Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 13, 2015
Common herpes medication reduces HIV-1 levels, independent of herpes infection
Case Western Reserve researchers are part of an international team that has discovered that a common herpes drug reduces HIV-1 levels -- even when patients do not have herpes.

York scientists question tropical protected areas' role under climate change
New research led by University of York scientists highlights how poor connectivity of protected area networks in Southeast Asia may prevent lowland species from responding to climate change.

New quality measures approved for childhood sleep apnea
Multi-institutional work group proposes new metrics to help ensure physicians, parents and payers follow best practices identifying and treating childhood obstructive sleep apnea.

Big toe's big foot holds evolutionary key
Our skeletons hold tell-tale signs that show that human bipedalism are unique to humans especially when compared to our closest living relatives, apes.

SXSW features Center for BrainHealth talk -- VR: Building healthier social brains
Cognitive neuroscientists, clinicians and game developers at the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas have created a virtual reality platform to help individuals on the autism spectrum achieve social and economic independence.

The Blue13 strain of the fungus responsible for potato blight is detected in Spain
Scientists have studied the genetic structure of Phytophthora infestans --responsible for potato blight-- and have identified the existence of the Blue13 (13_A2) genotype for the first time in Spain.

MARC Travel Awards announcement for: The West Coast SDB Regional Meeting
FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for the West Coast SDB Regional Meeting from March 24-27, 2015 in Yosemite, Calif.

Novel monitoring tools tackle chemical surface waters pollution
In the context of the Water Framework Directive, a European report on aquatic effect-based monitoring tools has been published with the aim of supporting the Directive's monitoring programs: surveillance, operational and investigative.

Organisms can keep gene expression in check: York U biologist
The current study, jointly conducted by York University and Columbia University researchers, suggests that Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier modifies proteins bound to active genes, in order to prevent unfettered gene over-expression that can be harmful to the organism.

MARC travel awards announced for: The 2015 ASCI/AAP Joint Meeting
FASEB MARC, Maximizing Access to Research Careers, Program has announced the travel award recipients for the 2015 ASCI/AAP Joint Meeting from April 24-26, 2015 in Chicago, Ill.

Birth weight and pregnancy complications associated with the enamel defects
Today at the 93rd General Session and Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research, researcher Bertha A.

Chitin, a structural molecule associated with allergy response, is identified in vertebrates
Scientists at Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason have made an unexpected discovery that overturns a longstanding belief in the biological sciences.

Researchers uncover a mechanism linking inhaled diesel pollution and respiratory distress
Researchers in the UK have, for the first time, shown how exhaust pollution from diesel engines is able to affect nerves within the lung.

NIH awards $2.4 million to image cerebral cortex function and development
Dr. David Fitzpatrick, Scientific Director and CEO at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, has been awarded a $2.4 million five-year grant from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health to study the functional organization and development of neural circuits in the cerebral cortex, specifically, in the area of brain responsible for processing visual information.

OSKM stoichiometry determines iPS cell reprogramming
Researchers at Kyoto University's Center for iPS Cell Research and Application discover a simple way to increase the production of induced pluripotent stem cells.

Listening to classical music modulates genes that are responsible for brain functions
According to the recent Finnish study, listening to classical music enhanced the activity of genes involved in dopamine secretion and transport, synaptic neurotransmission, learning and memory, and down-regulated the genes mediating neurodegeneration.

UA researchers unlock the mysteries of wound healing
A multidisciplinary research team discovers how cells know to rush to a wound and heal it -- opening the door to new treatments for diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Enhanced flu protection: Four beats three
Findings by a Saint Louis University researcher parallel earlier results: Adding a strain of influenza B could improve effectiveness of an influenza vaccine.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, March 2015
March 2015 story tips include shielding against energy loss; and innovations showcase, and GE Appliances, ORNL sign an agreement.

Energy drinks raise resting blood pressure
Healthy young adults who don't consume caffeine regularly experienced greater rise in resting blood pressure after consumption of a commercially available energy drink -- compared to a placebo drink -- thus raising the concern that energy drinks may increase the risk of cardiac events, Mayo Clinic researchers found.

Bariatric surgery appears to cut risks for serious asthma-related events
A study led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators suggests that bariatric surgery can significantly reduce the risk of asthma attacks -- also called exacerbations -- in obese patients with asthma.

NASA sees major Tropical Cyclone Pam near Vanuatu
The Southern Pacific Ocean's Tropical Cyclone Pam was a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale when NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead.

Presentation is key in antenatal information, research suggests
The font type of written text and how easy it is to read can be influential when it comes to engaging people with important health information and recruiting them for potentially beneficial programs, new research by The University of Manchester and Leeds Beckett University has found.

First gathering of biotech experts aims to establish ethical standards in cellular biotechnology
BEINGS 2015 is a first-of-its-kind summit initiated to discuss the regulations and policies regarding R&D efforts involving cellular biotechnology.

River algae affecting mercury pollution at Superfund site, Dartmouth-led study shows
Dartmouth scientists and their colleagues have found that periphyton -- a community of algae, bacteria and other natural material living on submerged surfaces -- is helping to transform mercury pollution from a Superfund site along a New Hampshire river into a more toxic form of the metal.

Dr. P. Patrick Leahy of the American Geosciences Institute awarded Pick and Gavel Award
The Association of American State Geologists has recognized the Executive Director of the American Geosciences Institute, Dr.

Nodal alone does not produce anti-cancer effects
In a new study, standard treatments for metastatic melanoma are not effective against a growth factor protein called Nodal.

Publication of sleep medicine quality measures promotes value-based care
Today the American Academy of Sleep Medicine published new quality measures for five common sleep disorders, which represents a landmark achievement in the promotion of high quality, patient-centered care in the medical subspecialty of sleep medicine.

Expanding blood pressure screenings beyond primary care can improve hypertension detection
Expanding blood pressure screenings to non-primary care settings can help identify more patients with high blood pressure, commonly called hypertension, and could contribute to better hypertension control and management, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published today in The Journal of Clinical Hypertension.

The Lancet: International experts call for an end to preventable deaths from acute kidney injury by 2025
Preventable deaths caused by acute kidney injury could be nearly eliminated in just 10 years, according to leading medical experts.

Blood pressure drug protects against symptoms of multiple sclerosis in animal models
An FDA-approved drug for high blood pressure, guanabenz, prevents myelin loss and alleviates clinical symptoms of multiple sclerosis in animal models, according to a new study.

Environmental tobacco smoke is associated with periodontitis in US non-smokers
Today at the 93rd General Session and Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research, researcher Aderonke A.

Genetically engineered immunotoxin shows early promise in patients with B-cell malignancies
DT2219, a new bispecific ligand-directed diphtheria toxin, was found to be safe and clinically effective in a small group of patients with relapsed/refractory B-cell malignancies, according to phase I clinical trial data.

Sugar-based, bio-inspired surfactants hold promises from cosmetics to oil spill cleanups
GlycoSurf, a startup company from the University of Arizona, has finalized an exclusive license agreement for a new chemical synthesis technology for the synthesis of environmentally-friendly surfactants - also known as biosurfactants -- which are non-toxic and biodegradeable and used as 'green' replacements for petroleum-based surfactants.

Tropical Cyclone Nathan crawling in NASA satellite imagery
Tropical Cyclone Nathan has made its cyclonic loop in the Coral Sea near Queensland, Australia's Cape York Peninsula, and is headed away from land.

New technology may double radio frequency data capacity
Columbia engineers have invented a technology -- full-duplex radio integrated circuits -- that can be implemented in nanoscale CMOS to enable simultaneous transmission and reception at the same frequency in a wireless radio.

Tropical Storm Bavi moving through Northwestern Pacific Ocean
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Bavi as it continued on a west-northwesterly track through the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

Prolonged shortened sleep increases blood pressure at night
People exposed to prolonged periods of shortened sleep have significant increases in blood pressure during nighttime hours, Mayo Clinic researchers report in a small study of eight participants.

Invasive species use landmarking to find love in a hopeless place
Tiny populations of invasive species such as Asian carp start their domination of new ecosystems by hanging out at local landmarks, according to a new study published in the journal Theoretical Ecology this week.

NASA spacecraft in Earth's orbit, preparing to study magnetic reconnection
Following a successful launch at 10:44 p.m. EDT Thursday, NASA's four Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft are positioned in Earth's orbit to begin the first space mission dedicated to the study of a phenomenon called magnetic reconnection.

UW expert part of international research project on female genital cutting
A consortium comprising several African organizations and two US researchers has embarked on the most ambitious effort to date to reduce female genital cutting.

Female mice do not avoid mating with unhealthy males
Scent plays an important role for many creatures when it comes to choosing a mating partner.

Georgetown legal scholar: E-cigarettes can be regulated now without more research
A legal scholar and tobacco control expert says he has developed a research-based roadmap that allows for the immediate regulation of e-cigarettes.

Penn and ExxonMobil address long-standing mysteries behind anti-wear motor oil additive
Motor oil contains chemical additives that extend how long engines can run without failure, but, despite decades of ubiquity, how such additives actually work to prevent this damage have remained a mystery.

Bond and bond alike
As with magnets and alternating current, positively charged molecules never aim for one another.

New antibody therapy dramatically improves psoriasis symptoms in clinical trial
By blocking an immune signaling protein known as interleukin-23 involved in this autoimmune disorder, this antibody treatment raises the possibility of sending psoriasis into long-term remission.

Fusion researchers make breakthrough on ELMs mitigation
Princeton and General Atomics researchers make breakthrough in understanding how to overcome obstacle to controlled fusion reactions.

Tropical Cyclone Olwyn landfalls as NASA's Terra satellite flies overhead
Shortly after Tropical Cyclone Olwyn made landfall near Cape Cuvier in Western Australia early on March 13, NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of the storm.

Nearly 70 percent of evangelicals do not view religion, science as being in conflict
Media and popular culture might portray religion and science as being at odds, but new research from Rice University suggests just the opposite.

NCCN publishes new guidelines for smoking cessation
To meet the needs of patients who are smokers at the time of a cancer diagnosis, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has published the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Smoking Cessation.

Public lecture, press room, Twitter, and more: CNS 2015 conference only 2 weeks away
Innovations in Mind and Brain Science... The 22nd annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS) in San Francisco is only two weeks away!

INRS professor François Légaré wins the 2015 Herzberg Medal
Professor François Légaré of the INRS Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre has been awarded the 2015 Herzberg Medal by the Canadian Association of Physicists in recognition of his outstanding contributions in ultra-fast molecular imaging and the development of high peak power infrared lasers for high harmonic generation and tissue imaging using optical nonlinear microscopy.

Clemson to host leaders in computing infrastructure for campus research
Leaders involved in operating and supporting campus-shared research computing infrastructure will participate in a best practices workshop on Advancing Research Computing on Campuses March 17-19 at Clemson University.

Cebit 2015: Mobile quarantine station for malicious Android apps
It is turning into a widespread problem that malicious apps, designed for mobile phones with an Android operating system, compromise user data.

AACR to host annual meeting in Philadelphia, April 18-22, 2015
The American Association for Cancer Research will showcase newsworthy research on clinical trials, epidemiology, immunology, epigenetics, laboratory science, and translational medicine at its Annual Meeting, April 18-22, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

The Lancet: More than 2 million people die prematurely every year because treatment for kidney failure is unavailable
New estimates published in The Lancet indicate that at best only half of people worldwide needing kidney dialysis or transplantation to treat kidney failure in 2010 received it.

NASA sees fading rare south Atlantic storm 90Q, one of three since 2004
Just one day after it formed, the southern Atlantic Ocean the now former sub-tropical storm 90Q appeared to be fizzling out on NASA satellite imagery.

New Mercury surface composition maps illuminate the planet's history
Two new papers from members of the MESSENGER Science Team provide global-scale maps of Mercury's surface chemistry that reveal previously unrecognized geochemical terranes -- large regions that have compositions distinct from their surroundings.

Analysis of worm neurons suggests how a single stimulus can trigger different responses
New research at Rockefeller University offers a new neurological explanation for variability in behavior that they derived by studying a simple three-cell network within the roundworm brain. 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