Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 30, 2014
Winners of the 2014 Semantic Web Challenge announced at the International Semantic Web Conference
The winners of the 2014 Semantic Web Challenge have been announced.

Researchers find bat influenza viruses unlikely threaten human health
Kansas State University veterinary researchers collaborated on a study that shows the bat influence virus poses a low risk to humans.

They know the drill: UW leads the league in boring through ice sheets
Hollow coring drills designed and managed by UW-Madison's Ice Drilling Design and Operations program are used to extract ice cores that can analyze the past atmosphere.

New study finds oceans arrived early to Earth
Earth is known as the Blue Planet because of its oceans, which cover more than 70 percent of the planet's surface and are home to the world's greatest diversity of life.

High-intensity sound waves may aid regenerative medicine
Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a way to use sound to create cellular scaffolding for tissue engineering, a unique approach that could help overcome one of regenerative medicine's significant obstacles.

National initiative shows multisystem approaches to reduce diabetes disparities
Exciting results from an innovative, multicultural, five-year initiative, known as the Alliance to Reduce Disparities in Diabetes, have been published in ten peer-reviewed articles in the November 2014 supplemental issue of Health Promotion Practice.

Could daylight saving time be a risk to diabetics?
Many will turn back the hands of time as part of the twice-annual ritual of daylight saving time.

Ion adsorption matter in biology
Biological membranes are mainly composed of lipid bilayers. Gaining a better understanding of adsorption of solution ions onto lipid membranes helps clarify functional processes in biological cells.

Model by NIH grantees explains why HIV prevention dosing differs by sex
A mathematical model developed by NIH grantees predicts that women must take the antiretroviral medication Truvada daily to prevent HIV infection via vaginal sex, whereas just two doses per week can protect men from HIV infection via anal sex.

UTA researcher uses microscaffolding injections to mend cartilage, prevent osteoarthritis
A UT Arlington bioengineering professor has received a $1.04 million grant from the US Army that aims to regenerate cartilage tissue and reduce osteoarthritis using a patient's own stem cells, spurred through the injection of microscaffolding made of biodegradable polymers.

European salamanders and newts vulnerable to fungal disease from Asia
A skin-eating fungal disease brought to Europe by humans now poses a major threat to native salamanders and newts, scientists have warned.

Science casts light on sex in the orchard
Persimmons are among the small club of plants with separate sexes -- individual trees are either male or female.

Experts recommend tumor removal as first-line treatment for acromegaly
The Endocrine Society today issued a Clinical Practice Guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of acromegaly, a rare condition caused by excess growth hormone in the blood.

Why scratching makes you itch more
Turns out your mom was right: scratching an itch only makes it worse.

Lord of the microrings
Berkeley Lab researchers report a significant breakthrough in laser technology with the development of a unique microring laser cavity that can produce single-mode lasing on demand.

Link seen between seizures and migraines in the brain
Seizures and migraines have always been considered separate physiological events in the brain, but now a team of engineers and neuroscientists looking at the brain from a physics viewpoint discovered a link between these and related phenomena.

Seeing dinosaur feathers in a new light
Why were dinosaurs covered in a cloak of feathers long before the early bird species Archaeopteryx first attempted flight?

Post-operative radiation therapy improves overall survival for patients with resected NSCLC
Patients who received post-operative radiation therapy, radiation therapy after surgery, lived an average of four months longer when compared to the patients who had the same disease site, tumor histology and treatment criteria and who did not receive post-operative radiation therapy, according to research presented today at the 2014 Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology.

Harnessing error-prone chips
A new system would allow programmers to easily trade computational accuracy for energy savings.

Celebrating the work of the 2014 Nobel Laureates
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., would like to congratulate all of the 2014 Nobel laureates and is proud to have published work by nine of the laureates.

CHEST lung cancer experts present policy statement to CMS Committee on Coverage
As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Committee on Coverage studies the decision to cover lung cancer screening for eligible individuals, today's Online First section of the journal CHEST published Components for High Quality Lung Cancer Screening: American College of Chest Physicians and American Thoracic Society Policy Statement.

Does it help conservation to put a price on nature?
Assigning an economic value to the benefits which nature provides might not always promote the conservation of biodiversity, and in some cases may lead to species loss and conflict, argues a University of Cambridge researcher.

Four new dragon millipedes found in China
A team of scientists has described four new species of dragon millipedes from China, two of which are cave dwellers.

Einstein-Montefiore investigators present aging research at Gerontological Society of America's Annual Scientific Meeting
Investigators at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center will present their latest aging research at the Gerontological Society of America's 67th Annual Scientific Meeting.

The geometry of RNA
To understand the function of an RNA molecule we need to know its three-dimensional structure.

Doubt cast over air pollution link between childhood leukemia and power lines
Researchers from the UK have called into question a theory suggesting that a previously reported risk of leukemia among children born close to overhead power lines could be caused by an alteration to surrounding air pollution.

Reconstruction of a patterned piece of spinal cord in 3-D culture
The central nervous system in vertebrates develops from the neural tube, which is the basis for the differentiation in spinal cord and brain.

New optimal screening threshold for gestational diabetes in twin pregnancies
Gestational diabetes affects approximately 6-7 percent of pregnant women. Currently, screening is done in two steps to help identify patients most at risk; however, the suggested levels for additional testing were based on singleton pregnancy data.

New molecule sneaks medicines across the blood/brain barrier
Delivering life-saving drugs across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) might become a little easier thanks to a new report published in the November 2014 issue of The FASEB Journal.

Young adults ages 18 to 26 should be viewed as separate subpopulation in policy and research
Young adults ages 18-26 should be viewed as a separate subpopulation in policy and research, because they are in a critical period of development when successes or failures could strongly affect the trajectories of their lives, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council.

How 'trained immunity' mediates BCG therapy of bladder cancer
Bacillus Calmette-Guerin is a vaccine widely used in low and middle-income countries to protect against childhood tuberculosis.

Scripps Research Institute scientists capture picture of 'MicroRNA' in action
Biologists at The Scripps Research Institute have described the atomic-level workings of 'microRNA' molecules, which control the expression of genes in all animals and plants.

BPA exposure by infants may increase later risk of food intolerance
A new research published in November 2014 issue of The FASEB Journal, scientists show, for the first time, that there is a link between perinatal exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) at low doses and the risk to develop food intolerance in later life.

Disney Research develops hybrid fluid transmission enabling light and swift robotic arms
Engineers routinely face tradeoffs as they design robotic limbs -- weight vs. speed, ease of control vs. fluidity.

Molecular tumor markers could reveal new therapeutic targets for lung cancer treatment
Analysis of 607 small cell lung cancer lung tumors and neuroendocrine tumors identified common molecular markers among both groups that could reveal new therapeutic targets for patients with similar types of lung cancer, according to research presented today at the 2014 Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology.

Elsevier announces the winner of the 5th Ahmed Zewail Prize in Molecular Sciences
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, and the editors of the leading international journal Chemical Physics Letters are pleased to announce the winner of the 5th Ahmed Zewail Prize in Molecular Sciences.

Benaroya Research Institute to unravel insulin mystery in type 1 diabetes
Scientists at Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason have received a $1.4 million grant to understand a critical question in type 1 diabetes: Why do some people who get type 1 diabetes continue to produce small amounts of insulin over time while others stop?

Biology meets geometry
Architecture imitates life, at least when it comes to those spiral ramps in multistory parking garages.

Genetic factors behind surviving or dying from Ebola shown in mouse study
A newly developed mouse model suggests that genetic factors are behind the mild-to-deadly range of responses to the Ebola virus.

Breakdown in gut barriers to bacteria may promote inflammation and craving in alcoholics
Bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract fulfill many vital functions and are critical for digestion.

New guidelines for reproductive & developmental toxicity testing of oligonucleotide drugs
Oligonucleotide-based therapeutics present unique challenges when it comes to testing their potential to cause reproductive and developmental harm.

Lung cancer patients with MIA have comparable 97.7 percent 5-year survival as patients with AIS
Lung cancer patients with minimally invasive adenocarcinoma have similar, positive five-year disease-free survival and overall survival rates as patients with adenocarcinoma in-situ, according to research presented today at the 2014 Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology.

NIMH creates new unit to support its research domain criteria initiative
A new effort by the National Institutes of Health will facilitate communication among scientists, clinicians, and the public to reframe mental health research, from diagnosis to treatment.

Removal of heart medications by dialysis may increase risk of premature death
Among kidney failure patients on dialysis, beta blockers that are easily removed from the circulation through dialysis were linked with a higher risk of premature death than beta blockers that are not easily removed through dialysis.

Mediterranean diet may help protect kidney health
Every one-point increase in a Mediterranean diet score was associated with a 17 percent decreased likelihood of developing chronic kidney disease.

What's mighty about the mouse? For starters, its massive Y chromosome
An exhaustive effort to sequence the mouse Y chromosome reveals a surprisingly large and complex biological beast, at the same time providing remarkable insight into a heated battle for supremacy between mammalian sex chromosomes.

A matter of life and death: Cell death proteins key to fighting disease
Melbourne researchers have uncovered key steps involved in programmed cell death, offering new targets for the treatment of diseases including lupus, cancers and neurodegenerative diseases.

New research show that bats will hang out with their friends this Halloween
New research has shown that despite moving house frequently, bats choose to roost with the same social groups of 'friends.' The study, published today in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, found that different social groups roost in separate, though adjacent, parts of woodland.

Self-reported cognitive difficulties better for patients with tinnitus in clinical trial
Using the medication D-cycloserine in conjunction with a computer-assisted cognitive training program to try to improve the bother of tinnitus (persistent ringing in the ears) and its related cognitive difficulties was no more effective than placebo at relieving the bother of the annoying condition although self-reported cognitive deficits improved, according to a study published online by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

One hormone, 2 roles: Sugars differentiate seasonality and metabolism
Scientists at ITbM, Nagoya University and the University of Chicago have discovered the mechanism on how a single hormone manages to trigger two different functions, i.e. seasonal sensing and metabolism, without any cross activity.

Uranium-extracting technology for seawater earns research award for grad student
Scientists have long known that seawater contains small concentrations of valuable metals, but a technologically feasible extraction method has remained elusive.

Active, biodegradable packaging for oily products
The BIOMAT research group has developed a single-layer, biodegradable container from agro-industrial by-products suitable for both liquid and solid oily products.

Himalayan Viagra fuels caterpillar fungus gold rush
Overwhelmed by speculators trying to cash-in on a prized medicinal fungus known as Himalayan Viagra, two isolated Tibetan communities have managed to do at the local level what world leaders often fail to do on a global scale -- implement a successful system for the sustainable harvest of a precious natural resource, suggests new research from Washington University in St.

NASA sees Cyclone Nilofar looking more like a comet than a tropical cyclone
Tropical Cyclone Nilofar was closing in on the border between Pakistan and northwestern India on Oct.

Female frogs modify offspring development depending on reproduction date
Global warming is altering the reproduction of plants and animals, notably accelerating the date when reproduction and other life processes occur.

Study shows vibrating insoles could reduce falls among seniors
Findings published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation show that imperceptible vibratory stimulation applied to the soles of the feet improved balance by reducing postural sway and gait variability in elderly study participants.

Hubble sees 'ghost light' from dead galaxies
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has picked up the faint, ghostly glow of stars ejected from ancient galaxies that were gravitationally ripped apart several billion years ago.

Sustained local control for medically inoperable, early stage lung cancer patients
Analysis of data from an institutional patient registry on stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) indicates excellent long-term, local control, 79 percent of tumors, for medically inoperable, early stage lung cancer patients treated with SBRT from 2003 to 2012, according to research presented today at the 2014 Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology.

Fraunhofer develops economical process for micro energy harvesting
The trend toward energy self-sufficient probes and ever smaller mobile electronics systems continues unabated.

Toddlers copy their peers to fit in, but apes don't
From the playground to the board room, people often follow, or conform, to the behavior of those around them as a way of fitting in.

Frailty increases kidney transplant recipients' risk of dying prematurely
Regardless of age, frailty is a strong risk factor for dying prematurely after a kidney transplant.

Independent safety investigation needed in the NHS
The NHS should follow the lead of aviation and other safety-critical industries and establish an independent safety investigation agency, according to a paper published today by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Rewiring cell metabolism slows colorectal cancer growth
A University of Utah-led study reports that cancers select against a protein complex called the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier, and re-introduction of MPC in colon cancer cells impairs several properties of cancer, including growth.

Sadness lasts longer than other emotions
Why is it that you can feel sad up to 240 times longer than you do feeling ashamed, surprised, irritated or even bored?

Unlocking the secrets of pulmonary hypertension
A UAlberta team has discovered that a protein that plays a critical role in metabolism, the process by which the cell generates energy from foods, is important for the development of pulmonary hypertension, a deadly disease.

Yale finds a planet that won't stick to a schedule
For their latest discovery, Yale astronomers and the Planet Hunters program have found a low-mass, low-density planet with a punctuality problem.

Reef-builders with a sense of harmony
Cold-water corals of the species Lophelia pertusa are able to fuse skeletons of genetically distinct individuals.

For stroke patients, hospital bed position is delicate balancing act
During the first 24 hours after a stroke, attention to detail --such as hospital bed positioning -- is critical to patient outcomes.

Pterostilbene, a molecule similar to resveratrol, as a potential treatment for obesity
In collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture, researchers in the UPV/EHU's 'Nutrition and Obesity' Group, which belongs to the Spanish Biomedical Research Centre in Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition of the Carlos III Institute of Health, have observed in animal models that pterostilbene reduces the build-up of body fat, which could reduce the risk of developing other diseases like diabetes.

MINER shines in urban emergency response exercise
In a field test in downtown Chicago, Sandia National Laboratories' mobile imager of neutrons for emergency responders (MINER) system identified the exact location of a sealed laboratory radiation source through shielding and at a distance.

Identifying the source of stem cells
When most animals begin life, cells immediately begin accepting assignments to become a head, tail or a vital organ.

Navigation and location can occur without external cues
Researchers from the University of Queensland have identified the amount of information the brain needs in order to navigate and accurately estimate location.

Nearly $1 million NSF grant will support UT Arlington doctoral students
A new grant from the National Science Foundation will help UT Arlington's Bridge to the Doctorate program increase diversity in science and engineering.

Effect of chemotherapy on surgical resection of liver tumors
A study of pediatric patients with hepatoblastoma led by researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles suggests an opportunity to reduce chemotherapy in up to 65 percent of patients, which could lead to a decrease in the incidence of adverse effects.

Patents for humanity: Special edition of Technology and Innovation
The current special issue of Technology and Innovation is devoted to patents that benefit people around the world who live with limited resources, in challenging environments, and are in need of better access to basic needs and improved standards of living, health and infrastructure.

2014 Antarctic ozone hole holds steady
The Antarctic ozone hole reached its annual peak size on Sept.

Heart's own immune cells can help it heal
The heart holds its own pool of immune cells capable of helping it heal after injury, according to new research in mice at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Together we are strong -- or insufferable
Everyone can have an impact on the dynamics of a group, particularly if they join forces with others.

Dartmouth study finds restoring wetlands can lessen soil sinkage, greenhouse gas emissions
Restoring wetlands can help reduce or reverse soil subsidence and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to research in California's Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta by Dartmouth College researchers and their colleagues.

Dazzlingly sharp images on curved screens
Projecting images on curved screens poses a dilemma. The sharper the image, the darker it is.

Even mild depressive symptoms result in poorer lumbar spinal stenosis surgery outcome
Even mild depressive symptoms can weaken the outcome of lumbar spinal stenosis surgery, according to a recent study completed at the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital.

Magma pancakes beneath Lake Toba
Where do the tremendous amounts of material that are ejected to from huge volcanic calderas during super-eruptions actually originate?

Novel tinnitus therapy helps patients cope with phantom noise
Patients with tinnitus hear phantom noise and are sometimes so bothered by the perceived ringing in their ears, they have difficulty concentrating.

Blocking a fork in the road to DNA replication
A team of Whitehead Institute scientists has discovered the surprising manner in which an enigmatic protein known as SUUR acts to control gene copy number during DNA replication.

Researchers probe link between newborn health and vitamin A
The impact vitamin A has on newborns is virtually unknown, but Penn State nutrition researchers have published two papers that may provide a framework for future investigations of the vitamin and neonatal health.

Size matters: Baby's size at birth may predict risk for disease later in life
A new research report published in the November 2014 issue of The FASEB Journal suggests that being overweight might be better in the long term than being underweight.

Twenty-first Eastern Pacific tropical depression born on Oct. 30
NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured an image of the birth of the Eastern Pacific Ocean's twenty-first tropical depression, located far south of Acapulco, Mexico.

Can parents make their kids smarter?
Florida State University criminology professor Kevin Beaver examined a nationally representative sample of youth alongside a sample of adopted children from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and found evidence to support the argument that IQ is not the result of parental socialization.

Clock gene dysregulation may explain overactive bladder
If you think sleep problems and bladder problems are a fact of life in old age, you may be right.

Emerging disease could wipe out American, European salamanders
A fungal disease from Asia wiped out salamanders in parts of Europe and will likely reach the US through the international wildlife trade in Asian newts sold as pets, say US experts.

Air quality and unconventional oil and gas sites
Research suggesting air pollutants released by unconventional oil and gas production are well over recommended levels in the US is published today in the open access journal Environmental Health.

Lawrence Livermore develops infrared camera system to view tokamak from the inside
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers, in collaboration with General Atomics and the University of Arizona, have developed an infrared and visible camera viewing system that's able to produce wide-angle, tangential views of full poloidal (north-south direction of the magnetic field) cross-sections inside the tokamak.

Smithsonian scientist discovers populations of rare songbird in surprising new habitat
With only 90,000 breeding individuals sparsely distributed across 15 US states, the Swainson's warbler is a species of high conservation concern that, for decades, has left conservationists with little confidence that its populations would ever be fully secure.

Hygienic funerals, better protection for health workers offer best chance to stop Ebola
Hygienic funeral practices, case isolation, contact tracing with quarantines, and better protection for health care workers are the keys to stopping the Ebola epidemic that continues to expand in West Africa, researchers said today in a new report in the journal Science.

Is space tourism safe or do civilians risk health effects?
Several companies are developing spacecraft designed to take ordinary citizens, not astronauts, on short trips into space.

Screening patients at high-risk for lung cancer more likely when prmary care provider is familiar with guidelines
Patients at high-risk for developing lung cancer are more likely to receive low-dose computed tomography screening when their primary care provider is familiar with guideline recommendations for low-dose computed tomograph screening for lung cancer, according to research presented today at the 2014 Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology.

New tech aims to improve communication between dogs and humans
Researchers have developed a suite of technologies that can be used to enhance communication between dogs and humans, which has applications in everything from search and rescue to service dogs to training our pets.

University of Tennessee study finds saving lonely species is important for the environment
Joe Bailey looked at endemic eucalyptus found in Tasmania. They discovered that these rare species have developed unique characteristics to survive, and that these characteristics may also impact the survival of its neighbors in the ecosystem.

Making lab-grown tissues stronger
Lab-grown tissues could one day provide new treatments for injuries and damage to the joints, including articular cartilage, tendons and ligaments.

Eiman Azim wins 2014 Eppendorf & Science Prize
Eiman Azim is the 2014 grand prize winner in the annual international competition for The Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology.

Clinical practice guidelines address multimodality treatment for esophageal cancer
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has released new clinical practice guidelines for treating cancer of the esophagus and gastroesophageal junction, area where the esophagus meets the stomach.

Peripheral clocks don't need the brain's master clock to function correctly
New research published in the November 2014 issue of The FASEB Journal further adds to our understanding of the circadian rhythm by suggesting that the suprachiasmaticus nucleus clock, a tiny region of the hypothalamus considered to be the body's 'master' timekeeper, is not necessary to align body rhythms with the light-dark cycle.

Line camera makes magnetic field lines visible in 3-D and real time
Fraunhofer scientists have developed a high-resolution magnetic line camera to measure magnetic fields in real time.

What do American babies eat? A lot depends on Mom's socioeconomic background
Pediatrics researchers at the University at Buffalo have found that dietary patterns of babies vary according to the racial, ethnic and educational backgrounds of their mothers.

Campaign to reduce firearm suicide wins support among firearm retailers in New Hampshire
Nearly half of firearm retailers in New Hampshire displayed materials from a firearm suicide prevention campaign generated by a coalition of gun owners and public health professionals.

Cochrane Review of RDT for diagnosis of drug resistant TB
Researchers from the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group, hosted at LSTM, have conducted an independent review to examine the diagnostic accuracy of the GenoType® MTBDRsl assay for the detection of resistance to second-line anti-tuberculosis drugs.

Medicare costs analysis indicates need to decrease use of biopsies as diagnosis tool for lung cancer
Biopsies were found to be the most costly tool prescribed in lung cancer diagnosis, according to research presented today at the 2014 Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology. 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