Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 27, 2015
Low-frequency deep brain stimulation improves difficult-to-treat Parkinson's symptoms
Parkinson's disease patients treated with low-frequency deep brain stimulation show significant improvements in swallowing dysfunction and freezing of gait over typical high-frequency treatment.

Researchers pinpoint 2 genes that trigger severest form of ovarian cancer
Researchers from the UNC School of Medicine create the first ever mouse model of ovarian clear cell carcinoma using data gleaned from the human cancer genome atlas.

Brain region vulnerable to aging is larger in those with longevity gene variant
People who carry a variant of a gene that is associated with longevity also have larger volumes in a front part of the brain involved in planning and decision-making, according to researchers at UC San Francisco.

NASA spots heavy rainfall in Tropical Cyclone Diamondra
The eighth tropical cyclone of the Southern Indian Ocean season has formed far from land, and the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite saw some heavy rain east of the storm's center.

Lung cancer clues found in downstream pathway
A new study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center sheds light on the KRAS pathway with a potential target that might have more success at stopping lung cancer growth.

Tracking DNA helps scientists trace origins of genetic errors
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have shed light on how naturally occurring mutations can be introduced into our DNA.

Sexual offending treatment programs in prisons and hospitals are ineffective
The current rehabilitation program for sexual offenders is not proven to work and leaves the public at risk.

Crude conspiracy theories could be right
Researchers have for the first time provided strong evidence for what conspiracy theorists have long thought -- oil is often the reason for interfering in another country's war.

New search engine lets users look for relevant results faster
Researchers at the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT have developed a new search engine that outperforms current ones, and helps people to do searches more efficiently.

ORNL researchers tune friction in ionic solids at the nanoscale
Experiments conducted by researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory have uncovered a way of controlling friction on ionic surfaces at the nanoscale using electrical stimulation and ambient water vapor.

VTT views mineral scarcity and environmental technologies as opportunities
As mineral resources are dwindling, it is becoming increasingly important to know how even the tiniest amounts of minerals can be recovered from waste -- or how minerals can be substituted for other materials in industrial use.

FASEB Science Research Conference: The Growth Hormone/Prolactin Family in Biology and Disease
The FASEB Science Research Conference entitled 'The Growth Hormone/Prolactin Family in Biology and Disease' focuses on the growth hormone (GH)/prolactin (PRL) family of hormones influence the progression of such major health problems as obesity, diabetes, aging, mental health and multiple cancers, in addition to their role in body growth and lactation.

Low sodium levels increases liver transplant survival benefit in the sickest patients
Researchers report that low levels of sodium in the blood, known as hyponatremia, increase the risk of dying for patients on the liver transplant waiting list.

Sam Houston State studies civilians in policing
In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, many police agencies across the country began looking for effective ways to cut costs and maintain services in their departments.

'Bulletproof' battery: Kevlar membrane for safer, thinner lithium rechargeables
New battery technology from the University of Michigan should be able to prevent the kind of fires that grounded Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2013.

Mothers' 'baby talk' is less clear than their adult speech
While we might be inclined to think that 'baby talk' is easier for children to understand, new research findings in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggest that mothers may actually speak less clearly to their infants than they do to adults.

FASEB Science Research Conference: The TGF-B Superfamily: Signaling in Development and Disease
This FASEB Science Research Conference focuses on the TGF-β family of secreted polypeptides that are important during animal embryogenesis, during tissue specification and patterning, and during adult life tissue homeostasis.

'Healthy' fat tissue could be key to reversing type 2 diabetes
Preventing inflammation in obese fat tissue may hold the key to preventing or even reversing type 2 diabetes, new research has found.

New pathway to valleytronics
Berkeley Lab researchers have uncovered a promising new pathway to valleytronics, a potential quantum computing technology in which information is coded based on the wavelike motion of electrons moving through certain 2-D semiconductors.

FASEB SRC: Molecular Mechanisms and Physiological Consequences of Protein Aggregation
This FASEB Science Research Conference focuses on the Molecular Mechanisms and Physiological Consequences of Protein Aggregation associated both with diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease as well as the normal function of certain protein aggregates.

Ancient star system reveals Earth-sized planets forming near start of universe
An international collaboration of scientists, led by the University of Birmingham and contributed by the University of Sydney, has discovered the oldest star hosting Earth-sized planets.

Scientists find drug candidates can block cell-death pathway associated with Parkinson's
In a pair of related studies, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have shown their drug candidates can target biological pathways involved in the destruction of brain cells in Parkinson's disease.

NREL reports examine economic trade-offs of owning versus leasing a solar photovoltaic system
Two new reports from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) examine the economic options customers face when deciding how to finance commercial or residential solar energy systems.

That's using your head
Atherosclerosis -- hardening and narrowing of the arteries -- can be caused by fat build up that causes plaque deposits, and is one of the main causes of cardiovascular disease.

Sugary drinks linked to earlier onset of menstrual periods
Girls who frequently consume sugary drinks tend to start their menstrual periods earlier than girls who do not, according to new research published in Human Reproduction, one of the world's leading reproductive medicine journals.

'Astro-archaeological' discovery from the dawn of time
Scientists led by University of Birmingham asteroseismologists have discovered a solar system with five Earth-sized planets dating back to the dawn of the galaxy.

Yale scientist wins award for discoveries leading to new class of cancer drugs
A Spanish foundation has awarded a major scientific prize to Yale researcher Joseph Schlessinger and two colleagues in recognition of their work leading to the first personalized treatments for cancer.

Researchers use sound to slow down, speed up, and block light
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have experimentally demonstrated, for the first time, the phenomenon of Brillouin Scattering Induced Transparency (BSIT), which can be used to slow down, speed up, and block light in an optical waveguide.

Psychopathic violent offenders' brains can't understand punishment
Psychopathic violent offenders have abnormalities in the parts of the brain related to learning from punishment, according to an MRI study led by Sheilagh Hodgins and Nigel Blackwood.

Prostate cancer: Androgen receptor activates different genes when bound to antiandrogens
The androgen receptor in prostate cancer cells can activate different sets of genes depending on whether it binds with an androgen hormone or an antiandrogen drug, according to a new study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center -- Arthur G.

Neuroscience researchers believe in quitting smoking gradually
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have studied the immediate reaction in the brain after quitting smoking.

The laser pulse that gets shorter all by itself
A new method of creating ultra short laser pulses has been created: Just by sending a pulse through a cleverly designed fiber, it can be compressed by a factor of 20.

Financial incentives help pregnant women to quit smoking
Offering shopping vouchers to expectant mothers can be cost effective.

FASEB Science Research Conference: Nutritional Immunology: Role in Health and Disease
This FASEB Science Research Conference focuses on the interactions among nutrition, immunity and infectious and inflammatory outcomes.

Researchers identify natural plant compounds that work against insects
'Insect-specific growth regulators' are compounds that regulate the growth of insects.

New study will help researchers change face of military training
The Office of Naval Research this week launched a study that could lead to breakthroughs in creating the next-generation of avatars, robots and other human surrogates for military training.

Negative patient-doctor communication could worsen symptoms
Research by the University of Exeter Medical School, and the psychology departments at the University of Exeter and University of Southampton published in the American Journal of Medicine, indicates that a type of 'nocebo' response -- where patients perceive a lack of understanding or acceptance from their doctor -- could create anger and distress, physiological conditions that could worsen illness.

UT Dallas professor named IEEE Fellow
Renewable energy leader Dr. Babak Fahimi, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Texas at Dallas has been elected a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the world's largest professional association for the advancement of technology.

Man trumps dog: Earlier assumption about BPA exposure confirmed
Coating the mouth with BPA-containing food, like soup, does not lead to higher than expected levels of BPA in blood, a new study in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology shows.

Stomach acid-powered micromotors get their first test in a living animal
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have shown that a micromotor fueled by stomach acid can take a bubble-powered ride inside a mouse.

FASEB Science Research Conference: Signal Transduction in the Immune System
The major goal of this conference is to provide a comprehensive focus on recent advances regarding the signaling mechanisms involved in the response of immune cells in both health and disease.

Achieving a world without AIDS: Scale must give way to focus, details
The global AIDS community has its sights set on three new goals, known as the '90-90-90' targets.

FASEB SRC: Molecular and Systems Integration of Genomic and Nongenomic Steroid Hormone Action
The purpose is to bring together a diverse group of scientists with expertise ranging from endocrinology, energy metabolism, neuroendocrinology, epigenetics, environmental endocrine disruptors, cardiovascular function, reproduction, immunology, neurobiology and cancer to present exciting new discoveries that uncover fresh insights into system-wide action of nuclear hormone receptors acting at nongenomic and genomic levels.

Kepler astronomers discover ancient star with 5 Earth-size planets
Iowa State's Steve Kawaler is part of an international team that used data from NASA's Kepler spacecraft to find an 11.2-billion-year-old star with at least five Earth-size planets.

Chinese government awards INRS professor Federico Rosei
Professor Federico Rosei of the INRS Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre has won the Chang Jiang Scholars Award, a highly prestigious distinction for world-class researchers given by the Chinese government.

LA BioMed study finds traumatic brain injury treatment is ineffective
Researchers finds platelet transfusions and DDAVP are not effective in preventing further bleeding in the brain or in reducing the risk of death for patients with traumatic brain injuries.

UofL sole site in Kentucky testing investigational device for emphysema
The University of Louisville has launched a research trial to study an investigational medical device designed to aid patients with emphysema by shutting off the diseased part of the lung

Study shows salivary biomarkers predict oral feeding readiness in preterm newborns
Results from a study published online in The Journal of Pediatrics hold the potential to substantially improve clinical decision-making to determine when a premature newborn is ready for oral feeding.

MRIs link impaired brain activity to inability to regulate emotions in autism
Researchers from the UNC School of Medicine have found that -- when it comes to the ability to regulate emotions - brain activity in autistic people is significantly different than is brain activity in people without autism.

Funding for pulmonary rehabilitation study in East Africa
A research team from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry has received funding from the Medical Research Council/Department for International Development/Wellcome Trust Joint Global Health Trials Scheme, to evaluate a chronic lung disease rehabilitation program in East Africa.

Genetics Society of America names Steven Henikoff as recipient of GSA Medal
The Genetics Society of America is pleased to announce that Steven Henikoff, PhD, has been awarded the Genetics Society of America Medal in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of genetics during the past 15 years.

Infant failure to thrive linked to lysosome dysfunction
Neonatal intestinal disorders that prevent infants from getting the nutrients they need may be caused by defects in the lysosomal system -- or cell recycling center -- that occur before weaning.

This week from AGU: Iceberg sounds, underground water reserves, volcanoes on Mars
This week from AGU: iceberg sounds, underground water reserves, and volcanoes on Mars.

Association between parental time pressure and mental health problems among children
A doctor's thesis at Sahlgrenska Academy has found that children whose parents experience time pressure are more likely to have mental health problems.

Children feel most positively about mothers who respect their autonomy
University of Missouri researchers have found that mothers who support their children's need for autonomy as the children grow tend to be viewed more positively by their children.

Stellar astronomers answer question posed by citizen scientists: 'What are yellowballs?'
Citizen scientists wanted to know: what are the yellow objects on these infrared images from the Spitzer Space Telescope?

Is the medical match fair?
A study finds the demand for positions strongly influences medical residents' salaries.

Climate change redistributes fish species at high latitudes
For millions of years, large parts of the marine biotas of the North Atlantic and North Pacific have been separated by harsh climate conditions in the Arctic.

The world's oldest known snake fossils: Rolling back the clock by nearly 70 million years
Fossilized remains of four ancient snakes have been dated between 140 and 167 million years old -- nearly 70 million years older than the previous record of ancient snake fossils -- and are changing the way we think about the origins of snakes.

Spider electro-combs its sticky nano-filaments
A spider commonly found in garden centers in Britain is giving fresh insights into how to spin incredibly long and strong fibers just a few nanometers thick.

Low influenza vaccination rates among nursing home employees put residents at risk, study finds
Influenza is associated with as many as 7,300 deaths annually in nursing home residents, but the vaccination rate for nursing home staff is only 54 percent, according to a study in the February issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

New project to develop a drug to fight cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia
The goal of 'Spark' is to carry out the first preclinical stage of the development of a first-in-class drug that will prevent, stop and reverse the progression of cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia and other mental disorders, and to be able to start first-in-humans trials by 2016.

Carbon nanoballs can greatly contribute to sustainable energy supply
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have discovered that the insulation plastic used in high-voltage cables can withstand a 26 percent higher voltage if nanometer-sized carbon balls are added.

Canada, partners invest US$1.6 million to improve mental health in Africa
A Canadian government investment of CDN$1 million (US$800,00, matched by partners for a total of US$1.6 million) will help scale up an innovative, franchised approach to the treatment and support of people with mental illness in resource-poor countries.

Decisions on future childbearing in women diagnosed with a meningioma
Female meningioma survivors were surveyed to ascertain their personal attitudes toward childbearing and what influences may have played a role in their attitudes.

Things smell good for a reason
Antioxidants are natural food ingredients that protect cells from harmful influences.

New mechanism unlocked for evolution of green fluorescent protein
A primary challenge in the biosciences is to understand the way major evolutionary changes in nature are accomplished.

NASA and NOAA's nighttime and daytime views of the blizzard of 2015
NASA and NOAA have provided night-time and daytime views of the Blizzard of 2015 from the Suomi NPP and the GOES-East satellites.

Lawrence Livermore research finds early Mesoamericans affected by climate change
Scientists have reconstructed the past climate for the region around Cantona, a large fortified city in highland Mexico, and found the population drastically declined in the past, at least in part because of climate change.

How creative are you? Depends where you're from
With the 'creative class' on the rise, many businesses are trying to capitalize on imagination and innovation.

Survey indicates willingness of general population to donate tissue samples to biobank
A survey of nearly 1,600 individuals found that the majority were willing to donate tissue samples and medical information to a biobank for research and that most were willing to donate using a blanket consent, according to a study in the Jan.

What do medical journalists think about cancer research?
Researchers at the University of Tokyo, Japan sent self-administered questionnaires to 364 medical journalists, who described their experiences in selecting stories, choosing angles, and performing research when creating cancer-centered news pieces.

Fish catch break on world stage at global conference
Freshwater fish provide the food, sport and economic power across the globe.

Keeping the Kraken asleep
Despite enormous progress in cancer therapy, many patients still relapse because their treatment addresses the symptoms of the disease rather than the cause, the so-called stem cells.

Beneficial effects of surgery for epilepsy are sustained for more than 15 years
Brain surgery for otherwise hard-to-treat epilepsy is effective for up to 15 years, according to a new survey by Henry Ford Hospital physicians.

Researchers advance the science behind treating patients with corneal blindness
Researchers in the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute have devised a novel way to generate transplantable corneal stem cells that may eventually benefit patients suffering from life-altering forms of blindness.

Using stem cells to grow new hair
In a new study from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, researchers have used human pluripotent stem cells to generate new hair.

Targeted MRI/ultrasound beats standard biopsy to detect high-risk prostate cancer
Targeted biopsy using new fusion technology that combines magnetic resonance imaging with ultrasound is more effective than standard biopsy in detecting high-risk prostate cancer, according to a large-scale study published today in JAMA.

Intracranial stimulation proved efficient in the recovery of learning and memory in rats
Stimulation of the hypothalamus completely reverses learning and memory deficits caused by brain lesions in rats, according to a first time discovery by a group of researchers led by the UAB.

Using 3-D printing, MakerBot and Feinstein Institute repair tracheal damage
Investigators at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have made a medical breakthrough using 3-D printing on a MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3-D Printer to create cartilage designed for tracheal repair or replacement.

How do moisturizers work? (video)
The cold weather of winter can also mean dry, cracked skin.

Web surfing to weigh up bariatric surgery options
Obese people considering weight-reducing surgery are only topped by pregnant women when it comes to how often they turn to the Internet for health advice.

Engineer receives NSF CAREER award for nanotechnology research, educational outreach
Gurpreet Singh, assistant professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering at Kansas State University, has received a $500,000 National Science Foundation CAREER award for his nanotechnology research.

To everything there is a season: UAlberta researcher finds leg cramps are seasonal
Nighttime leg cramps commonly affect adults over the age of 50, but are also known to occur in younger adults and children.

From Tar Sands to Ring of Fire -- forewarning changes to Canada's watersheds
Ecologists have found the conservation of aquatic ecosystems in Canada has not kept pace with the country's changing landscape, and a prioritization of protection is needed.

NREL scientist Brian Gregg named AAAS Fellow
Brian Gregg, a scientist at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Smoking may increase risks for patients being treated for prostate cancer
Among patients with prostate cancer, those who smoke have increased risks of experiencing side effects from treatment and of developing future cancer recurrences, or even dying from prostate cancer.

Novel radioguided brain surgery technique could help pinpoint cancerous tissue
A novel radioguided surgery technique could quickly and effectively identify residual cancer cells during brain tumor surgery, with low radiation exposure for both patients and surgeons.

Drug combo suppresses growth of late-stage prostate cancer tumors
Low doses of metformin, a widely used diabetes medication, and a gene inhibitor known as BI2536 can successfully halt the growth of late-stage prostate cancer tumors, a Purdue University study finds.

The origin of life: Labyrinths as crucibles of life
Water-filled micropores in hot rock may have acted as the nurseries in which life on Earth began.

FASEB Science Research Conference: Mechanism and Regulation of Prokaryotic Transcription
This FASEB Science Research Conference focuses on advances made and current challenges around obtaining a complete mechanistic understanding of how events in the transcription process are regulated in prokaryotes.

Women diagnosed with PCOS twice as likely to be hospitalized
Women diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome -- the most common hormone disorder in women of reproductive age -- face a heightened risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, mental health conditions, reproductive disorders and cancer of the lining of the uterus than healthy women, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Urban sprawl promotes worm exchange across species
New research has shed light on the complex exchange of parasitic worms between wildlife, rats and humans.

FASEB Science Research Conference: Protein Lipidation, Signaling, and Membrane Domains
This FASEB Science Research Conference will focus on new insights into in our understanding of how lipid-modified proteins and membrane microdomains promote normal physiological processes, and emphasizing important roles in major human disorders.

Both weight loss and weight gain linked with increased fracture risk
Both weight gain and weight loss in older (postmenopausal) women are associated with increased incidence of fracture, but at different anatomical sites, finds a study published in The BMJ this week.

FASEB Science Research Conference: Mechanisms in Plant Development
This FASEB Science Research Conference is an important and unique scientific meeting where the intersections of plant development, signaling, modeling and genomics are explored through talks, poster sessions, and intensive scientific discussion.

Cell mechanism discovered that may cause pancreatic cancer
Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah have found that defects in how cells are squeezed out of overcrowded tissue to die, a process called extrusion, may be a mechanism by which pancreatic cancer begins.

Respiratory chain: Protein complex structure revealed
The structure of the largest protein complex in the respiratory chain, that of mitochondrial complex I, has been elucidated by scientists from the Frankfurt 'Macromolecular Complexes' cluster of excellence, working together with the University of Freiburg, by X-ray diffraction analysis.

Nanoparticles that deliver oligonucleotide drugs into cells described in Nucleic Acid Therapeutics
Therapeutic oligonucleotide analogs represent a new and promising family of drugs that act on nucleic acid targets such as RNA or DNA; however, their effectiveness has been limited due to difficulty crossing the cell membrane.

Researchers finds hormone that increases the sex drive of mice
Research at the University of Gothenburg show that mice that receive a supplement of the 'appetite hormone' ghrelin increase their sexual activity.

Carbon accumulation by Southeastern forests may slow
Carbon accumulation levels in the Southeastern US may be slowing due to forest dynamics and land use changes, according to findings of US Forest Service researchers published in the journal Scientific Reports, Friday.

Easter Island mystery
A collaborative study suggests that the island's native culture reacted to natural environmental barriers to producing sufficient crops.

Researchers find potential anti-cancer use for anti-epilepsy drug
Scientists at the University of York have discovered that a drug used widely to combat epilepsy has the potential to reduce the growth and spread of breast cancer.

Targeted biopsy technique linked with increased detection of high-risk prostate cancer
Among men undergoing biopsy for suspected prostate cancer, targeted magnetic resonance/ultrasound fusion biopsy, compared with a standard biopsy technique, was associated with increased detection of high-risk prostate cancer and decreased detection of low-risk prostate cancer, according to a study in the Jan.

Dog disease in lions spread by multiple species
Canine distemper, a viral disease that's been infecting the famed lions of Tanzania's Serengeti National Park, appears to be spread by multiple animal species, according to a study published by a transcontinental team of scientists.

Does space flight inspire school students to take STEM subjects?
Science Education researchers at University of York are to work with leading space scientist and The Sky at Night presenter Dr.

CWRU researcher on the clock to improve early Ebola detection
To reduce or eliminate false positive results from the quickest and most sensitive Ebola test, researchers will make a positive control for processing Ebola DNA.

Age concern in largest ever study of heroin user deaths
Older users of opioids such as heroin are 27 times more likely to become a victim of homicide than the general population, a University of Manchester study of almost 200,000 users has found.

Analysis rejects linkage between testosterone therapy and cardiovascular risk
Fears of a link between testosterone replacement therapy and cardiovascular risk are misplaced, according to a review published in this month's Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

FASEB Science Research Conference: Protein Kinases and Protein Phosphorylation
This FASEB Science Research Conference will focus on the basic biology of protein kinases and phosphorylation-dependent signaling networks, as well as their roles in human disease, bringing together established scientists, young investigators, and trainees.

2015 AAAS/Subaru SB&F prizes honor science books that encourage exploration
Four groundbreaking books that present scientific information in innovative ways to young audiences have earned the 2015 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books.

Supercomputing the evolution of a model flower
Cold and drought sensitive genes in Arabidopsis thaliana flowering plant found to evolve differential expression responses.

Blind beetles show extraordinary signs of sight
University of Adelaide researchers have made a surprising discovery in the aquifers beneath the Western Australian desert, which challenges the traditional Darwinian view of evolution.

Satellite study identifies water bodies important for biodiversity conservation
Using satellite images to study changing patterns of surface water is a powerful tool for identifying conservationally important 'stepping stone' water bodies that could help aquatic species survive in a drying climate, a UNSW Australia-led study shows.

NREL releases the 2013 Renewable Energy Data Book, detailing increases in installed capacity
he newly released 2013 Renewable Energy Data Book illustrates United States and global energy statistics, including renewable electricity generation, renewable energy development, clean energy investments, and technology-specific data and trends.

Retreat of multiculturalism 'is a myth'
Perceptions of a decline in multiculturalism as a means of integrating ethnic minorities are unfounded, research led at the University of Strathclyde has found.
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