Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 19, 2015
Neck pain can be changed through altered visual feedback
Using virtual reality to misrepresent how far the neck is turned can actually change pain experiences in individuals who suffer from chronic neck pain, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Teens from single-parent families leave school earlier
Individuals who live in single-parent families as teens received fewer years of schooling and are less likely to attain a bachelor's degree than those from two-parent families.

Penn researchers develop new technique for making molybdenum disulfide
University of Pennsylvania researchers have made an advance in manufacturing molybdenum disulphide, a 2-D material that could compete with graphene for replacing silicon in next-generation electronics.

IUPUI biologist receives NIH grant to study how glaucoma develops in stem cells
Jason Meyer, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology in the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, has received a National Institutes of Health grant to study how glaucoma develops in stem cells created from skin cells genetically predisposed to the disease.

Airport screening misses half of disease cases but could be improved
Researchers from the University of California Los Angeles and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have found that in order to be effective, the screening of passengers for disease at airports must be tailored to the outbreak in question.

Study exposes shocking lack of rabies reporting in countries where risk is greatest
The first global survey of rabies reporting systems, published this week, has uncovered a shocking lack of preparedness against this deadly disease across Africa and Asia.

Does dark matter cause mass extinctions and geologic upheavals?
Research by New York University Biology Professor Michael Rampino concludes that Earth's infrequent but predictable path around and through our Galaxy's disc may have a direct and significant effect on geological and biological phenomena occurring on Earth.

UAlberta researchers wind up a 40-year-old debate on betaretrovirus infection in humans
Research from the University of Alberta is shedding new light on primary biliary cirrhosis, a rare liver disease that affects up to one in 500 middle-aged women.

Anti-inflammatory drug counters obesity in mice
Obesity represents a global health problem with limited options available for its prevention or treatment.

Risk of unexpected sarcoma being discovered after hysterectomy appears fairly low
Authors say findings may have implications for the risks associated with morcellation.

More women now using compounded hormones without understanding the risks
From 28 percent to 68 percent of women using hormones at menopause take compounded, so-called 'bioidentical' hormones, but women don't understand the risks of these unapproved, untested treatments, shows an analysis of two large surveys, which was published online today in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society.

Potential toxicity of cellulose nanocrystals examined in Industrial Biotechnology journal
Novel nanomaterials derived from cellulose have many promising industrial applications, are biobased and biodegradable, and can be produced at relatively low cost.

Perfect colors, captured with one ultra-thin lens
A completely flat, ultrathin lens developed at Harvard can focus different wavelengths of light at the same point, achieving instant color correction in one extremely thin, miniaturized device.

Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2015
The Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) 2015 will be held July 18-23 at the Walter E.

Most patients with chronic kidney disease may experience long-term pain
In a study of patients with pre-dialysis chronic kidney disease, most patients reported chronic pain.

Cancer risk linked to DNA 'wormholes'
Single-letter genetic variations within parts of the genome once dismissed as 'junk DNA' can increase cancer risk through wormhole-like effects on far-off genes, new research shows.

Gene may help reduce GM contamination
Genetically modified crops have long drawn fire from opponents worried about potential contamination of conventional crops and other plants.

Pigs can regulate sulfur retention when distillers dried grains are included in diet
Distillers dried grains with solubles, a co-product of the ethanol industry, is becoming a more common ingredient in swine diets.

23andMe authorized by FDA to market first direct-to-consumer genetic test
23andMe has been granted authority by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market the first direct-to-consumer genetic test under a regulatory classification for novel devices.

A dog lives on; now the stage is being set for treating humans
The National Cancer Institute has awarded Scott Verbridge, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering and mechanics at Virginia Tech, a $386,149 research grant to move a process that has been used in clinical trials a step closer to using on humans.

Invasive weed's resistance to well-known herbicide stems from increase in gene copies
A study finds that kochia has evolved to have multiple copies of a gene code that targets glyphosate, the most common herbicide.

Proteins pull together as cells divide
Like a surgeon separating conjoined twins, cells have to be careful to get everything just right when they divide in two.

INRS receives $1.5 million from NSERC for strategic projects
Improving fibre laser system performance, electrochemical carbon dioxide reduction processes, and terahertz technologies are among the challenges Jose Azana, Daniel Guay, and Tsuneyuki Ozaki of the Énergie Materiaux Telecommunications Research Centre at INRS seek to meet.

Study: 25 percent of children who are homeless need mental health services
A pilot study in Wake County, N.C., finds that 25 percent of children who are homeless are in need of mental health services.

Politics and economics affect 'Health in All Policies'
Some governments have decided that health care is too important to leave to their health departments and have made health care a priority for all departments.

Precision medicine to prevent diabetes? Personalized model could steer prevention efforts
Researchers have just released a 'precision medicine' approach to diabetes prevention that could keep more people from joining the ranks of the 29 million Americans with diabetes -- using existing information like blood sugar levels and waist-to-hip ratios, and without needing new genetic tests.

Severe asthma: Gallopamil confirmed as a therapeutic approach
A team of Inserm researchers from the Cardio-Thoracic Research Centre of Bordeaux (Inserm/University of Bordeaux and Bordeaux University Hospital) has demonstrated the clinical efficacy of gallopamil in 31 patients with severe asthma.

Stanley Center at the Broad Institute and NYSCF partner to study psychiatric diseases
The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) and the Stanley Center at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard are partnering to create a foundational stem cell resource to study psychiatric disorders through the production of induced pluripotent stem cell lines from individuals with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders.

UW ophthalmologists help demonstrate effectiveness of diabetic macular edema treatments
An ophthalmology research team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison took part in a nationwide clinical trial comparing treatments for a form of diabetic eye disease.

Growth hormone improves social impairments in those with autism-linked disorder
A growth hormone can significantly improve the social impairment associated with autism spectrum disorder in patients with a related genetic syndrome.

Out of Africa: Did humans migrate quickly and all-at-once or in phases based on weather?
Considerable debate surrounds the migration of human populations out of Africa.

Jumping genes have essential biological functions
'Alu' sequences are small repetitive elements representing about 10 percent of our genome.

New test to predict the effectiveness of cancer vaccines
Many therapeutic cancer vaccines that are currently being developed are designed to direct the immune system against altered cancer-cell proteins.

Johns Hopkins Helps to lead discovery on efficacy and safety of 3 drugs for treating DME
A researcher from Johns Hopkins Medicine helped lead colleagues from across the country in a government-sponsored study by the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network to discover that three drugs -- Eylea, Avastin and Lucentis -- used to treat diabetic macular edema are all effective.

Smarter multicore chips
A new approach to distributing computations could make multicore chips much faster.

BWH study provides evidence for new approaches to prostate cancer
According to the results of a new study conducted at Brigham and Women's Hospital, there is evidence to also support AS as an initial approach for men with favorable intermediate-risk of PC (men with no evidence of the cancer spreading beyond the prostate, a Gleason score of 3+4 or less and PSA, prostate-specific antigen, under 20).

New ALS gene and signaling pathways identified
Using advanced DNA sequencing methods, researchers have identified a new gene that is associated with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Bar-Ilan U. researcher first to observe 'god particle' analogue in superconductors
The Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the Higgs boson -- the 'God particle' believed responsible for all the mass in the universe -- took place in 2012 at CERN's Large Hadron Collider.

New clues to causes of birth defects
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have found a possible clue to why older mothers face a higher risk for having babies born with conditions such as Down syndrome that are characterized by abnormal chromosome numbers.

Caribbean coral findings may influence Barrier Reef studies
Research indicating Caribbean corals may be better equipped to tolerate climate change than previously believed could impact future studies on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

New brain mapping reveals unknown cell types
Using a process known as single cell sequencing, scientists at Karolinska Institutet have produced a detailed map of cortical cell types and the genes active within them.

New measures taken at UNIGE call theories about endocytosis into question
There is no unequivocal explanation behind endocytosis. Two hypotheses prevail for explaining how the wall caves in and forms transport vesicles.

CU neurologist finds link between virus causing chicken pox and giant cell arteritis
A new study developed at the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus links the virus that causes chicken pox and shingles to a condition that inflames blood vessels on the temples and scalp in the elderly, called giant cell arteritis.

UNH research: Flame retardants found to cause metabolic, liver problems
Chemicals used as synthetic flame retardants that are found in common household items such as couches, carpet padding, and electronics have been found to cause metabolic and liver problems that can lead to insulin resistance, which is a major cause of obesity, according to new research from the University of New Hampshire.

Study in Myanmar confirms artemisinin-resistant malaria close to border with India
Resistance to the antimalarial drug artemisinin is established in Myanmar and has reached within 25km of the Indian border, a study published today in Lancet Infectious Diseases reports.

$8 million grant to fund Rat Genome Database at MCW
The Medical College of Wisconsin has received a four-year, $8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to fund the Rat Genome Database, a unique, globally-accessible collection of data from ongoing rat genetic and genomic research efforts.

Possible regulation of cigarettes not likely to significantly change US illicit tobacco market
Although there is insufficient evidence to draw firm conclusions about how the US illicit tobacco market would respond to any new regulations that modify cigarettes -- for example, by lowering nicotine content -- limited evidence suggests that demand for illicit versions of conventional cigarettes would be modest, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine.

Animals tend to evolve toward larger size over time, Stanford study finds
In one of the most comprehensive studies of body size evolution ever conducted, Stanford scientists have found fresh support for Cope's rule, a theory in biology that states that animal lineages tend to evolve toward larger sizes over time.

Scientists identify mineral that destroys organic compounds, with implications for Mars Curiosity mission
Scientists have discovered that the mineral jarosite breaks down organic compounds when it is flash-heated, with implications for Mars research.

Berkeley-Haas marketing professor Clayton Critcher honored with SAGE Young Scholars Award
At Berkeley-Haas since 2010, Marketing Professor Clayton Critcher continues to build his career by studying how people navigate life as economic, political, and moral beings and by shedding light on consumer behavior.

Rheumatology Research Highlights - Winter 2015
Rheumatology Research Highlights provides members of the media with important medical evidence that focuses on rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, juvenile arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Georgia State partners with Chinese pharmaceutical company to develop cancer-fighting compounds
Georgia State University has signed a license agreement with Cisen Pharmaceutical Co.

Cattle damage to riverbanks can be undone
Removing cattle may be all that is required to restore degraded riverside areas in the American West.

Fruit flies remember a good meal, Blood growth factor activates neural stem cells
Two recent highlights from Cell Press's weekly open-access journal Cell Reports: First, new research on the science of appetite has found that the fruit fly brain is wired to remember and crave sweeter, energy-rich foods.

The promiscuity of chemical probes discovered
Researchers at IMIM have applied a new computational methodology to anticipate the degree of selectivity of the molecules that are used to study protein functions and reduce the risk of establishing erroneous relations between proteins and diseases.The study has proven that many of these small molecules or chemical probes are not as selective as believed, but instead interact with multiple proteins, which could lead to confusion in experimental results.This is key to developing safer pharmaceuticals

Up in smoke: Belief that shisha pipe 'filters out' heavy metals
Contrary to popular belief, only a minimal amount of heavy metals are removed in the 'filtration' process when smoking shisha, also known as hookah, according to research published in the open-access journal BMC Public Health.

Statins may not lower Parkinson's risk
The use of statins may not be associated with lowering risk for Parkinson's disease, according to a new study led by researchers at Penn State College of Medicine and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Sickness and health between men and women
Gender and personality matter in how people cope with physical and mental illness, according to a paper by scientists at Washington State University and the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

Insect and mammal ovulation more alike than not?
The average American woman lives more than 80 years and ovulates for 35 of them, producing an egg approximately once a month.

New target for prostate cancer treatment discovered by Keck Medicine of USC researchers
Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California scientists have found a promising new therapeutic target for prostate cancer.

New NIST tools to help boost wireless channel frequencies and capacity
To help solve growing problems with wireless bandwidth crowding and support the next generation of mobile technology, NIST researchers are developing measurement tools for channels that are new for mobile communications and that could offer more than 1,000 times the bandwidth of today's cell phone systems.

New nanogel for drug delivery
MIT chemical engineers have designed a new type of self-healing hydrogel that could be injected through a syringe.

Beyond silicon: New semiconductor moves spintronics toward reality
A new semiconductor compound is bringing fresh momentum to the field of spintronics, an emerging breed of computing device that may lead to smaller, faster, less power-hungry electronics.

Lab tests and ultrasounds identify children who need surgical treatment for appendicitis
Data from two standard diagnostic tests commonly obtained in children evaluated for abdominal pain -- when combined -- can improve the ability of emergency department physicians and pediatric surgeons to identify those patients who should be sent to the operating room for prompt removal of an inflamed appendix; those who may be admitted for observation; and those who may safely be discharged home, according to a new study in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Researchers study role of hydrogen sulfide in regulating blood pressure
Widely considered simply a malodorous toxic gas, hydrogen sulfide is now being studied for its probable role in regulating blood pressure, according to researchers.

Excluding individuals who only have a mobile phone from pre-election polls affects the results
Excluding the population who only have a mobile phone from pre-election telephone polls leads to significant biases in assessing voter intention: the vote for parties situated on the right of the ideological spectrum is overestimated and that for the ones on the left of it is underestimated.

Diet quality declines worldwide, but with major differences across countries
In a first-of-its-kind analysis of worldwide dietary patterns, a team including researchers from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge found overall diet quality worsened across the world even as consumption of healthier foods increased in many countries.

New study helps explain links between sleep loss and diabetes
Lack of sleep can elevate levels of free fatty acids in the blood, accompanied by temporary pre-diabetic conditions in healthy young men.

John Russell to receive the Edward C. Roy, Jr., Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching
John Russell, a teacher at Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science, and Engineering in New York, N.Y., has been named the 2015 recipient of the Edward C.

Probiotic toxin fights coldwater disease in rainbow trout
The rainbow trout is a work of art but when the freshwater fish falls prey to Coldwater Disease, its colorful body erodes into ragged ulcers.

NASA's MAVEN spacecraft completes first deep dip campaign
NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution has completed the first of five deep-dip maneuvers designed to gather measurements closer to the lower end of the Martian upper atmosphere.

A new view of the solar system: Astrophysical jets driven by the sun
New research suggests that the sun's magnetic field controls the large-scale shape of the heliosphere much more than expected.

Cyberbullying linked to 6-fold increase in depression among female college students
More than 1 in 4 females have experienced cyberbullying in college, increasing their risk for depression.

Mitochondria adopt a crosswise pathway for decoding their genome
Mitochondria, true energy power plants of cells, are able to release the energy contained in food by means of the oxygen which we inhale.

UW research shows sensor technology may help improve accuracy of clinical breast exams
Sensor technology has the potential to significantly improve the teaching of proper technique for clinical breast exams, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

A new view of the solar system: Astrophysical jets driven by the sun
New research from Boston University suggests that the sun's magnetic field controls the large-scale shape of the heliosphere much more than had been previously thought.

Giving shape to black holes' intense winds
By looking at the speed of ambient gas spewing out from a well-known quasar, astronomers are gaining insight into how black holes and their host galaxies might have evolved at the same time.

Breast cancer spread may be tied to cells that regulate blood flow
Tumors require blood to emerge and spread. That is why scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center believe that targeting blood vessel cells known as pericytes may offer a potential new therapeutic approach when combined with vascular growth factors responsible for cell death.

Editorial issues a call to action for end-of-life care of older adults in nursing homes
With more than one in four older Americans dying in a nursing home -- including 70 percent of Americans with advanced dementia -- an editorial, 'The IOM Report on Dying in America: A Call to Action for Nursing Homes,' in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association calls for bold action to improve the care and support provided to dying nursing home patients and their families.

Near-perfect antibacterial materials
Ruthless with bacteria, harmless to human cells. New, durable antibacterial coatings of nanocomposites, developed at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, will in future help to improve the hygiene of sportswear, and used in medicine, will reduce the rate of infections and shorten the times of in-patient hospital admissions.

Evolving a bigger brain with human DNA
The human brain expanded dramatically in size during evolution, imparting us with unique capabilities.

Combination of imaging methods improves diagnostics
Scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technische Universität München have succeeded in a breakthrough for the further development of contrast agents and consequently improved diagnostics with imaging using MRI procedures.

Fighting decline of pollinators in Europe
Pollination is crucial to providing food security and wider ecosystem stability.

Joslin researchers find drugs are effective for diabetic macular edema in new trial
In the first clinical trial directly comparing three drugs most commonly used to treat diabetic macular edema, researchers found all were effective in improving vision and preventing vision loss.

Study finds climate change may dramatically reduce wheat production
A recent study involving Kansas State University researchers finds that in the coming decades at least one-quarter of the world's wheat production will be lost to extreme weather from climate change if no adaptation measures are taken.

Research shows that innovative transfusion approach has the potential to save lives
The University of Maryland School of Medicine is part of a new nationwide, multi-site study that may help save hundreds of lives among trauma patients with major bleeding.

Delaying children's school entry linked to poor academic performance
Delaying school entry for children could cause poorer academic performance, according to new research from the University of Warwick.

Minimizing 'false positives' key to vaccinating against bovine TB
New diagnostic tests are needed to make vaccination against bovine tuberculosis (bovine TB) viable and the number of false positives from these tests must be below 15 out of every 10,000 cattle tested, according to research published today in the journal PLOS Computational Biology.

Mobile app with evidence-based decision support diagnoses more obesity, smoking, and depression, Columbia Nursing study finds
Smartphones and tablets may hold the key to getting more nurses to diagnose patients with chronic health issues like obesity, smoking, and depression -- three of the leading causes of preventable death and disability.

Why are kidney patients starting dialysis sooner?
In VA medical centers, patients started dialysis progressively earlier in the course of their kidney disease in more recent years.

NASA covers Tropical Cyclone Lam's landfall in northern territory
As Tropical Cyclone Lam made landfall in Australia's Northern Territory on Feb.

New study reveals the global impact of debris on marine life
Nearly 700 species of marine animal have been recorded as having encountered manmade debris such as plastic and glass according to the most comprehensive impact study in more than a decade.

People with multiple sclerosis may have lower levels of key nutrients
Women with multiple sclerosis may have lower levels of important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, such as folate from food and vitamin E, than healthy people, according to a new study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 67th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., April 18-25, 2015.

Sunlight continues to damage skin in the dark
Much of the damage that ultraviolet radiation does to skin occurs hours after sun exposure, a team of Yale-led researchers concluded in a study that was published online Feb.

Hasbro Children's Hospital finds need for better concussion prevention in youth sports
Dina Morrissey, M.D., M.P.H., research associate for the Injury Prevention Center at Hasbro Children's Hospital, recently led a study that found that while compliance with mandated provisions in youth sports concussion laws was high among Rhode Island Interscholastic League high schools, compliance with recommended concussion protocols was very limited.

Study outlines impact of tsunami on the Columbia River
Engineers at Oregon State University have completed one of the most precise evaluations yet done about the impact of a major tsunami event on the Columbia River, what forces are most important in controlling water flow and what areas might be inundated.

Clearing up Europe's air pollution hotspots
Europe cannot achieve the WHO air quality guidelines without strictly controlling emissions from coal and wood burning for home heating, road traffic, and other sources such as industrial-scale factory farming, according to new IIASA research.

Bovine TB vaccinations and minimizing 'false positives'
Bovine tuberculosis is a major economic disease of livestock worldwide.

Evolution may hold the key to more designer cancer drugs like Gleevec
Dorothee Kern, a professor of biochemistry and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, unraveled the journey of two closely related cancer-causing proteins -- one susceptible to the drug Gleevec and one not -- over one billion years of evolution.

Dasgupta receives American Chemical Society's J. Calvin Giddings Award
Purnendu 'Sandy' Dasgupta, the Jenkins Garrett Professor of Chemistry at the University of Texas at Arlington, has received the 2015 American Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry J.

Dinner Creek Tuff Eruptive Center, eastern Oregon, and other new Geosphere articles
Understanding of the Yellowstone hotspot and its connection to flood basalts of the Columbia River Basalt province, western and northwestern USA, has grown tremendously over the past decades since the model was first proposed in 1972.

Where now for social policy in Scotland?
The role of social policy in shaping post-referendum Scotland in areas such as health, education and social justice will be debated in an event held at the University of Strathclyde next week, Wednesday, Feb.
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