Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 15, 2015
Tumor suppressor protein plays key role in maintaining immune balance
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have discovered that a protein widely known for suppressing tumor formation also helps prevent autoimmune diseases and other problems by putting the brakes on the immune response.

Breakthrough lights up metamaterials
A City College of New York led-team has successfully demonstrated how to both enhance light emission and capture light from metamaterials embedded with light emitting nanocrystals.

Improved interface for a quantum internet
A quantum network requires efficient interfaces over which information can be transferred from matter to light and back.

Center For Advanced Power Systems unveils world's most powerful electrical testing system
Florida State University's Center for Advanced Power Systems has unveiled a new 24,000-volt direct current power test system, the most powerful of its kind available at a university research center throughout the world.

A fatty acid used to decode weight control
The study, publishing this week in PLOS Computational Biology, uses a data-driven approach to jointly analyze the lipidome, gene expression and phenotype from 135 obese women who took part in one of the most comprehensive dietary programs worldwide.

Live imaging captures how blood stem cells take root in the body
A see-through zebrafish and enhanced imaging provide the first direct glimpse of how blood stem cells take root in the body to generate blood.

IPT for children with anaemia
Researchers from Tanzania and South Africa, who are part of the Cochrane Infectious Disease Group, hosted at LSTM, have conducted an independent review to assess the effect of intermittent preventive antimalarial treatment for children with anaemia living in malaria endemic regions.

Early returns on 2014 show significant growth in use of GBIF
Preliminary statistics suggest that worldwide use of and interest in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility grew significantly during 2014.

Discovery of new signaling intermediates provides clues to novel therapies in pancreatitis
Signaling initiated by pancreatic digestive enzyme-producing (acinar) cells is essential to development of both pain and inflammation in pancreatitis, according to research published in the inaugural issue of Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the new basic science journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.

Perovskites provide big boost to silicon solar cells, Stanford study finds
Stacking perovskites onto a conventional silicon solar cell dramatically improves the overall efficiency of the cell, according to a new study led by Stanford University scientists.

Environment, not genes, dictates human immune variation, Stanford study finds
A study of twins conducted by Stanford University School of Medicine investigators shows that our environment, more than our heredity, plays the starring role in determining the state of our immune system, the body's primary defense against disease.

UF/IFAS study: Wheat yield to decline as temperatures increase
For every degree Celsius that the temperature increases, the world stands to lose 6 percent of its wheat crop, according to a new global study led by a University of Florida scientist.

Phenomenon that fights with superconductivity universal across both flavors of cuprates
Researchers have spotted charge ordering -- a phenomenon that interferes with superconductivity -- in electron-doped copper-oxide crystals for the first time.

Planets outside our solar system more hospitable to life than thought
A study by astrophysicists at the University of Toronto suggests that exoplanets are more likely to have liquid water and be more habitable than once thought.

Discovery of CLPB gene associated with a new pediatric mitochondrial syndrome
A new study describes a new pediatric mitochondrial syndrome and discovery of the responsible gene, called CLPB.

Treating non-healing bone fractures with stem cells
A new device that can rapidly concentrate and extract young cells from irrigation fluid used during orthopaedic surgery holds promise for improving the delivery of stem cell therapy in cases of non-healing fractures.

Genetics Society of America names John Postlethwait as recipient of George W. Beadle Award
The Genetics Society of America is pleased to announce that John H.

Majority of Macmillan Science and Education to merge with Springer Science+Business Media
Holtzbrinck Publishing Group (Holtzbrinck) and BC Partners (BCP) announced today that they have reached an agreement to merge Springer Science+Business Media -- owned by funds advised by BCP -- in its entirety with the majority of Holtzbrinck-owned Macmillan Science and Education, namely Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan and the global businesses of Macmillan Education.

New study reveals crippling financial burden of leprosy
Households affected by leprosy face being pushed further into poverty as a result of loss of earnings and treatment costs, according to the first ever study of the economic burden of a common complication of the disease.

The first announcement of the Tenth Annual Meeting of the International Conference on Genomics
We are pleased to announce that the Tenth Annual Meeting of the International Conference on Genomics will be held on Oct.

Increasing reach of treatment for STIs through expedited partner therapy
A public health program in the US State of Washington promoting the use of expedited partner therapy -- the treatment, without medical evaluation, of sex partners of patients diagnosed with a curable sexually transmitted disease -- increased expedited partner therapy use and may have reduced rates of sexually transmitted disease in the population, though the intervention's effectiveness in reducing sexually transmitted disease in the general population requires further confirmation, according to a study published this week in PLOS Medicine.

Damaged DNA amplified
For the first time, researchers have succeeded in amplifying genes altered by activities such as smoking -- with changes that can lead to lung cancer.

Academies call for long-term investments in the education and care of small children
The experiences we have as small children have a long-term impact on the entire course of our development.

Humans at risk from planetary-scale activities
The accelerated impacts of human activity on the Earth over the past 60 years have reached 'planetary-scale' proportions, in turn driving the earth into a new geological age, new research says.

AsiaPCR/SingLIVE 2015
The 6th edition of AsiaPCR/SingLIVE 2015 taking place in Singapore, brings together interventional cardiovascular specialists and cathlab staff from throughout the Asia Pacific region and internationally.

Did the Anthropocene begin with the nuclear age?
Scientists identify July 16, 1945 as key time boundary in Earth's history.

Trans-Neptunian objects suggest that there are more planets in the solar system
There could be at least two unknown planets hidden well beyond Pluto, whose gravitational influence determines the orbits and strange distribution of objects observed beyond Neptune.

Scientists discover gene tied to profound vision loss
An exhaustive hereditary analysis of a large Louisiana family with vision issues has uncovered a new gene tied to an incurable eye disorder called retinitis pigmentosa, according to an examination led by scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Two or one splashing? It's different!
If two children splash in the sea high water waves will emerge due to constructive superposition.

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP Satellite sees Tropical Cyclone Bansi's eye almost quadruple in area
Tropical Cyclone Bansi reached Category 4 hurricane status earlier this week and developed an eye.

What causes brain problems after traumatic brain injury? Studies have a surprising answer
A new paper by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine argues that there is a widespread misunderstanding about the true nature of traumatic brain injury and how it causes chronic degenerative problems.

Stanford researchers isolate stem cell that gives rise to bones, cartilage in mice
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered the stem cell in mice that gives rise to bone, cartilage and a key part of bone marrow called the stroma.

Estimating the best time of year for malaria interventions in Africa
New methods for analyzing malaria transmission can estimate the best time of year to carry out campaigns such as mass drug treatment and spraying of houses with insecticide.

Baylor College of Medicine scientist identify a novel precursor to neurodegeneration
Alteration of lipid metabolism in brain cells promotes the formation of lipid droplets that presage the loss of neurons, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital in a report that appears online in the journal Cell.

Study supports new explanation of gender gaps in academia
It isn't that women don't want to work long hours or can't compete in highly selective fields, and it isn't that they are less analytical than men, researchers report in a study of gender gaps in academia.

Tiny plant fossils a window into Earth's landscape millions of years ago
A team led by the University of Washington has discovered a way to determine the tree cover and density of trees, shrubs and bushes in locations over time based on clues in the cells of plant fossils preserved in rocks and soil.

Research offers novel insight into Hirschsprung's disease
Defects in the protein Sox10, a transcription factor that regulates gene expression, may play a role in the development of post-operative GI dysfunction in Hirschsprung's disease patients, according to new research published in Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the new basic science journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.

Vitamin D protects against colorectal cancer by boosting the immune system
A new study by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators demonstrates that vitamin D can protect some people with colorectal cancer by perking up the immune system's vigilance against tumor cells.

University of Montana researcher helps NASA get the dirt on soil moisture
During the early-morning hours on Tuesday, Jan. 29, NASA will launch a satellite that will peer into the topmost layer of Earth's soils to measure the hidden waters that influence our ecosystems weather and climate.

Experts recommend weight loss drugs, surgery as supplement to lifestyle interventions
The Endocrine Society today issued a Clinical Practice Guideline on strategies for prescribing drugs to manage obesity and promote weight loss.

MIT team enlarges brain samples, making them easier to image
Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have discovered a method that enlarges tissue samples by embedding them in a polymer that swells when water is added.

Emerald ash borer confirmed as threat to white fringetree
The emerald ash borer, an invasive insect pest from Asia that has killed millions of ash trees in the United States and Canada, is also attacking the white fringetree according to a new study published by the Entomological Society of America.

Is lower stress the secret to finding empathy?
How is it that people can sometimes show such empathy when other times our ability to feel compassion seems to be in such short supply?

Nearly half the systems crucial to stability of planet compromised
Almost half of the processes that are crucial to maintaining the stability of the planet have become dangerously compromised by human activity.

Liquids and glasses relax, too. But not like you thought.
A new insight into the fundamental mechanics of the movement of molecules recently published by NIST researchers offers a surprising view of what happens when you pour water out of a glass.

Tool helps measure patients' readiness to make decisions about starting dialysis
A new algorithm is a useful tool for measuring chronic kidney disease patients' readiness for making decisions about initiating dialysis.

Could our brain instruct our bodies to burn more fat?
By uncovering the action of two naturally occurring hormones, scientists may have discovered a way to assist in the shedding of excess fat.

Training the next generation of power engineers
We need a new generation of power engineers to build and operate a smart grid that incorporates renewable energy sources, advances in control systems, communications, signal processing and cybersecurity.

Good cosmetic results and safety with liposculpture of the hips, flanks and thighs, reports PRS Global Open
Two decades of experience by senior plastic surgeons in different parts of the world show excellent cosmetic results and low complication rates with liposculpture of the hips, flanks, and thighs, reports a paper in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery--Global OpenĀ®, the official open-access medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Good things come to those who wait?
In a study published today in the journal Current Biology, a team of scientists, led by Zachary Mainen at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, found a causal link between the activation of serotonin neurons and the amount of time mice are willing to wait, and rejected a possible link between increased serotonin neuron activation and reward.

Lower mortality rates among Asian and Hispanic lupus patients
A new study by researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts reveals that Asian and Hispanic patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have lower mortality rates compared to Black, White, or Native Americans with the disease.

New planetary dashboard shows 'Great Acceleration' in human activity since 1950
Human activity, predominantly the global economic system, is now the prime driver of change in the Earth System (the sum of our planet's interacting physical, chemical, biological and human processes), according to a set of 24 global indicators, or 'planetary dashboard', published in the journal Anthropocene Review Jan.

Broadly neutralizing cross-reactive antibody targets 5 Staphylococcus aureus cytotoxins
In severe Staphylococcus aureus infections, killing the bacterium is not enough, as much of its pathogenicity is due to its cytotoxins.

Difficult behavior in young children may point to later problems
It's normal for a very young child to have tantrums and be otherwise disruptive, but researchers have found that if such behavior is prolonged or especially intense, the child may have conduct disorder.

Eczema woes not just skin deep
Adults who have eczema -- a chronic itchy skin disease that often starts in childhood -- have higher rates of smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages and obesity and are less likely to exercise than adults who don't have the disease.

Roller coaster geese: Insights into high altitude bird flight physiology and biomechanics
A study of the migratory biology of bar-headed geese, during their high altitude flights across the Tibetan plateau and Himalayan Mountains, has revealed how these birds cope with flying in the relatively low-density mountain atmosphere.

Bone stem cells shown to regenerate bone and cartilage in adult mice
A stem cell capable of regenerating both bone and cartilage has been identified in bone marrow of mice.

Yak dung burning pollutes indoor air of Tibetan households
Tibet, the highest region on Earth and one of the most remote, is associated with vivid blue skies and the crystal clear air of the Himalayas.

Lassa fever controls need to consider human-human transmission and role of super spreaders
One in five cases of Lassa fever -- a disease that kills around 5,000 people a year in West Africa -- could be due to human-to-human transmission, with a large proportion of these cases caused by 'super-spreaders,' according to research published today in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Century-old drug reverses autism-like symptoms in fragile X mouse model
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine previously reported that a drug used for almost a century to treat trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness, reversed environmental autism-like symptoms in mice.

Huge 3-D displays without 3-D glasses
A new kind of display uses laser beams to send out different pictures into different directions.

People can be convinced they committed a crime that never happened
New lab-based evidence shows that innocent adult participants can be convinced, over the course of a few hours, that they had perpetrated crimes as serious as assault with a weapon in their teenage years.

New online resource launched: Oxford Clinical Psychology
Today marks the launch of Oxford Clinical Psychology, a new online resource that brings together both classic and new content from Oxford's global clinical psychology publishing program in an integrated online service.

Folic acid saves 1,300 babies each year from serious birth defects of brain and spine
Fortifying grain foods with the B vitamin folic acid has saved about 1,300 babies every year from serious birth defects of the brain and spine known as neural tube defects.

New planetary dashboard shows 'Great Acceleration' in human activity since 1950
A planetary dashboard of 24 indicators visualises the Great Acceleration of human activity and its impact on the Earth.

When used effectively, discharge summaries reduce hospital readmissions
For heart failure patients making the transition from hospital to home, a discharge summary that gets to their primary doctors quickly and contains detailed and useful information can mean the difference between recovering quickly or returning to the hospital, according to two studies from Yale School of Medicine researchers.

Women who experience postpartum depression before giving birth may face greater risk
Postpartum depression may have a diverse clinical presentation and this has critical implications for diagnosis, treatment and understanding the underlying biology of the illness, a new study finds.

Study finds that opioids administered in the ER don't influence patient satisfaction
A new study co-authored by investigators at the University of Massachusetts Medical School found that there is no correlation between opioids administered in the emergency room setting and Press Ganey ED patient satisfaction scores, one of the most commonly used metrics for measuring patient satisfaction.

Healthy diet associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes in minority women
Consuming a healthy diet was associated with reduced risk for type 2 diabetes among women in all racial and ethnic groups but conferred an even greater benefit for Asian, Hispanic, and black women, according to a new study by researchers at Harvard T.H.

Vaccine-induced CD4 T cells have adverse effect in a mouse model of infection
New findings demonstrate that vaccine-elicted CD4 T cells lead to overwhelming inflammatory response in mouse model of chronic infection.

Study reveals lack of data on opioid drugs for chronic pain
A National Institutes of Health white paper that was released today finds little to no evidence for the effectiveness of opioid drugs in the treatment of long-term chronic pain, despite the explosive recent growth in the use of the drugs.

Shining a light on quantum dots measurement
Using the cadmium selenide quantum dot, researchers at Syracuse University collaborated to understand how protein corona forms and what is different about the quantum dot before and after the formation of the corona.

Wildlife loss in the global ocean
Over the past 500 years, approximately 500 land-based animal species have gone the way of the dodo, becoming extinct as a result of human activity.

Extra-short nanowires best for brain
If in the future electrodes are inserted into the human brain -- either for research purposes or to treat diseases -- it may be appropriate to give them a 'coat' of nanowires that could make them less irritating for the brain tissue.

Gold nanoparticles show promise for early detection of heart attacks
A novel colloidal gold test strip is demonstrating great potential for early detection of certain heart attacks.

UK doctors facing complaints dogged by severe depression and suicidal thoughts
UK doctors subject to complaints procedures are at significant risk of becoming severely depressed and suicidal, reveals research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

RDA/US and CENDI announce partnership to promote innovations in data sharing and exchange
Last week in Washington DC, the Research Data Alliance/United States and Commerce, Energy, NASA, Defense Information Managers Group Federal Information Managers Group announced an agreement to jointly sponsor events related to the advancement of data management innovation.

ACP celebrates 100th anniversary at Internal Medicine Meeting 2015
While the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Physicians always offers journalists the opportunity to report on a broad array of clinical and policy topics, Internal Medicine Meeting 2015 in Boston from April 30 through May 2 (Thursday through Saturday) at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center will showcase ACP's 100th anniversary celebration.

Inventors choose to reveal their secret sauce before patent approval
Common wisdom and prior economic research suggest that an inventor filing a patent would want to keep the technical know-how secret as long as possible.

IUPUI awarded $1.1 million grant to develop tools to predict physical appearance from DNA
Susan Walsh, Ph.D., a forensic geneticist in the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, has been awarded a $1.1 million grant from the U.S.

New report says no technological replacement exists for bulk data collection
No software-based technique can fully replace the bulk collection of signals intelligence, but methods can be developed to more effectively conduct targeted collection and to control the usage of collected data, says a new report from the National Research Council.

Rice-sized laser, powered one electron at a time, bodes well for quantum computing
Princeton University researchers have built a rice grain-sized microwave laser, or 'maser,' powered by single electrons that demonstrates the fundamental interactions between light and moving electrons.

The secret of empathy
The ability to express empathy -- the capacity to share and feel another's emotions -- is limited by the stress of being around strangers, according to a new study published today in the journal Current Biology.

Argonne model analyzes biofuel impacts
Argonne researchers today released a new version of an online analysis tool that will help biofuels developers gain a detailed understanding of water consumption of various types of feedstocks, aiding development of sustainable fuels that will reduce impact on limited water resources.

Complaints procedures have a serious impact on doctors' health and risk harming patients
Doctors who are the subject of complaints procedures or investigations experience high rates of serious depression and anxiety as well as suicidal thoughts, according to a new study.

NASA's GPM satellite sees Tropical Storm mekkhala organizing
Tropical Depression Mekkhala strengthened and organized on Jan. 14 and overnight into Jan.

Alzheimer's plaques reduced by targeting sugar attachment to the BACE1 enzyme
Researchers at the RIKEN-Max Planck Joint Research Center in Japan have demonstrated that hallmark symptoms of Alzheimer's disease can be reduced when sugars are prevented from binding to one of the key enzymes implicated in the disease.

Undercover researchers expose new species of lizard for sale on Philippine black market
Amid the black-market pet trade in Manila, KU's Rafe Brown and colleagues discovered two species of water monitor lizard that previously were unknown to science.

Study identifies new targeted treatment strategy for some aggressive cancers
Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Boston University School of Medicine have identified the first potential treatment targeting a pathway by which several aggressive tumors maintain their ability to proliferate.

Levitts endow scholarship for medical education at Tel Aviv University
With a generous commitment of more than $2.8 million, Dr.

New approach to preventing fibrosing strictures in IBD
A natural protein made by immune cells may limit fibrosis and scarring in colitis, according to research published in the inaugural issue of Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the new basic science journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.

CNIO scientists discover a novel molecular mechanism involved in the formation of the skin
The formation of human skin involves a cascade of biochemical signals, which are not well understood.

York U researchers discover how midbrain map continuously updates visuospatial memory
In a study conducted in York U Professor J. Douglas Crawford's lab led by postdoctoral fellow Suryadeep Dash, the researchers have discovered a new physiological system that continuously updates the remembered location of visual targets.

Hope for muscular dystrophy patients: Harnessing gene helps repair muscle damage
Researchers have successfully improved the ability of muscle to repair itself -- by artificially increasing levels of the BMI1 gene in the muscle-specific stem cells of mice with muscular dystrophy.

What drives killers like the Ottawa or Paris attackers?
The Islamist convert who recently killed a Canadian military reservist on duty in Ottawa, Canada, represents a type of attacker rarely discussed -- a person so obsessed with an overvalued idea that it defines their identity and leads them to commit violence without regard for the consequences.

Doctors who use health information technology are 'slightly' more likely to get patient data, reports Medical Care
Physicians who use health information technology systems are only slightly more likely to receive the patient information they need to provide coordinated care, reports a study in the January issue of Medical Care.

Nobel laureate Martin Chalfie to address International Nanomedicine Conference
Nobel laureate Martin Chalfie, PhD, will be the keynote speaker at Cedars-Sinai's Nanomedicine for Imaging and Treatment Conference, where two dozen experts from around the world will discuss emerging trends in the study and treatment of diseases at the molecular and atomic levels.

Facebook sharing can boost involvement with news and information
People who share news on social media sites may connect more with that information -- and stay connected longer -- than people who casually read the news, according to a team of researchers.

Closing your eyes boosts memory recall, new study finds
In a new study, published today in the journal Legal and Criminology Psychology, researchers from the University of Surrey have found further evidence to suggest that eyewitnesses to crimes remember more accurate details when they close their eyes.

For sea turtles, there's no place like magnetic home
Adult sea turtles find their way back to the beaches where they hatched by seeking out unique magnetic signatures along the coast, according to new evidence reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on Jan.

New sequencing technique reveals genetic clues to rare breast tumors
A new study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center characterizes the genetic underpinnings of a rare type of breast tumor called phyllodes tumors, offering the first comprehensive analysis of the molecular alterations at work in these tumors.

When heavy metals go off-kilter: Study in C. elegans shows excess iron promotes aging
It's been long known that some metals, including iron, accumulate in tissues during aging and that toxic levels of iron have been linked to neurologic diseases, including Parkinson's.

Going with the flow
Computer simulations at OIST suggest new applications in industry by harnessing active microscopic particles in fluids.

For sea turtles, there's no place like magnetic home
Adult sea turtles find their way back to the beaches where they hatched by seeking out unique magnetic signatures along the coast, according to new evidence from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Physicists detect 'charge instability' across all flavours of copper-based superconductors
University of British Columbia physicists have detected 'charge ordering' in electron-doped cuprate superconductors for the first time, according to research published today in Science.

Charge instability detected across all types of copper-based superconductors
Superconductors made of copper-oxide ceramics called cuprates are capable of conducting electricity without resistance at record-high temperatures -- but still only at about one-third of room temperature.

UW-Madison scientists find how cancers can evade treatment
Xiaojun Tan, a graduate student in Richard A. Anderson's lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, made an unexpected observation while studying the locations inside cells where epidermal growth factor receptor can be found.

What makes pancreatic cancer so aggressive? New study sheds light
New research from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center helps explain why pancreatic cancer is so lethal, with fewer than one-third of patients surviving even early stage disease.

Research!America to honor Reps. Fred Upton and Diana DeGette with Edwin C. Whitehead Award
Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) have been selected to receive Research!America's Edwin C.

Humanity has exceeded 4 of 9 'planetary boundaries,' according to researchers
An international team of researchers says climate change, the loss of biosphere integrity, land-system change, and altered biogeochemical cycles like phosphorus and nitrogen runoff have all passed beyond levels that put humanity in a 'safe operating space.' Civilization has crossed four of nine so-called planetary boundaries as the result of human activity, according to a report published today in Science by the 18-member research team.

Long-acting drug effectively prevents HIV-like infection in monkeys
HIV infection can be prevented with regimens of antiretroviral drugs, however, their effectiveness depends on a patient's ability to take the pills as prescribed.

Moffitt researchers develop novel approach to visualize, measure protein complexes in tumors
Cancer diagnosis and treatment decisions are often hampered by a lack of knowledge of the biological processes occurring within the tumor.

Wild pollinators at risk from diseased commercial species of bee
A new study from the University of Exeter has found that viruses carried by commercial bees can jump to wild pollinator populations with potentially devastating effects. 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