Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 05, 2015
Diabetes debate: Triglycerides form in liver despite insulin resistance
Solving one of the great mysteries of type 2 diabetes, a team of Yale researchers found that triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood and liver, are produced in the liver independent of insulin action in the liver.

Seeds out of season
Past research has examined how environmental and genetic factors affect plant life stages individually, but a new study models how the three stages (seed, vegetative, and reproductive) interact with each other.

How does white-nose syndrome kill bats?
For the first time, scientists have developed a detailed explanation of how white-nose syndrome is killing millions of bats in North America, according to a new study by the US Geological Survey and the University of Wisconsin.

Infection control preparedness measures control avian flu in Hong Kong hospital
A proactive infection prevention plan implemented widely in a Hong Kong health-care system was a significant factor preventing the spread of influenza strain A H7N9, otherwise known as avian flu.

'CRISPR' science: Newer genome editing tool shows promise in engineering human stem cells
A powerful 'genome editing' technology known as CRISPR has been used by researchers since 2012 to trim, disrupt, replace or add to sequences of an organism's DNA.

Selling extended warranties via independent companies lowers price but hurts consumers: INFORMS
Retailers selling home appliances and electronics goods typically make 15-20 percent profit from these products but realize more than 200 percent profit from selling extended warranties for them.

Douglas Institute researcher among new members of the Order of Canada
Dr. Serge Gauthier, M.D., FRCPC, an eminent researcher in Alzheimer's disease, has been appointed to the Order of Canada by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada.

£103,000 research of electron transfer among hydrogen-bonded dimers
The Leverhulme Trust award is for a project entitled Electron transfer between hydrogen bonded 'dimers of dimers' and will enable the appointment of post-doctoral research fellow -- a specialist in synthetic, inorganic chemistry.

Study reveals causes of apple skin spot
A study determined the effects of surface wetness on severity of skin spot in 'Elstar' apples grown under rain shelters, and identified relationships between rainfall and severity of skin spot over a number of seasons.

USA patent protection granted for new technology diagnosing cancer
Aarhus University recently received USA patent protection for a new method holding promise for various applications ranging from predicting risk and early diagnosis of disease to design of personalized treatments for patients.

Study IDs risk factors linking low birthweight to diabetes
A new study of more than 3,000 women confirms that low birth weight predicts an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in adulthood and reports which intermediating biomarkers appear to be the best predictors.

Alcohol taxes protective against binge drinking, study shows
Higher alcohol taxes strongly protect against binge drinking, according to a new study by Boston University School of Public Health researchers.

Animal study points to a treatment for Huntington's disease
By adjusting the levels of a key signaling protein, researchers improved motor function and brain abnormalities in experimental animals with a form of Huntington's disease, a severe neurodegenerative disorder.

Whole plant therapy shows promise to beat malaria parasites' drug resistance
For decades, physicians and public health officials worldwide have been thwarted by the malaria parasite's ability to evolve resistance to the succession of drugs developed to treat it.

Crowd science provides major boost for certain research projects
Researchers have taken a comprehensive look at the growth of crowd science -- also known as citizen science -- finding common threads in seven projects hosted on Zooniverse, now the most popular crowd science platform.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Jan. 6, 2015
This edition includes 'Several common treatments for knee osteoarthritis effective for pain,' and 'New reporting guideline expected to change the landscape of clinical research reporting and improve decision-making,' published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

'Glowing' new nanotechnology guides cancer surgery, also kills remaining malignant cells
Researchers have developed a new way to selectively insert compounds into cancer cells -- a system that will help surgeons identify malignant tissues and then, in combination with phototherapy, kill any remaining cancer cells after a tumor is removed.

Model helps size boulders to protect buildings from vehicle impacts
Boulders can be effective barriers to protect embassies and other buildings from large vehicle impacts, and a simple model is sufficient to select the right size boulder for the job, according to a team of Penn State researchers.

Adelaide Hills bushfire in Australia
On January 3, 2015, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA's Terra satellite captured this image of smoke from the Adelaide Hills fire.

New study challenges link between HLA class I hyperexpression in pancreas and type 1 diabetes
Investigators have suggested that HLA hyperexpression may be an important first step in the development of type 1 diabetes.

Vanderbilt-led team studies blood test for prostate cancer
Vanderbilt University researcher William Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues in Germany and Canada have demonstrated a method for detecting 'cell-free' tumor DNA in the bloodstream.

A novel biomarker for mutant p53 could help pathologists assessing tumors during surgery
Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory today report the discovery of a novel cellular biomarker that could make it comparatively easy for cancer surgeons to determine if a patient has a potentially lethal mutation in a protein called p53, the most powerful of the body's natural tumor suppressors and often called 'the guardian of the genome.' The biomarker's identity surprised the team.

Hold your breath to protect your heart
A simple technique may be most effective in preventing heart disease after radiation therapy for breast cancer.

Current Biology reviews the biology of fun
Current Biology celebrates its 25th birthday with a special issue on Jan.

Pfizer grants Georgia State $850,000 to combat smoking in China
Pfizer Inc. has granted nearly $850,000 to Georgia State University's School of Public Health to partner with Chinese health officials to expand tobacco control efforts to major cities in China.

Imaging linking cell activity and behavior shows what it means for mice to have sex in mind
An automated method (much more sensitive than fMRI) to detect the activity of neurons during specific behaviors, at the resolution of individual brain cells throughout the entire mouse brain, has been successfully demonstrated.

Planet-hunting satellite observes supermassive black hole
Astrophysicists combined ground observations with those from NASA's planet-hunting satellite.

EARTH Magazine: A dry and ravaged land: Investigating water resources in Afghanistan
Since early 2002, American geoscientists have been working in Afghanistan to help the country develop reliable water supplies.

Unveiling how the children's tummy bug, rotavirus, causes infection
Researchers from Griffith University's Institute for Glycomics and the University of Melbourne have significantly advanced understanding of a virus that kills up to half a million children each year.

Skin microbes trigger specific immune responses
New research in mice shows that the immune system in the skin develops distinct responses to the various microbes that naturally colonize the skin, referred to as commensals.

A healthy lifestyle may prevent heart disease in nearly 3 out of 4 women
A new study that followed nearly 70,000 women for two decades concluded that three quarters of heart attacks in young women could be prevented if women closely followed six healthy lifestyle practices.

Humans, sparrows make sense of sounds in similar ways
The song of the swamp sparrow -- a grey-breasted bird found in wetlands throughout much of North America -- is a simple melodious trill.

Endangered Madagascar lemurs illegally kept as pets may threaten species conservation and survival
An estimated 28,000 lemurs, the world's most endangered primates, have been illegally kept as pets in urban areas of Madagascar over the past three years, possibly threatening conservation efforts and hastening the extinction of some of lemur species.

Exercise allows you to age optimally
Staying active allows you to age optimally, according to a study by King's College London and the University of Birmingham.

How vitamin C helps plants beat the sun
A team of researchers from the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resources and Okayama University has identified PHT4;4 as the transport protein that allows vitamin C to enter chloroplasts.

Renowned coastal engineers share on design of coastal structures and sea defenses
Professor Young C. Kim has published his latest book, 'Design of Coastal Structures and Sea Defenses,' with World Scientific and worked along with several renowned practicing coastal engineers to compile the latest developments in the field.

Rotating night shift work can be hazardous to your health
In a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers found that women working rotating night shifts for five or more years appeared to have a modest increase in all-cause and CVD mortality and those working 15 or more years of rotating night shift work appeared to have a modest increase in lung cancer mortality.

Radiation plus hormone therapy prolongs survival for older men with prostate cancer
Adding radiation treatment to hormone therapy saves more lives among older men with locally advanced prostate therapy than hormone therapy alone, according to a new study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology this week from Penn Medicine researchers.

Hubble's high-definition panoramic view of the Andromeda galaxy
The largest NASA Hubble Space Telescope image ever assembled, this sweeping bird's-eye view of a portion of the Andromeda galaxy (M31) is the sharpest large composite image ever taken of our galactic next-door neighbor.

Human speech's surprising influence on young infants
America's preoccupation with the 'word gap' -- the idea that parents in impoverished homes speak less to their children, which, in turn, predicts outcomes like school achievement and income later in life -- has skyrocketed in recent years, leading to a rise in educational initiatives aiming to narrow the achievement gap by teaching young children more words.

Andromeda in HD
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured the sharpest and biggest image ever taken of the Andromeda galaxy -- otherwise known as Messier 31.

A human enzyme (CD 39) targets the Achilles heel of sepsis
In a new report published in the January 2015 issue of the FASEB Journal, scientists use mice to show that a human membrane-bound enzyme called CD39, which can clear the dangerous buildup of adenosine triphosphate from the bloodstream, significantly improves survival of mice in sepsis.

Infections increase death risk by 35 percent for ICU patients, study finds
Elderly patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) are about 35 percent more likely to die within five years of leaving the hospital if they develop an infection during their stay, a new study finds.

Nutrition education may help prevent breast cancer reoccurrence
Breast cancer is the most frequent cause of death among women worldwide, and five-year survival rates are just 58.4 percent in Brazil, lower than in many other regions.

Atoms queue up for quantum computer networks
In order to develop future quantum computer networks, it is necessary to hold a known number of atoms and read them without them disappearing.

IASLC announces it will conduct multidisciplinary live education programs for molecular profiling lung cancer in 2015
The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) education teams will travel to various geographical locations within their regions in order to teach others the importance of and how to implement molecular testing using small group interactive learning sessions and hands-on approaches.

UMMS to develop a model for predicting gene expression in dendritic cells
Deciphering the language of gene expression, UMMS scientists Jeremy Luban, M.D., and Manuel Garber, Ph.D., received $6.1 million from the NIH to develop a model system for exploring gene regulation using human dendritic cells.

12-year study confirms overall safety of measles vaccines
A 12-year study of two measles-containing vaccines, published today in Pediatrics, found that seven main adverse outcomes were unlikely after either vaccine.

Men's diets are related to local offerings, unlike women's
Canadian men's eating habits are associated with the availability of healthy food sources in their residential neighbourhood but women's are not, according to researchers at the University of Montreal and its affiliated CHUM hospital.

Electromagnetic waves linked to particle fallout in Earth's atmosphere, new study finds
In a new study that sheds light on space weather's impact on Earth, Dartmouth researchers and their colleagues show for the first time that plasma waves buffeting the planet's radiation belts are responsible for scattering charged particles into the atmosphere.

Vitamin B may counter negative effect of pesticide on fertility
Women who have adequate levels of B vitamins in their bodies are more likely to get and stay pregnant even when they also have high levels of a common pesticide known to have detrimental reproductive effects, according to new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research.

Ouch! When teeth and hands connect, bites may be beastly
Hand injuries are frequently caused by human and animal bites, prompting as many as 330,000 emergency department visits in the United States each year.

The bowhead whale lives over 200 years. Can its genes tell us why?
A whale that can live over 200 years with little evidence of age-related disease may provide untapped insights into how to live a long and healthy life.

New instrument reveals recipe for other Earths
How do you make an Earth-like planet? The 'test kitchen' of Earth has given us a detailed recipe, but it wasn't clear whether other planetary systems would follow the same formula.

Revisiting an icon
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured many breathtaking images of the Universe, but one snapshot stands out from the rest: the Eagle Nebula's Pillars of Creation.

Hubble discovers that Milky Way Core drives wind at 2 million miles per hour
At a time when our earliest human ancestors mastered walking upright the heart of our Milky Way galaxy underwent a titanic eruption, driving gases and other material outward at 2 million miles per hour.

Cancer prevention guidelines may lower risk of obesity-linked cancers
Low alcohol consumption and a plant-based diet, both healthy habits aligning with current cancer prevention guidelines, are associated with reducing the risk of obesity-related cancers, a NYU study shows.

Fracking confirmed as cause of rare 'felt' earthquake in Ohio
A new study links the March 2014 earthquakes in Poland Township, Ohio, to hydraulic fracturing that activated a previously unknown fault.

Freshmen-level chemistry solves the solubility mystery of graphene oxide films
For many years, researchers did not understand why graphene oxide remained stable in water.

Study makes case for wider gene testing in bowel cancer
Up to a quarter of patients with bowel cancer who have a family history of the disease could have the causes of their cancer identified through gene testing, a new study by The Institute of Cancer Research, London, reports.

Global bird conservation could be 4 times more cost-effective
Targeting conservation efforts to safeguard biodiversity, rather than focusing on charismatic species, could make current spending on threatened birds four times more effective, a new study has shown.

Overly conservative FDA label likely prevents use of metformin in many type 2 diabetics
Many patients with type 2 diabetes in the United States may be discouraged from taking metformin -- a proven, oral diabetes medicine -- because the US Food and Drug Administration inappropriately labels the drug unsafe for some patients also suffering from kidney problems, researchers from Penn Medicine and Weill Cornell Medical College report this week in a research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

First US trial of procedure to relieve pain from spinal tumors
Loyola University Medical Center has launched the first clinical trial in the United States of a minimally invasive treatment designed to help relieve pain, heal spinal fractures and prevent new fractures in patients with metastatic cancer that has spread to the spine.

Health-promoting Nordic diet reduces inflammatory gene activity in adipose tissue
A Nordic study led by the Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition at the University of Eastern Finland discovered that the health-promoting Nordic diet reduces the expression of inflammation-associated genes in subcutaneous adipose tissue.

For most 'healthy' obese, health declines over time
The idea of 'healthy' obesity is a misleading concept in that most obese individuals become progressively less healthy over time, according to a study that tracked the health of more than 2,500 men and women for 20 years.

New research dishes the dirt on the demise of a civilization
At a national meeting, researchers report that it's the dirt that's resulting in a new look at farming in the Dark Age.

Novel anti-cancer drug, ONC201, focus of alliance between Oncoceutics and MD Anderson
Oncoceutics Inc. and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center today announced the initiation of a strategic alliance and research collaboration agreement for the clinical development of ONC201, a novel anti-cancer drug.

University of Tennessee professor researches rare rock with 30,000 diamonds
Diamonds are beautiful and enigmatic. Though chemical reactions that create the highly coveted sparkles still remain a mystery, a professor from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is studying a rare rock covered in diamonds that may hold clues to the gem's origins.

Sensor demonstrates lack of space in living cells
Proteins and other bio molecules are often analyzed exclusively in aqueous solutions in test tubes.

Mom's exercise habits good for blood pressure in kids
It's been well established among doctors and researchers alike, that babies with lower birth weight have a greater risk of having high blood pressure later in life.

Twin study suggests genetic factors contribute to insomnia in children, teens
A new study of twins suggests that insomnia in childhood and adolescence is partially explained by genetic factors.

NIH grants aim to decipher the language of gene regulation
NIH has awarded more than $28 million to researchers to decipher the language of how and when genes are turned on and off.

Underwater drones map ice algae in Antarctica
New robot technology leads Antarctic exploration into a new epoch.

New technology focuses diffuse light inside living tissue
New research from the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St.

Melanoma: Scientists find new link between pigment production and mitochondrial function
A new research report published in the January 2015 issue of the FASEB Journal helps explain what goes wrong to when someone gets skin cancer and the relationship between changing skin pigment and the cancer itself.

Super-Earths have long-lasting oceans
For life as we know it to develop on other planets, those planets would need liquid water, or oceans.

Elsevier announces the launch of Atlas: Research for a Better World
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced the launch of a new virtual journal: Atlas.

Green walls, effective acoustic insulation
Zaloa Azkorra, an agricultural engineer of the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country, is conducting research at the University School of Mining and Public Works Engineering into the benefits provided by green walls.

Liver cirrhosis more common than previously thought, study finds
Cirrhosis of the liver is more common than previously thought, affecting more than 633,000 adults yearly.

'Imaginary meal' tricks the body into losing weight
Salk researchers have developed an entirely new type of pill that tricks the body into thinking it has consumed calories, causing it to burn fat.

Public reporting on quality slows price increases for bypass surgery and other hospital procedures
A public reporting website that allows insurance companies and others to compare hospitals based on quality has injected a dose of competition into negotiations on the hospital prices for common procedures, according to a first-of-a-kind study out in the January issue of Health Affairs.

Epigenomics analysis reveals surprising new clues to insulin resistance
In studying the cellular structure and function of insulin, a research team led by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has uncovered previously unknown steps in the development of insulin resistance.

Stars' spins reveal their ages
When you're a kid every birthday is cause for celebration, but as you get older they become a little less exciting.

Scientists sequence genome of longest-lived mammal
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have sequenced the genome of the bowhead whale, estimated to live for more than 200 years with low incidence of disease.

Why do only some people with hereditary heart disease experience symptoms?
For the first time, researchers have found that, in addition to gene mutations, environmental stress plays a key role in the development of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Fertilizer placement affects nutrient leaching patterns
Scientists determined the effect of a controlled-release fertilizer placement method on changes in leachate nutrient concentration throughout an irrigation event, and evaluated the changes throughout a production season.

DNA origami could lead to nano 'transformers' for biomedical applications
If the new nano-machines built at the Ohio State University look familiar, it's because they were designed with full-size mechanical parts such as hinges and pistons in mind.

New concept of fuel cell for efficiency and environment
The Center for Nanoparticle Research at the Institute for Basic Science has succeeded in proposing a new method to enhance fuel cell efficiency with the simultaneous removal of toxic heavy metal ions.

Exposure to cold reveals the 'switch' that controls the formation of brown and white fat
The roles that white fat and brown fat play in metabolism is well documented, but new research published in the January 2015 issue of the FASEB Journal presents a new wrinkle: each type of fat may change into the other, depending on the temperature.

How bacteria control their size
New work shows that bacteria (and probably other cells as well) don't double in mass before dividing.

Cold virus replicates better at cooler temperatures
The common cold virus can reproduce itself more efficiently in the cooler temperatures found inside the nose than at core body temperature, according to a new Yale-led study.

Book by urogynecologist earns recognition
A book co-edited by Vivian W. Sung, M.D., has earned Highly Commended Distinction by the British Medical Association, ob/gyn category of the BMA Book Awards 2014.

γδ T cells may play a role in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
New research in mice suggests that an unusual type of immune cell called 'γδ T cells' may be a new drug and research target for treating or preventing type 2 diabetes caused by obesity.

New findings show chronic high blood pressure increases risk of glaucoma
A new study published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science has found that chronic (long-term) hypertension increases a person's susceptibility to glaucoma.

Study puts new perspective on snake evolution
Snakes may not have shoulders, but their bodies aren't as simple as commonly thought, according to a new study that could change how scientists think snakes evolved.

PharmaMar announces that its partner Taiho files NDA for Yondelis in Japan for soft-tissue sarcoma
The J-NDA is supported by a pivotal Phase 2 trial showing that in Japanese patients Yondelis (trabectedin) provided clinical benefit, resulting in a significantly superior median progression-free survival compared to best supportive care (5.6 versus 0.9 months).

Acoustic levitation made simple
A team of researchers at the University of São Paulo in Brazil has developed a new levitation device that can hover a tiny object with more control than any instrument that has come before.

Study: Disparities seen in immigrant application results
Immigrants to the US with job offers often apply for work authorization.

Cation exchange capacity analyzed for nursery pine bark substrates
Researchers determined the variability of cation exchange capacity in different batches of pine bark and studied the influence of particle size, substrate pH, and peat amendment on CEC.

UT Arlington study researches AT&T Stadium's impact on nearby businesses
When businesses synchronized their operations around major events at the then-new AT&T Stadium, they experienced success, a study by management professors at The University of Texas at Arlington shows.

Hubble goes high-definition to revisit iconic 'Pillars of Creation'
Although NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has taken many breathtaking images of the universe, one snapshot stands out from the rest: the iconic view of the so-called 'Pillars of Creation.' The jaw-dropping photo, taken in 1995, revealed never-before-seen details of three giant columns of cold gas bathed in the scorching ultraviolet light from a cluster of young, massive stars in a small region of the Eagle Nebula, or M16.

Geographic information helps provide public health intelligence at mass gatherings
Infectious diseases are one of the many health issues that worry the organizers of mass gatherings, such as the Hajj and the World Cup.

Why is Greenland covered in ice?
The ice on Greenland could only form due to processes in the deep Earth interior.

First hydrocolloids symposium leads to special edition of journal
New levels of collaboration between researchers in food science, pharmacy and chemistry have been pioneered at the University of Huddersfield.

NSF awards $15 million to Penn State Center for Nanoscale Science
The Center for Nanoscale Science, a National Science Foundation-funded Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at Penn State, has been awarded a six-year, $15 million grant to continue research on materials at the nanoscale.

CWRU researchers discover byproducts from bacteria awaken dormant T-cells and HIV viruses
Dental and medical researchers from Case Western Reserve University discovered that byproducts of bacteria in gum disease, called metabolic small chain fatty acid, can work together to wake up HIV in dormant T-cells and cause the virus to replicate.

Study examines criminal behavior in patients with neurodegenerative diseases
Criminal behavior can occur in patients with some neurodegenerative diseases, although patients with Alzheimer disease were among the least likely to commit crimes, according to a study published online by JAMA Neurology.

Nitrogen in reclaimed water can benefit turfgrass
Experiments were performed in greenhouses to determine if nitrogen in reclaimed water contributes significantly to turfgrass plant nutrition.

2015 Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Antonio, Jan. 10-13
Over 6,000 mathematicians will attend the annual meetings of the American Mathematical Society and Mathematical Association of America at the Henry B.

More whole grains associated with lower mortality, especially cardiovascular
Eating more whole grains appears to be associated with reduced mortality, especially deaths due to cardiovascular disease, but not cancer deaths, according to a report published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Scientists discover new information about how enzymes from white blood cells function
Researchers at the University of Missouri, have determined that one of these enzymes, known as MMP12, does not remain outside of cells while it fights infections, but rather it can travel all the way to the center of cells. 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