Discovery may lead to lower doses of chemotherapy
Many cancer cells resist chemotherapy. BYU chemists found a protein switch that activates resistance.

Childhood Obesity and Cognition: Exploring the Link
Scientists will meet at American University on Oct. 13-14 for the first gathering of its kind focused on obesity and cognition in children and adolescents.

Study finds early signs of heart trouble in obese youth
A study that used two-dimensional echocardiography to closely examine the hearts of 100 children and teens found physical and functional signs of future heart problems already developing in obese children.

New weapons against multidrug resistance in tuberculosis
Using a high-throughput screening assay, EPFL scientists have discovered two small molecules that could overcome the multidrug resistance of the bacterium that causes tuberculosis.

AAAS awards 10 'Science for Seminaries' grants
The American Association for the Advancement of Science has awarded grants to 10 Christian seminaries for pilot programs integrating science into core theological curricula.

Supervisors' abuse, regardless of intent, can make employees behave poorly
Employees who are verbally abused by supervisors -- even if it is intended as motivational -- are still more likely to engage in counterproductive work behaviors, a new study finds.

New gene therapy for 'bubble boy' disease appears effective, safe, study in NEJM reports
A new form of gene therapy for boys with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome, a life-threatening condition also known as 'bubble boy' disease, appears to be effective and safe, a collaborative international research team from Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and other institutions report.

Rivers recover natural conditions quickly following dam removal
A study of the removal of two dams in Oregon suggests that rivers can return surprisingly fast to a condition close to their natural state, both physically and biologically, and that the biological recovery might outpace the physical recovery.
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