Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 19, 2015
Gut microbes trigger autoimmune disease later in life in mice
Researchers have revealed that the colonization of the gut of young mice by certain types of bacteria can lead to immune responses later in life that are linked to disease.

Study suggests increase in falls among the elderly
Over a 12-year period, the prevalence of falls among older adults appeared to be on the rise, a new nationally representative study says.

To beet or not to beet? Researchers test theories of beet juice benefits
Athletes who down beet juice before exercising to increase blood flow and improve performance may be surprised at the results of a recent study conducted at Penn State's Noll Laboratory.

Engineers to fine-tune 'cold spray,' the next-gen 3-D printing and manufacturing technology
Engineers from Trinity College Dublin are leading a four-year, €500,000 European Space Agency project to fine-tune 'Cold Spray,' -- a revolutionary, environmentally friendly technology that deposits materials onto engineering components.

Early parental program improves long-term childhood outcomes
Children whose parents participated in a prenatal program aimed at enhancing couples' co-parenting relationship were better adjusted at age seven than children whose parents were assigned to a control group, according to Penn State researchers.

First successful organ donation from newborn carried out in UK
The very first successful organ donation from a newborn carried out in the UK is reported in the Fetal & Neonatal Edition of Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol is linked to reduced risk of heart failure
Evidence already exists for the beneficial effects of drinking moderate amounts of alcohol on the risk of developing a number of heart conditions; however, the role it plays in the risk of developing heart failure has been under-researched with conflicting results.

Twist1: Complex regulator of cell shape and function
Transcription factor Twist1 is involved in many processes where cells change shape or function.

Poorer parents are just as involved in their children's activities as better-off parents
Poorer parents are just as involved in education, leisure, and sports activities with their children as better-off parents, a new study has found.

Researchers open 'Pandora's box' of potential cancer biomarkers
Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center analyzed the global landscape of a portion of the genome that has not been previously well-explored.

Lung transplant patients do worse with lungs from heavy drinkers
Lung transplant patients who receive lungs from heavy drinkers are nearly nine times more likely to experience a life-threatening complication called primary graft dysfunction.

Predatory sea snails produce weaponized insulin
The venom of a tropical cone snail contains large amounts of specialized insulin that rapidly disables fish.

Researchers discover 'idiosyncratic' brain patterns in autism
New research recently published in Nature Neuroscience suggests that the various reports -- of both over- and under-connectivity -- may, in fact, reflect a deeper principle of brain function.

Bed nets and vaccines: Some combinations may worsen malaria
Combining insecticide-treated bed nets with vaccines and other control measures may provide the best chance at eliminating malaria, which killed nearly 600,000 people worldwide in 2013, most of them African children.

M6P deficiency leaves B cells out of sorts
A group of white blood cells known as B cells, which play a key role in the human immune response, need a protein-targeting signal called M6P in order to proliferate, differentiate and present immune cell-activating antigens.

Caught in the act: Cosmic radio burst
Fast radio bursts are quick, bright flashes of radio waves from an unknown source in space.

Scientists find major limitations with carbon nanotubes in blood facing medical devices
Scientists in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Trinity College Dublin, have made an important discovery about the safety issues of using carbon nanotubes as biomaterials which come into contact with blood.

EORTC PAMM Group outlines use of pharmacogenetics in cancer treatment and clinical trials
In an article recently published in the European Journal of Cancer, the EORTC Pharmacology & Molecular Mechanisms Group discussed the use of pharmacogenetics in cancer treatment and clinical trials.

Optic fiber for recording the temperature in extreme industrial environments
Optic fiber is normally used in the field of telecommunications to transmit information using light, but a group of researchers at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid has developed a technique that makes it possible to use optic fiber as a thermometer in extreme industrial environments.

Couples more likely to get healthy together
People are more successful in taking up healthy habits if their partner makes positive changes too, according to research published in JAMA Internal Medicine today.

Study identifies geographic clusters of underimmunization in Northern California
Researchers used spatial analysis software and electronic medical records to identify clusters of underimmunization and vaccine refusal among Kaiser Permanente members in Northern California, according to a study published today in the journal Pediatrics.

Citrus scent inhibits liver cancer
As main component of essential oils, terpenes can inhibit the growth of different cancer cells.

Common gut microbe might curb MS risk -- at least in women
Helicobacter pylori might prove 'hygiene hypothesis' for multiple sclerosis.

Fossil ankles indicate Earth's earliest primates lived in trees
Earth's earliest primates have taken a step up in the world, now that researchers have gotten a good look at their ankles.

Paleontologist names 9-foot-long 'predator croc' that preceded dinosaurs
Virginia Tech paleontologist Sterling Nesbitt's latest addition to the paleontological vernacular is Nundasuchus, a 9-foot-long carnivorous reptile with steak knife-like teeth and bony plates on the back.

Hidden cell types revealed
A new method improves single-cell genomics analyses. This method clarifies the true differences and similarities between cells by modelling relatedness and removing confounding variables.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Jan. 20, 2015
Below are summaries of articles being featured in the next issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, including 'Too much sitting linked to serious health risks and death, regardless of exercise habits,' 'Despite HAART, socially disadvantaged pregnant women with HIV at greater risk for having detectable virus at delivery' and 'Small study makes important discovery about idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension.'

Researchers identify rare shared genetic mutation for disease in Inuit
A team of Canadian and Japanese researchers has identified the genetic mutation responsible for glycogen storage disease type IIIa in Inuit in northern Quebec, Canada, in a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

A voyage from the Earth's crust to its mantle and back again
Uranium isotopes leave a distinct 'fingerprint' in the sources of volcanic rocks, making it possible to gauge their age and origin.

Know your enemy: Combating whooping cough requires informed vaccine booster schedules
A key to victory in battle, according to Chinese general and military strategist Sun Tzu, is to know your enemy.

Geophysicists find the crusty culprits behind sudden tectonic plate movements
Yale-led research may have solved one of the biggest mysteries in geology -- namely, why do tectonic plates beneath the Earth's surface, which normally shift over the course of tens to hundreds of millions of years, sometimes move abruptly?

Snapshot of cosmic burst of radio waves
A strange phenomenon has been observed by astronomers right as it was happening -- a 'fast radio burst.' The eruption is described as an extremely short, sharp flash of radio waves from an unknown source in the universe.

Stem cell success: Couple shields son from fatal nerve disease while also aiding science
A new human embryonic stem cell line containing the genetic mutation for adrenoleukodystrophy, and neurons grown from those cells, are now helping scientists study the condition -- thanks to an embryo donated by a couple seeking to avoid passing the disease to their son.

New study: Common degenerative eye disease may be triggered by tiny mineral deposits
New research from scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine has found that tiny lumps of calcium phosphate may be an important triggering factor for age-related macular degeneration, a degenerative eye disease that can cause severe vision loss and blindness.

New cellular pathway triggering allergic asthma response identified
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, with collaborators in Korea and Scotland, have identified a novel signaling pathway critical to the immune response of cells associated with the initiation of allergic asthma.

Walking groups come out trumps for boosting overall health without side effects
Benefits include reductions in blood pressure, body fat, total cholesterol and depression risk.

Insights into a rare genetic disease
In a big step towards understanding the effects of a rare mutation, research by scientists at the RIKEN-Max Planck Joint Research Center in Japan implicates the enzyme ENGase as the factor responsible for deficient protein degradation that occurs in the absence of mouse Ngly1 gene expression.

International Tree Nut Council finds tree nut consumption is associated with better diet
A new study, published this week in the open access journal Nutrients, compares the nutrient adequacy and diet quality of those who consume tree nuts

£90,000 research project of tiny garden compost worms for new research on human diseases
The study of tiny worms that are barely visible to the naked eye could lead to new treatments for ailments such as kidney disease and to the development of drugs designed to slow down the effects of ageing on human health.

Automated method beats critics in picking great movies
Don't rely on the Academy Awards next month if you are seeking to know whether the movies deemed great today will survive the test of time.

Early knee arthritis symptoms first felt when using stairs
People who suffer from knee pain when using the stairs may be experiencing the early symptoms of osteoarthritis, according to a new study by University of Leeds experts.

Genetics underpinning antimalarial drug resistance revealed
Researchers have identified a series of mutations that could help to improve early detection of resistance to our most effective antimalarial drug.

New signaling pathway provides clues to obesity
A Vanderbilt University-led research team has discovered a molecular 'rheostat' in the brain's appetite control center that may provide new insights into obesity, which is at epidemic levels in this country.

UEA research shows group walking cuts risk of life-threatening conditions
Risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, depression and other life-threatening conditions can be reduced through regular outdoor walking in groups, according to research from the University of East Anglia.

New high-speed 3-D microscope -- SCAPE -- gives deeper view of living things
Columbia Engineering professor Elizabeth Hillman has developed SCAPE, a new microscope that images living things in 3-D at very high speeds.

New laser could upgrade the images in tomorrow's technology
A new semiconductor laser developed at Yale has the potential to significantly improve the imaging quality of the next generation of high-tech microscopes, laser projectors, photolithography, holography and biomedical imaging.

Giant atmospheric rivers add mass to Antarctica's ice sheet
Extreme weather phenomena called atmospheric rivers were behind intense snowstorms recorded in 2009 and 2011 in East Antarctica.

New research defines role of long noncoding RNAs in inflammation
Inflammation and immune system activation are complex processes controlled by elaborate signaling pathways and hundreds of genes that are turned on and off in response to external stimuli such as bacteria or viruses.

Cellulose with Braille for cells
Artificial implants such as pacemakers often cause complications because the body identifies them as foreign objects.

China's aging population poses challenges, but policy changes can help
China's population is aging at a rapid pace, posing a significant challenge to the nation's economic advancement.

Waiting to be discovered for more than 100 years -- new species of bush crickets
Museums of Natural History are an important source of evidences of existing variety and diversity of animal species.

A new neural circuit controls fear in the brain
For the nearly 40 million people who suffer from anxiety disorders, debilitating fear prevents them from participating in life's most mundane moments, from driving a car to riding in an elevator.

Study: Melting glaciers have big carbon impact
As the earth warms and glaciers begin to melt, many scientists have been focused on the problem of sea level rise.

New laser for computer chips
Scientists from Forschungszentrum Juelich and the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland in cooperation with international partners have presented the first semiconductor consisting solely of elements of main group IV.

Major cause of blindness linked to calcium deposits in the eye
Microscopic spheres of calcium phosphate have been linked to the development of age-related macular degeneration, a major cause of blindness, by UCL-led research.

Self-destructive effects of magnetically-doped ferromagnetic topological insulators
A new atomic-scale study of the surface properties of certain ferromagnetic topological insulators reveals that these materials exhibit extreme, unexpected, and self-destructive electronic disorder.

Transgenic crops: Multiple toxins not a panacea for pest control
New findings could improve management practices for current biotech crops and promote development of new varieties that are more effective and more durable. 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