Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 20, 2015
Drugs from dirt -- Scientists develop first global roadmap for drug discovery
Rockefeller University scientists have analysed soils from beaches, forests, and deserts on five continents and discovered the best places in the world to mine untapped antibiotic and anticancer drugs.

Organic and conventional milk -- comparing apples to apples?
Consumers perceive that organic cow milk differs from conventionally produced milk and that these differences justify the premium price for organic milk.

'Citizen science' reveals positive news for Puget Sound seabirds
Many seabird species are thought to have declined around Puget Sound since the 1960s and 1970s but the new results indicate the trends have turned up for many species.

This week From AGU: Mountain warming, Interior Dept. and Congress, Alabama air quality
This week From AGU: Mountain warming, Interior Dept. and Congress and Alabama air quality.

Researchers make breakthrough on new anesthetics
For the first time since the 1970s, researchers are on the verge of developing a new class of anesthetics.

Breakthrough may impact flu vaccination
An analysis of 10 years' worth of data on human influenza B viruses has shed new light on the pathogen which can cause the seasonal flu.

Warming climate likely will change the composition of northern forests, U of M study shows
Visitors to northern forests in coming decades probably will see a very different set of trees as the climate warms, a new University of Minnesota study shows.

New research reveals the power of hierarchy in high-pressure situations
Researchers analyzed more than 30,000 Himalayan climbers and 5,000 expeditions over the past 100 years to assess the impact that hierarchical cultures can have in high-pressure group situations.

Crime Victims' Institute investigates human trafficking
Human sex trafficking is a serious problem both domestically and internationally and enhanced education is necessary to address the risk factors for entry into the sex trade, the physical and mental health consequences of victimization, and institutional responses to victims, according to a new series published by the Crime Victims' Institute at Sam Houston State University.

Does gestational diabetes affect the therapeutic potential of umbilical cord-derived stem cells?
Multipotent cells isolated from the human umbilical cord, called mesenchymal stromal cells, have shown promise for use in cell therapy to treat a variety of human diseases.

MU researcher recognized for contributions to nanomedicine
Gold nanoparticles have been proven useful in a number of medical applications.

Patients actively warmed during surgery still experience hypothermia, study finds
Body temperature decreases during the first hour of surgery, even when patients are actively warmed with forced air, reports a new study published in the February issue of Anesthesiology, the official medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Genetic changes in Ebola virus could impede potential treatments
Scientists studying the genetic makeup of the Ebola virus currently circulating in West Africa have identified several mutations that could have implications for developing effective drugs to fight the virus.

Drug targets identified through cell line to potentially treat rare pediatric cancer
A team of investigators have made key new findings about an extremely rare childhood cancer called neurocutaneous melanocytosis.

Hospitalization for pneumonia associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease
Hospitalization with pneumonia in older adults was associated with an increased short-term and long-term risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), suggesting that pneumonia may be an important risk factor for CVD, according to a study in the Jan.

The Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine
The 2015 The Louis-Jeantet Prize For Medicine is awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier, Head of the Department Regulation in Infection Biology at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig, Germany and Guest Professor at the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine, Umeå University, Sweden, and to RUDOLF ZECHNER, Professor of Biochemistry, Institute of Molecular Biosciences, University of Graz, Austria.

Technique reveals age of planetary materials
The key to understanding the geologic history of the Solar System is knowing the ages of planetary rocks.

Atoms can be in 2 places at the same time
Physicists of the University of Bonn have constructed an experiment that shows that cesium atoms can take two paths at the same time.

Hunger hormone in infancy may link to lifelong obesity risk
Researchers at the Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles now reveal an unexpected role for ghrelin in early brain development and show its long-term impact on appetite regulation.

Living longer, not healthier
A study of long-lived mutant C. elegans by scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School shows that the genetically altered worms spend a greater portion of their life in a frail state and exhibit less activity as they age then typical nematodes.

Scientists invent system to improve effectiveness of cancer surgery
With the goal of making it easier for surgeons to detect malignant tissue during surgery and hopefully reduce the rate of cancer recurrence, scientists have invented a new imaging system that causes tumors to 'light up' when a hand-held laser is directed at them.

Connection between childhood adversity and psychiatric disorders seen at cellular level
Researchers from Butler Hospital identify an association between biological changes on the cellular level and both childhood adversity and psychiatric disorders.

Pay-to-play keeping kids on the sidelines
The cost of school sports keeps many children from participating, according to the latest University of Michigan Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health.

New laser-patterning technique turns metals into supermaterials
By zapping ordinary metals with femtosecond laser pulses researchers from the University of Rochester in New York have created extraordinary new surfaces that efficiently absorb light, repel water and clean themselves.

Scientists drilling first deep ice core at the South Pole
The 40,000-year record will be the first deep core from this part of Antarctica, and the first record longer than 3,000 years collected south of 82 degrees latitude.

NOAA's DSCOVR NISTAR instrument watches Earth's 'budget'
The NISTAR instrument that will fly aboard NOAA's space weather-observing spacecraft called the Deep Space Climate Observatory, is going to measure the Earth's radiation budget.

Study calls for new global standard for safe drinking water and sanitation
A new study conducted jointly by the Water Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine calls for a new global standard for improvements in household drinking water and sanitation access.

New UF study reveals oldest primate lived in trees
Say 'primate' and most people wouldn't think of a tree-dwelling, squirrel-like creature that weighs no more than a deck of playing cards, but a new study suggests that may perfectly describe humans' earliest primate ancestors.

Laser-generated surface structures create extremely water-repellent metals
Scientists at the University of Rochester have used lasers to transform metals into extremely water repellent, or super-hydrophobic, materials without the need for temporary coatings.

Study challenges best way to position women during childbirth
New research is challenging what many obstetricians and physician anesthesiologists believe is the best way to position women during labor.

Quantifying ethics in Toyota's 2008-2010 recall crisis
Toyota's public response during its numerous recalls beginning in 2008 is a textbook case of how to thoroughly botch a crisis in consumer confidence, according University of South Carolina researcher Shannon Bowen.

Tiny plant fossils offer window into Earth's landscape millions of years ago
Minuscule, fossilized pieces of plants tell a detailed story of what Earth looked like 50 million years ago.

New signal amplification process set to transform communications, imaging, computing
A new signal amplification process discovered by a team of University of California, San Diego researchers is now poised to fuel new generations of electrical and photonic devices -- transforming the fields of communications, imaging and computing.

SLU researcher prevents type 1 diabetes in lab
A new approach developed by researcher Thomas Burris, PhD, stops the destruction of beta cells and preserves insulin production.

The once-powerful Tropical Cyclone Bansi stirred up ocean sediment
Tropical Cyclone Bansi reached a Category 4 status on the Saffir-Simpson Scale on Jan.

Time to rethink the inner-city asthma epidemic?
Challenging the long-standing belief that city dwellers suffer disproportionately from asthma, the results of a new Johns Hopkins Children's Center study of more than 23,000 US children reveal that income, race and ethnic origin may play far more potent roles in asthma risk than kids' physical surroundings.

Genetic changes in Ebola virus in West African outbreak could hinder potential treatments
Researchers have tracked the genetic mutations that have occurred in the Ebola virus during the last four decades.

Dog-human cooperation is based on social skills of wolves
The origins of the dog-human relationship were subject of a study by behavioral scientists at the Vetmeduni Vienna.

Current nutrition labeling is hard to digest
Current government-mandated nutrition labeling is ineffective in improving nutrition and curbing the obesity epidemic, but there is a better system available, according to a study by McGill University researchers.

TGen-led study of rare ovarian cancer featured in ASCO 'Cancer Advances' annual report
A groundbreaking TGen-led discovery of the likely genetic cause of an ovarian cancer that strikes young women and girls is featured today in the annual report of the American Society of Cancer Oncology (ASCO).

Prostate cancer drug slows memory loss in women with Alzheimer's disease
Women with Alzheimer's disease showed stable cognition for a year when a drug that is more commonly used to treat advanced prostate cancer was added to their drug regimen, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

ORNL model explores location of future US population growth
Researchers have developed a population distribution model that provides unprecedented county-level predictions of where people will live in the US in the coming decades.

One nanoparticle, 6 types of medical imaging
Using two biocompatible parts, University at Buffalo researchers and their colleagues have designed a nanoparticle that can be detected by six medical imaging techniques: computed tomography scanning; positron emission tomography scanning; photoacoustic imaging; fluorescence imaging; upconversion imaging; and Cerenkov luminescence imaging.

Slight increase in ICT sector employment
JRC research analyses the ICT sector and its R&D investments -- both private and public -- in the European Union and beyond.

New hope for understanding sudden cardiac arrest
New biosciences research at the University of Kent could point the way to greater understanding of the heart mutations that cause sudden cardiac arrest.

Public attitude toward tiger farming and tiger conservation
The wild tiger Panthera tigris is considered critically endangered, and it faces unprecedented threats, including habitat loss and fragmentation, depletion of prey, and continued illegal poaching for trade of tiger bones for traditional medicine and skins for ornamentation and collection.

Study advances knowledge of relatively unknown blood-borne bacteria
Hemoplasmas are a group of blood borne bacteria found in a wide range of mammals, including domestic and wild cats, and can cause severe anemia.

Scientists identify important mechanism involved in production of mosquito eggs
Female mosquitoes rely on a blood-meal as a source of nutrients required for reproduction.

Researchers get $1.4 million to advance 'big data' for genomic research
Clemson University researchers Alex Feltus and Kuang-Ching Wang are part of a team of scientists that received a $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation to help meet the growing needs of the data-driven genomic science community.

BPA exposure during pregnancy causes oxidative stress in child, mother
Exposure to the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol A during pregnancy can cause oxidative damage that may put the baby at risk of developing diabetes or heart disease later in life, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's journal Endocrinology.

Advanced summer school in system medicine: Implementation of systems medicine across Europe
The Coordinating Action Systems Medicine is a joint initiative of the European Commission, several European funding bodies, companies, researchers and clinicians aiming to develop a strategic roadmap for implementing Systems Medicine across Europe.

Greenland Ice: The warmer it gets the faster it melts
Melting of glacial ice will probably raise sea level around the globe, but how fast this melting will happen is uncertain.

Working collaboratively may help reduce medical errors
Medical students who worked in pairs were more accurate in diagnosing simulated patient cases compared to students who worked alone, according to a study in the Jan.

What does Davos really do? Analyzing the World Economic Forum
Every January, hundreds of politicians, CEOs, scientific experts, and celebrities gather for their annual meeting in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Davos to 'improve the state of the world.' Yet, the World Economic Forum's influence on society and consumption is surprisingly little understood.

Gene therapy-associated cancer incidence depends on vector design
A new publication in the Journal of Clinical Investigation reveals that AAV vector design influences the likelihood of developing cancer in the liver.

How do people post important life events on Facebook?
When Facebook users share information on important life events, do they prefer to do so directly by making detailed status updated or wall posts or indirectly by posting photos or change of job title?

Use of IVF procedure for male infertility has doubled; not linked with improved outcomes
The use of an assisted reproduction technique known as intracytoplasmic sperm injection doubled between 1996 and 2012, although compared with conventional in vitro fertilization, use of intracytoplasmic sperm injection was not associated with improved reproductive outcomes, according to a study in the Jan.

Staff at psychiatric hospitals often face threats of physical violence
In a survey of 348 workers at a large psychiatric hospital, 99 percent of the staff reported verbal conflict with patients, and 70 percent reported being assaulted during the previous 12 months.

£1 million ensures the safety of the next generation of nuclear reactors
A £1 million project at the University of Huddersfield will provide the nuclear power industry with scientific data it needs to ensure that future generations of reactors and radioactive waste storage solutions are safe and reliable.

A chemical modified version of the second messenger cAMP
This study in the open-access journal PLOS Biology, describes the development of a cAMP analogue that specifically activates only Epac2, one of several cAMP-responsive proteins.

Dartmouth study sheds light on genetic mutations in autism disorders
Recent research has linked autism with a lack of 'pruning' in developing brain connections, but a new Dartmouth study suggests instead it is the excessive growth of new connections that causes sensory overload in people with the disorder.

'Trustworthy' hedge fund execs generate more business but weaker returns
A new Tel Aviv University study has found that hedge-fund managers who appear 'trustworthy' in photographs attract more clients than their more 'undependable'-looking counterparts.

Evaluations that consider school resources could fairly assess teacher performance
Researchers at the University of Missouri have identified a plan to evaluate teachers fairly using a 'proportional' system.

Equation helps identify global disparities in cancer screening and treatment
In a new study on colorectal cancer, researchers found that the mortality-to-incidence ratio can help identify whether a country has a higher mortality than might be expected based on cancer incidence.

Findings do not support chlorhexidine bathing in ICUs
Once daily bathing with disposable cloths with the topical antimicrobial agent chlorhexidine of critically ill patients did not reduce the incidence of health care-associated infections, according to a study appearing in JAMA.

Burying beetles hatch survival plan to source food, study shows
Young beetles pick up sensory signals from adult insects to increase their chances of being fed -- and shorten the odds of being killed instead.

Education aids understanding, reduces stigma of facial paralysis, OSU study shows
A little bit of sensitivity training can help people form better first impressions of those with facial paralysis, reducing prejudices against people with a visible but often unrecognizable disability, new research from Oregon State University indicates.

Found: 'Fight or flight' response control center for the heart
An animal study led by Johns Hopkins investigators has uncovered what controls the ability of healthy hearts to speed up in response to circumstances ranging from fear to a jog around the block.

Ocean floor dust gives new insight into supernovae
Extraterrestrial dust from the depths of the ocean could change the way we understand supernovae.

Muscle weakness studies suggest possible therapeutic strategies
A recently published study by a University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher and her colleagues suggests potential therapies for central core disease, a condition that can delay development of motor skills such as sitting, crawling and walking in affected infants.

Iowa State professor says Facebook not to blame for negative impact on grades
The more time college students, particularly freshman, spend on Facebook, the more their grades suffer.

On the ups and downs of the seemingly idle brain
Even when it seems not to be doing much, the brain maintains a baseline of activity in the form of up and down states of bustle and quiet.

University of Houston selected to lead offshore energy research center
The University of Houston will lead a national research center for subsea engineering and other offshore energy development issues, including research and technology to improve the sustainable and safe development of energy resources in the Gulf of Mexico.

New cancer-fighting strategy would harden cells to prevent metastasis
Existing cancer therapies are geared toward massacring tumor cells, but Johns Hopkins researchers propose a different strategy: subtly hardening cancer cells to prevent them from invading new areas of the body.

Endangered chimpanzees may experience drastic habitat loss within 5 years
Dramatic habitat loss by 2020 threatens the population of the planet's most endangered chimp subspecies, according to research published in BMC Evolutionary Biology.

NIH researchers tackle thorny side of gene therapy
National Institutes of Health researchers have uncovered a key factor in understanding the elevated cancer risk associated with gene therapy.

ASCO names Cancer Advance of the Year
The American Society of Clinical Oncology for the first time announced its cancer Advance of the Year: the transformation of treatment for the most common form of adult leukemia.

UChicago projects capture drug-development grants for sleep apnea, asthma research
Research teams based at the University of Chicago have received prestigious grants from the National Institutes of Health to develop novel medications to treat sleep apnea and asthma.

Climate change does not bode well for picky eaters
In a part of the world that is experiencing the most dramatic increase in temperature and climate change, two very similar species of animals are responding very differently.

Simple soil mixture reverses toxic stormwater effects
A simple column of common soil can reverse the toxic effects of urban runoff that otherwise quickly kills young coho salmon and their insect prey, according to new research by Washington State University, NOAA Fisheries and the U.S.

CU Denver study shows cities with more transportation options most resilient
Researchers at the University of Colorado Denver studying how the region would react to a sudden spike in gas prices, found those living closest to their work, in areas with more compact street networks and better multi-modal infrastructure, would be more resilient than others.

Alcohol ads on TV associated with drinking behavior in young people
Seeing and liking alcohol advertising on television among underage youths was associated with the onset of drinking, binge drinking and hazardous drinking, according to a study by researchers at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

Vegetation can help prevent soil erosion due to wind
Dust from soil erosion due to wind can affect human health, traffic, and, on a larger scale, climate.

Are Asian citrus psyllids afraid of heights? New study may provide clues for stopping them
New research shows that the Asian citrus psyllid, the vector of citrus greening disease, does not do well at high elevations, and that populations drop to zero at 600 meters or more above sea level.

Graphene enables all-electrical control of energy flow from light emitters
Scientists from the Institute of Photonic Science, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Consorzio Nazionale Italiano di Struttura della Materia and Graphenea have now demonstrated active, in situ electrical control of the energy flow from erbium ions into photons and plasmons.

Stem cell transplantation shows potential for reducing disability in patients with MS
Results from a preliminary study indicate that among patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), treatment with nonmyeloablative hematopoietic stem cell transplantation was associated with improvement in measures of disability and quality of life, according to a study in the Jan.

Geologist who modernized volcanology wins the 2015 Vetlesen Prize
Stephen Sparks, a geologist at the University of Bristol who helped bring volcanology into the modern era, is the 2015 recipient of the Vetlesen Prize, considered the Nobel Prize of the earth sciences.

Use of sedation protocol does not reduce time on ventilator for children
Among children undergoing mechanical ventilation for acute respiratory failure, the use of a nurse-implemented, goal­directed sedation protocol compared with usual care did not reduce the duration of mechanical ventilation, according to a study appearing in JAMA.

Men and women process emotions differently
Women rate emotional images as more emotionally stimulating than men do and are more likely to remember them.

Coffee may be associated with a lower risk of malignant melanoma
Both epidemiological and pre-clinical studies have suggested that coffee consumption has a protective effect against non-melanoma skin cancers.

Majority of young women and men prefer egalitarian relationships, study shows
The majority of young women and men today would prefer an egalitarian relationship in which work and family responsibilities are shared equally between partners if that possibility were available to them, according to a new study.

REF signals deep impact as EPSRC announces £30 million for Impact Acceleration Accounts
The recently published results of the Research Excellence Framework show that the impact of research funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council has been both deep and long lasting.

Study of babies born after IVF shows significant improvements in health over 20 years
The last two decades has seen a steady improvement in the health outcomes of children born after assisted reproduction, with fewer babies being born preterm, with low birth weight, stillborn or dying within the first year of life.

How social processes interact to form a professional service market
Using the case of the Chinese legal professions, a new article demonstrates the ambiguity and elasticity of social boundaries.

NSF Director to join international thought leaders at World Economic Forum
National Science Foundation Director Dr. France A. Córdova will join thousands of other academic, business, cultural and political leaders from across the globe next week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where she will participate in sessions on science, technology and society.

Regular exercise may boost brain health in adults
In the brain, blood flow and cognitive function peak during young adulthood, but a new study of 52 young women found that oxygen availability, which is known to positively relate to brain health and function, is higher in adults who exercise regularly.

How to attack and paralyze myeloma cells
Professor Martin Bornhäuser and Dr. Christoph Röllig, both experts in the field of blood cancer at the Carl Gustav Carus Medical Faculty of the TU Dresden, have now turned their long-term clinical and research experience in treatment of multiple myeloma into an instructive review for other physicians.

Mapping the maize genome
Maize is one of the most important cereal crops in the world.

Men who live alone run a greater risk of dying prematurely after stroke
Men who live alone have a considerably greater long-term risk of dying prematurely than other patients.

Hearing-aid intervention helps individuals gradually adjust to devices
When individuals wear their hearing aids for the first time, they are flooded with sounds they have not heard in months or years.

Unexpected turn in diabetes research
Years of diabetes research carried out on mice whose DNA had been altered with a human growth hormone gene is now ripe for reinterpretation after a new study by researchers at KU Leuven confirms that the gene had an unintended effect on the mice's insulin production, a key variable in diabetes research.

Hostile boss? Study finds advantages to giving it right back
In a result that surprised researchers, a new study found that employees who had hostile bosses were better off on several measures if they returned the hostility.

LSU Health NO contributes to work finding shared pathways for psychiatric disorders
Nancy Buccola, Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing at Louisiana State University Health New Orleans School of Nursing, contributed samples used in a study reporting shared genetic risk factors and common pathways for schizophrenia, major depression and bipolar disorder.

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP sees remnants of Mekkhala
After Tropical Storm Mekkhala made landfall in the central Philippines and tracked north, it weakened to a depression.

Metabolic enzyme is upregulated in patients with non-small cell lung cancer
A new study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation identifies a metabolic enzyme that is upregulated in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

Open access collection of original research publications on mind, brain, and consciousness
'Open MIND', an open access collection of original research publications on the mind, brain, and consciousness, will soon be freely available online.

Penn Medicine researchers discover possible new general anesthetics
Penn Medicine researchers, in a continuation of their groundbreaking work to better understand how anesthesia works in the body, have found the first new class of novel anesthetics since the 1970s.

Hydrogels deliver on blood-vessel growth
Injectable hydrogels promote the growth of healthy blood vessels in new tissue.

Stepping stones to NASA's human missions beyond
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Roscosmos cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will embark on the first joint US-Russian one-year mission, underscoring the 'international' in International Space Station as the partners exemplify multilateral cooperation with regard to science.

Chemistry life hacks to help you survive winter (video)
With temperatures falling along with snow, we're smack in the middle of winter.

Poor social integration = poor health
There are many benefits to being supported by a strong social network.

New antibodies for cancer treatment
A research team at Aarhus University, Denmark, has developed 10 new antibodies that can possibly be used in the battle against cancer.

Predators, parasites, pests and the paradox of biological control
When a bird swoops down and grabs a caterpillar devouring your backyard garden, you might view it as a clear victory for natural pest control.

Portable stimulator being tested on Parkinson's patients
Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have shown that a weak electric 'noise' can improve balance and motor skills in patients with Parkinson's disease.

New 'microcapsules' have potential to repair damage caused by osteoarthritis
A new 'microcapsule' treatment delivery method developed by researchers at Queen Mary University of London could reduce inflammation in cartilage affected by osteoarthritis and reverse damage to tissue.

Biggest fish in the ocean receives international protection
Tuna and other fish species may congregate around whale sharks, but new rule reduces the chance that the giant sea creatures could get caught in nets targeting those species.

Hospitalized for pneumonia? Your risk of cardiovascular disease is higher
Your chance of having a heart attack or stroke increases significantly if you have been hospitalized for pneumonia and, as such, should be considered its own independent risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease.

High-dose statin may protect heart surgery patients' kidney health
Study suggests that short-term high-dose atorvastatin therapy may be superior to low-dose atorvastatin for protecting heart surgery patients' kidney health.

Harnessing data from Nature's great evolutionary experiment
Researchers at CSHL have developed a new computational method to identify which letters in the human genome are functionally important.

Wearable sensor clears path to long-term EKG, EMG monitoring
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new, wearable sensor that uses silver nanowires to monitor electrophysiological signals, such as electrocardiographyor electromyography.

Louis-Jeantet-Prize for Medicine goes to Emmanuelle Charpentier
Professor Emmanuelle Charpentier from the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig is one of the two recipients of the 2015 Louis-Jeantet-Prize for Medicine. 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