Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 26, 2014
Multi-million pound grant awarded to research secure communication technologies
Royal Holloway, University of London, and seven other leading universities have announced the creation of a new collaboration to develop secure communication technologies for consumer, commercial and government markets.

UNL study details laser pulse effects on electron behavior
Paper should help laser physicists 'see' how electrons make atomic and molecular transitions.

Using supermassive black holes to measure cosmic distances
One of the major problems in astronomy is measuring very large distances in the universe.

Star Trek-like invisible shield found thousands of miles above Earth
A team led by the University of Colorado Boulder has discovered an invisible shield some 7,200 miles above Earth that blocks so-called 'killer electrons,' which whip around the planet at near-light speed and have been known to threaten astronauts, fry satellites and degrade space systems during intense solar storms.

Van der Waals force re-measured
Van der Waals forces act like a sort of quantum glue on all types of matter.

Blistering skin disease may be treatable with 'therapeutic reprogramming,' researchers say
Induced pluripotent stem cells made from patients with a form of blistering skin disease can be genetically corrected and used to grow back healthy skin cells in laboratory dishes, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found.

The Lancet: Leading medical experts call for an end to UK postcode lottery for liver disease treatment and detection
Leading medical experts today warn that rising numbers of deaths from liver disease -- already the UK's third commonest cause of premature death -- will be unavoidable without radical improvements in treatment and detection services, and tougher government policies to control the excessive alcohol use and obesity responsible for much of the national burden of liver disease.

INFORMS gives Wagner Prize to Ford for identifying supply chain risks, reducing disruption
The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, the leading professional association for analytics professionals, today announced that the winner of the Daniel H.

Nervous system may play bigger role in infections than previously known
The nervous system may play a bigger role in infections and autoimmune diseases than previously known.

More public health interventions required to tackle grim reaper of 'lifestyle' diseases
More public health interventions, along the lines of the smoking ban, are needed to tackle Britain's devastating toll of 'lifestyle' diseases, including heart disease and cancer, according to academics.

UT Arlington wins grant to educate Hispanics about depression, treatment
Katherine Sanchez, assistant professor in the UTA School of Social Work, will use a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services grant to educate Hispanic patients about depression and reduce barriers to treatment.

University of Minnesota engineers make sound loud enough to bend light on a computer chip
University of Minnesota engineering researchers have developed a chip on which both sound wave and light wave are generated and confined together so that the sound can very efficiently control the light.

Post-medieval Polish buried as potential 'vampires' were likely local
Potential 'vampires' buried in northwestern Poland with sickles and rocks across their bodies were likely local and not immigrants to the region.

The mysterious 'action at a distance' between liquid containers
For several years, it has been known that superfluid helium housed in reservoirs located next to each other acts collectively, even when the channels connecting the reservoirs are too narrow and too long to allow for substantial flow.

SLU researcher finds an off switch for pain
Researchers have discovered a way to block a pain pathway in animal models of chronic neuropathic pain suggesting a promising new approach to pain relief.

How do our muscles work?
Scientists led by Kristina Djinovic-Carugo at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna have elucidated the molecular structure and regulation of the essential muscle protein alpha-actinin.

Study reveals significantly increased risk of stillbirth in males
A large-scale study led by the University of Exeter has found that boys are more likely to be stillborn than girls.

Stanford engineers invent high-tech mirror to beam heat away from buildings into space
Stanford engineers have invented a material designed to help cool buildings.

Follow-up on psychiatric disorders in young people after release from detention
Juvenile offenders with multiple psychiatric disorders when they are incarcerated in detention centers appear to be at high risk for disorders five years after detention, according to a report published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

Protons fuel graphene prospects
Graphene, impermeable to all gases and liquids, can easily allow protons to pass through it, University of Manchester researchers have found.

JCU joins forces with US Special Ops Command to save wounded soldiers
US Special Forces are funding a world first, breakthrough drug therapy for treating battle casualties that's being developed by James Cook University scientists in Australia.

DNA survives critical entry into Earth's atmosphere
The genetic material DNA can survive a flight through space and re-entry into the earth's atmosphere -- and still pass on genetic information.

Diverting a river from ecological disaster in northwestern China could provide new sustainable model
Population expansions and high-speed economic development along major rivers have triggered ecological disasters across the world.

Classical enzymatic theory revised by including water motions
The main focus of enzymology lies on enzymes themselves, whereas the role of water motions in mediating the biological reaction is often left aside owing to the complex molecular behavior.

How a common antacid could lead to cheaper anti-cancer drugs
A popular indigestion medication can increase survival in colorectal cancer, according to research published in ecancermedicalscience.

An enzyme that fixes broken DNA sometimes destroys it instead, Stanford researchers find
Enzymes inside cells that normally repair damaged DNA sometimes wreck it instead, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found.

Enzyme may be key to cancer progression in many tumors
A new University of Iowa study provided a deeper understanding of how KRAS turns off tumor suppressor genes and identifies a key enzyme in the process.

NIAID/GSK experimental Ebola vaccine appears safe, prompts immune response
An experimental vaccine to prevent Ebola virus disease was well-tolerated and produced immune system responses in all 20 healthy adults who received it in a Phase 1 clinical trial conducted by researchers from the National Institutes of Health.

NASA completes Rodent Research-1 operations on the International Space Station
With the successful completion of mission operations for Rodent Research-1, NASA has brought an important new biological research capability into space.

Funding to investigate an alternative to chemotherapy
Professor Simon Rule, professor in hematology at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and consultant hematologist at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, has been awarded a significant grant by Cancer Research UK to carry out a research study into the treatment of older patients with mantle cell lymphoma.

Two studies identify a detectable, pre-cancerous state in the blood
Researchers from the Broad Institute, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard-affiliated hospitals have uncovered an easily detectable, 'pre-malignant' state in the blood that significantly increases the likelihood that an individual will go on to develop blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, or myelodysplastic syndrome.

New research supporting stroke rehabilitation
New research published today from Manchester Metropolitan University could help improve stroke patients' rehabilitation.

Hacked emails slice spam fast
Spam spreads much faster and to more people when it is being propagated by hacked, or otherwise compromised, email accounts rather than legitimate accounts, according to research published in the International Journal of Security and Networks.

Brain researchers pinpoint gateway to human memory
An international team led by researchers of the University of Magdeburg and the DZNE has successfully determined the location, where memories are generated with a level of precision never achieved before.

DNA may survive suborbital spaceflight, re-entry
Plasmid DNA attached to the outer surface of a sounding rocket may be able to withstand rocket launch, a period of residence in suborbital space, re-entry, and landing conditions into the Earth's atmosphere, all the while staying intact and active in its function as carrier of genetic information.

Shaping the future of energy storage with conductive clay
Materials scientists from Drexel University's College of Engineering invented the clay, which is both highly conductive and can easily be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes.

Tropical depression 21W forms, Philippines under warnings
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite provided rainfall data as Tropical Depression 21W was making landfall in the southern Philippines on Nov.

Studying the speed of multi-hop Bluetooth networks
Bluetooth technology is the most widespread standard wireless communication. One of its applications is the creation of electronic sensor networks.

Vaccines may make war on cancer personal
In the near future, physicians may treat some cancer patients with personalized vaccines that spur their immune systems to attack malignant tumors.

Process converts human waste into rocket fuel
Buck Rogers surely couldn't have seen this one coming, but at NASA's request, University of Florida researchers have figured out how to turn human waste -- yes, that kind -- into rocket fuel.

Open for business: 3-D printer creates first object in space on space station
The International Space Station's 3-D printer has manufactured the first 3-D printed object in space, paving the way to future long-term space expeditions.

How various brain areas interact in decisions
Our decisions can be pictured in the brain. Scientists at the University of Zurich were able to show in a recent study which areas are most active in decision making.

Minimally invasive disc surgery is a pain in the neck
In comparison with open surgery, while minimally invasive surgery for cervical or lumbar discectomy may speed up recovery and reduce post-operative pain, it does not improve long-term function or reduce long-term extremity pain.

'Giant' charge density disturbances discovered in nanomaterials
Scientists in Jülich have, with the help of computer simulations, discovered a combination of materials that strengthens the so-called Friedel oscillations and bundles them, as if with a lens, in different directions.

Young scientist discovers new method to achieve ultra-narrow laser linewidth
Chinese researchers have discovered a new method to highly compress laser linewidth based on Rayleigh backscattering.

iPS cells used to correct genetic mutations that cause muscular dystrophy
Researchers at CiRA show that iPS cells can be used to correct genetic mutations that cause Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Carnegie Mellon researchers identify brain regions that encode words, grammar, story
Carnegie Mellon University scientists have produced the first integrated computational model of reading, identifying which parts of the brain are responsible for such sub-processes as parsing sentences, determining the meaning of words and understanding relationships between characters.

Research on a rare cancer exposes possible route to new treatments
Researchers from Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah discovered the unusual role of lactate in the metabolism of alveolar soft part sarcoma and also confirmed that a fusion gene is the cancer-causing agent in this disease.

Matched 'hybrid' systems may hold key to wider use of renewable energy
The use of renewable energy in the United States could take a significant leap forward with improved storage technologies or more efforts to 'match' different forms of alternative energy systems that provide an overall more steady flow of electricity, researchers say in a new report.

An eel-lectrifying future for autonomous underwater robots
A team in Singapore has developed and built a prototype for an eel-like robotic fish to be operable remotely, small, sophisticated and intelligent enough to operate autonomously underwater.

New research shows sportswomen still second best to the press!
Despite a sequence of stellar performances by Britain's female athletes and team game players, coverage of women's sport in the Press still occupies a fraction of the space given to men, according to University of Huddersfield lecturer Deirdre O'Neill.

Amazonian shrimps: An underwater world still unknown
A study reveals how little we know about the Amazonian diversity.

Prehistoric conflict hastened human brain's capacity for collaboration, study says
Warfare not only hastened human technological progress and vast social and political changes, but may have greatly contributed to the evolutionary emergence of humans' high intelligence and ability to work together toward common goals, according to a new study from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis.

Researchers identify a natural shield against harmful radiation belt
Researchers at MIT, the University of Colorado, and elsewhere have found there's a hard limit to how close ultrarelativistic electrons can get to the Earth.

The unbelievable underworld and its impact on us all
A new study has pulled together research into the most diverse place on earth to demonstrate how the organisms below-ground could hold the key to understanding how the worlds ecosystems function and how they are responding to climate change.

Why do so many seniors with memory loss and dementia never get tested?
Despite clear signs that their memory and thinking abilities have gone downhill, more than half of seniors with these symptoms haven't seen a doctor about them, a new study finds.

NASA's Van Allen Probes spot an impenetrable barrier in space
Two donuts of seething radiation that surround Earth, called the Van Allen radiation belts, have been found to contain a nearly impenetrable barrier that prevents the fastest, most energetic electrons from reaching Earth.

Particles, waves and ants
Particles or waves traveling through disordered media are scattered at small impurities.

Glassy protein solution may cause eyesight deterioration
Long-sightedness caused by age could be due to proteins in the lens of the eye that are converted from a fluid solution to a solid, glassy state.

With age, we lose our visual learning filter
Older people can actually take in and learn from visual information more readily than younger people do, according to new evidence reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on November 26.

Trial shows new imaging system may cut X-ray exposure for liver cancer patients
Johns Hopkins researchers report that their test of an interventional X-ray guidance device approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2013 has the potential to reduce the radiation exposure of patients undergoing intra-arterial therapy for liver cancer.

Research team proves the efficacy of new drug against stem cells that provoke the growth of cancer
An Andalusian team of researchers led by the University of Granada has designed a drug that fights cancerogenic stem cells responsible for the onset and development of cancer, for relapse after chemotherapy, and for metastasis.

Modeling the past to understand the future of a stronger El Nino
El Nino is not a contemporary phenomenon; it's long been the Earth's dominant source of year-to-year climate fluctuation.

Study: Most people with dementia never have screening
The majority of people with dementia have never seen a doctor about their memory and thinking problems, according to a new study published in the Nov.

Penn Medicine team develops cognitive test battery for spaceflight
Penn Medicine researchers have developed a cognitive test battery, known as Cognition, for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute to measure the impact of typical spaceflight stressors (like microgravity, radiation, confinement and isolation, exposure to elevated levels of CO2, and sleep loss) on cognitive performance.

Quantum Metrology Institute to support UK network of Quantum Technology Hubs
A new center at UK's National Physical Laboratory will underpin a £270 million government investment to establish a UK industry in quantum technologies.

Minimally invasive interventions performed with the Italian surgical robot 'ALF-X'
It's called ALF-X and it's the innovative robotic surgical system being used by gynaecological surgeons at the A.

Study unlocks basis of key immune protein's two-faced role
A Brigham and Women's Hospital-led team has identified a long sought-after partner for a key immune protein, called TIM-3, that helps explain its two-faced role in the immune system.

Toolkit for ocean health
One of the global leaders in ocean science, Professor Carlos Duarte has shared his insights on the future of the world's oceans in a paper published in the international open-access journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

Moderate coffee consumption may lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease by up to 20 percent
An Alzheimer Europe session report by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee highlights the potential role of coffee consumption in reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

US supercomputer Titan does calculations for HZDR cancer research
For their calculations, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) will now, starting in 2015, have access to the World's second-fastest computer.

The influence of the Isthmus of Panama in the evolution of freshwater shrimps in America
The molecular evolution of freshwater shrimps in America was studied based in the relationship between Pacific and Atlantic sister species that are separated by the Isthmus of Panama.

New guide to the genetic jungle of muscles can help health research
Researchers from Aarhus University and Bispebjerg Hospital have created a comprehensive overview of how tens of thousands of genes interact in relation to the behavior of muscles.

Global quantum communications -- no longer the stuff of fiction?
Neither quantum computers nor quantum cryptography will become prevalent technologies without memory systems able to manipulate quantum information easily and effectively.

Teens with a history of TBI are nearly 4 times more likely to have used crystal meth
Ontario students between grades 9 and 12 who said they had a traumatic brain injury in their lifetime, also reported drug use rates two to four times higher than peers with no history of TBI, according to research published today in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.

Precise measurements of microbial ecosystems
The Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine has succeeded for the first time in describing the complex relationships within an ecosystem in unprecedented detail.

A colorful gathering of middle-aged stars
The MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile has captured a richly colorful view of the bright star cluster NGC 3532.

New international collaboration investigates the Laguna del Maule Volcanic Field, Chile
The Laguna del Maule Volcanic Field, Chile, includes a record of unusually large and recent concentration of silicic eruptions.

SU2C-supported research discovers why patients respond to a life-saving melanoma drug
Reported in Nature online, Dr. Antoni Ribas, co-leader of the CRI-SU2C Immunology Dream Team and colleagues at UCLA Jonsson CCC studied tumor biopsies from 46 advance melanoma patients taken before and after treatment with pembrolizumab (Keytruda), the new FDA-approved breakthrough drug.

The artificial pancreas shown to improve the treatment of type 1 diabetes
The world's first clinical trial comparing three alternative treatments for type 1 diabetes was conducted in Montreal by researchers at the institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal and the University of Montreal.

Scientists discover treatment breakthrough for advanced bladder cancer
Scientists from Queen Mary University of London have made a major breakthrough in developing a new therapy for advanced bladder cancer -- for which there have been no major treatment advances in the past 30 years.

Hydrothermal settlers
OIST researcher Yuichi Nakajima decodes barnacle genetics to understand how climate change impacts the deep ocean.

Arctic conditions may become critical for polar bears by end of 21st century
Shifts in the timing and duration of ice cover, especially the possible lengthening of ice-free periods, may impact polar bears under projected warming before the end of the 21st century.

Human antibodies produced in DNA-vaccinated cows protect in lethal models of hantavirus
Scientists investigating the potentially deadly hantavirus have used a novel approach to developing protective antibodies against it.

First harvest of research based on the final GOCE gravity model
Just four months after the final data package from ESA's GOCE satellite mission was delivered, researchers are laying out a rich harvest of scientific results at the 5th International GOCE User Workshop in Paris.

'Eye of Sauron' provides new way of measuring distances to galaxies
A team of scientists, led by Dr. Sebastian Hoenig from the University of Southampton, have developed a new way of measuring precise distances to galaxies tens of millions of light years away.

Study finds potential predictive biomarker for response to PD-L1 checkpoint blocker
Scientists analyzed tissue samples from patients who had -- and had not -- responded to a promising new immunotherapy drug.

Protecting the rainforest through agriculture and forestry
Conservationists are always looking for ways to halt the pace of deforestation in tropical rainforests.

TGen-Luxembourg scientific team conducts unprecedented analysis of microbial ecosystem
An international team of scientists from the Translational Genomics Research Institute and The Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine have completed a first-of-its-kind microbial analysis of a biological waste water treatment plant that has broad implications for protecting the environment, energy recovery and human health.

Saving ovaries does not help prevent prolapse for women after menopause
Removing ovaries at hysterectomy does not increase a woman's risk of pelvic organ prolapse after menopause.

Dogs hear our words and how we say them
When people hear another person talking to them, they respond not only to what is being said -- those consonants and vowels strung together into words and sentences -- but also to other features of that speech -- the emotional tone and the speaker's gender, for instance.

Copper on the brain at rest
A new study by Berkeley Lab researchers has shown that proper copper levels are essential to the health of the brain at rest.

New measuring system to objectively ascertain the fatigue level in physicians through eye movement
An international team of scientists including researchers from the U.

Elderly brains learn, but maybe too much
Learning requires both mental flexibility, or 'plasticity,' and stability. A new study finds that in learning a visual task, older people exhibited a surprising degree of plasticity, but had trouble filtering out irrelevant information, suggesting that their learning was not as stable. 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