Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 20, 2015
Nova Southeastern University researcher part of team researching DNA of tigers
A 10-year study looked at DNA similarities of tigers -- living and extinct -- in order to better understand these animals as well as provide a new, more powerful tool for wildlife protection and, hopefully, reducing illegal wildlife commerce.

First blood test for osteoarthritis could soon be available
The first blood test for osteoarthritis could soon be developed, thanks to research by the University of Warwick.

New approach uses 'twisted light' to increase efficiency of quantum cryptography systems
Researchers at the University of Rochester and their collaborators have developed a way to transfer 2.05 bits per photon by using 'twisted light.' This remarkable achievement is possible because the researchers used the orbital angular momentum of the photons to encode information, rather than the more commonly used polarization of light.

Superfast computers a step closer as a silicon chip's quantum capabilities are improved
Research has demonstrated laser control of quantum states in an ordinary silicon wafer and observation of these states via a conventional electrical measurement.

Research team discovers backup system that helps sustain liver during crisis
Scientists from Montana State University and Sweden have discovered an antioxidant system that helps sustain the liver when other systems are missing or compromised.

The Oldest Old are changing Canada
In 1971 there were 139,000 Canadians aged 85 and over.

New Notre Dame paper examines household production and asset prices
A new paper by Zhi Da, Viola D. Hank Associate Professor of Finance at the University of Notre Dame, find that residential electricity usage can track household production in real time and helps to price assets.

Measuring treatment response proves to be a powerful tool for guiding leukemia treatment
Measuring the concentration of leukemia cells in patient bone marrow during the first 46 days of chemotherapy should help boost survival of young leukemia patients by better matching patients with the right intensity of chemotherapy.

African parasite that spreads poverty by killing cattle tamed by its less lethal cousins
African cattle infected with a lethal parasite that kills one million cows per year are less likely to die when co-infected with the parasite's milder cousin, according to a new study published today in Science Advances.

HAWC Observatory to study universe's most energetic phenomena
The High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Gamma-Ray Observatory is the newest tool available to visualize the universe's most explosive events and learn more about the nature of high-energy radiation.

Food-delivery process inside seeds revealed
Inside every seed is the embryo of a plant, and in most cases also a storage of food needed to power initial growth of the young seedling.

Pigs gain the same with corn-ethanol co-product as with corn-soybean meal diet, says study
Distillers dried grains with solubles, or DDGS, are increasingly common in swine diets in the United States.

UN urged to ensure open access to plant genomes: ANU media release
A plant scientist from The Australian National University has called for the United Nations to guarantee free and open access to plant DNA sequences to enable scientists to continue work to sustainably intensify world food production.

INFORMS journal: Firms don't use controversial skimming/penetration strategies to price products
A new study in Marketing Science, a journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, finds that most firms do not use the skimming or penetration strategies that deliberately overprice or underprice new products.

Levee detonations reduced 2011 flood risk on Mississippi River, UCI-led study finds
A controversial decision in 2011 to blow up Mississippi River levees reduced the risk of flooding in a city upstream, lowering the height of the rain-swollen river just before it reached its peak, according to a newly published computer modeling analysis led by UC Irvine scientists.

First proof of isolated attosecond pulse generation at the carbon K-edge
Nature Communications has published a study in which ICFO researchers have been able to demonstrate, for the first time, the generation of isolated attosecond pulses at the water window.

Ice core research gets 25 million kroner from A.P. Møller Foundation
Professor Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, head of Centre for Ice and Climate at the Niels Bohr Institute has received a grant of 25 million kroner from the A.P.

Letting go of the (genetic) apron strings
A new study from Princeton University sheds light on the handing over of genetic control from mother to offspring early in development.

Review of global guidelines for sepsis needed
Experts are calling for a global review of guidelines used to diagnose sepsis, after a study found one in eight patients with infections severe enough to need admission to an Intensive Care Unit in Australia and New Zealand, did not meet current criteria.

Shrinking habitats have adverse effects on world ecosystems
An extensive study of global habitat fragmentation -- the division of habitats into smaller and more isolated patches -- points to major trouble for a number of the world's ecosystems and the plants and animals living in them.

UCLA statistician helps resolve dispute about how gene expression is controlled
A new Perspective piece published in Science shows, perhaps surprisingly, that transcription is the dominant step that determines protein abundance.

From soda bans to bike lanes: Which 'natural experiments' really reduce obesity?
Many public health researchers take advantage of 'natural experiments' -- comparing people's calorie consumption or physical activity levels, either before and after a policy or environmental change, or in contrast to a similar group of people not affected by that change.

Penn Medicine: Potential new drug target may protect against certain neurodegenerative diseases
Penn Medicine researchers have discovered that hypermethylation -- the epigenetic ability to turn down or turn off a bad gene implicated in 10 to 30 percent of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal degeneration -- serves as a protective barrier inhibiting the development of these diseases.

NTU Singapore spin-off clinches S$4.3 million joint venture with Chinese commercial giant
Singapore's water membrane technology is taking a big step in China, following a S$4.3 million joint venture between Nanyang Technological University Singapore's spin-off NanoSun and the China Commerce Group for International Economic Cooperation, a majority state-owned enterprise headquartered in Beijing.

Researchers ID potential prognostic marker for recurrence of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
A new study provides the first evidence that the mediator complex subunit 15 (MED15) may play a crucial role in the pathophysiology of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).

American Society for Microbiology to host 115th General Meeting in New Orleans
The American Society for Microbiology will hold its 115th General Meeting from May 30-June 2, 2015, in New Orleans, La.

Adapting to climate change will bring new environmental problems
Adapting to climate change could have profound environmental repercussions, according to a new study from the University of East Anglia.

New transitory form of silica observed
Silicon dioxide, commonly called silica, is one of the most-abundant natural compounds and a major component of the Earth's crust and mantle.

Conservation works: Forests for water in eastern Amazonia
A new study published in the Journal of Hydrology led by WHRC scientist Prajjwal Panday found that large protected areas in the Xingu River Basin have helped shield this Amazonian watershed from the effects observed in its less-protected neighbor, the Araguaia-Tocantins.

The ISSCR issues statement on human germline genome modification
In a statement released yesterday, the International Society for Stem Cell Research called for a moratorium on attempts at clinical application of nuclear genome editing of the human germ line to enable more extensive scientific analysis of the potential risks of genome editing and broader public discussion of the societal and ethical implications.

Additives to biodegrade plastics don't work
Recycling plastic works; additives to biodegrade plastic do not. A new study from Michigan State University shows that several additives that claim to break down polyethylene (i.e., plastic bags) and polyethylene terephthalate (i.e., soda bottles) simply don't work in common disposal situations such as landfills or composting.

NNI publishes workshop report assessing the status of EHS risk science
The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) today published the report from the workshop, 'Stakeholder Perspectives on Perception, Assessment, and Management of the Potential Risks of Nanotechnology,' which was held Sept.

Researchers develop detailed genetic map of world wheat varieties
Researchers have produced the first haplotype map of wheat that provides detailed description of genetic differences in a worldwide sample of wheat lines.

The welding system of the future is self-learning
Lappeenranta University of Technology is developing an entirely new kind of welding system, one which solves quality and productivity problems related to automated and mechanized welding.

Neuropsychology: Power naps produce a significant improvement in memory performance
A team of researchers at Saarland University has shown that a short nap lasting about an hour can significantly improve memory performance.

Stinging nettle chemical improves cancer drug
A cancer drug could be made 50 times more effective by a chemical found in stinging nettles and ants, new research finds.

America's aging population will require more neurosurgeons for increased brain bleeds
By 2030, chronic subdural hemorrhage (SDH) -- also known as subdural hematoma -- will be the most common adult brain condition requiring neurosurgical intervention in the US, according to a new study conducted by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Nathan crossing Cape York Peninsula
Tropical Cyclone Nathan made landfall in eastern Queensland, Australia's Cape York Peninsula and was moving west across it when NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead.

Scientists must reduce antibiotic use in experiments
Scientists should reduce antibiotic use in lab experiments -- according to a researcher at the University of East Anglia.

Serious risks from common IV devices mean doctors should choose carefully, U-M experts say
Every day, patients get IV devices placed in their arms, to make it easier to receive medicines or have blood drawn.

Physicist seeks answers on supermassive black holes with the next-gen X-ray telescope
University of Waterloo professor Brian McNamara along with two Canadian astronomers will be part of the science working group directing ASTRO-H, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's newest flagship X-ray astronomy observatory.

National team led by Tufts CTSI finds navigators are integral to clinical research process
A study reported in this week's Science Translational Medicine found that qualified investigators are more likely to respond to opportunities for clinical trials if they are contacted by an institution-specific point person, or navigator.

More than 25 percent of acne patients fail to get prescribed medications
Medicine obviously can't do much good if it sits on a pharmacy shelf.

Less futile end-of-life care observed where palliative care knowledge is greater
The greater a director of nursing's knowledge of palliative care the lower the likelihood that nursing home patients will experience futile, aggressive end-of-life care, according to a new large national study.

Black holes and the dark sector explained by quantum gravity
A quantum version of General relativity published in the International Journal of Geometric Methods in Modern Physics demonstrates that Dark Energy and Dark Matter are different manifestations of gravity.

Did a volcanic cataclysm 40,000 years ago trigger the final demise of the Neanderthals?
The Campanian Ignimbrite eruption in Italy 40,000 years ago was one of the largest volcanic cataclysms in Europe and injected a significant amount of sulfur-dioxide into the stratosphere.

Squid enrich their DNA 'blueprint' through prolific RNA editing
RNA editing of genomic information was thought to be sparingly used, based on a limited number of studies in mammals and flies.

Autistic and non-autistic brain differences isolated for first time
The functional differences between autistic and non-autistic brains have been isolated for the first time, following the development of a new methodology for analyzing MRI scans.

Origins of Indo-European languages, new phonological section highlight Language issue
The March 2015 issue of Language, the flagship scholarly journal of the Linguistic Society of America, is now available online.

Sipuleucel-T in prostate cancer: Indication of added benefit
Information subsequently submitted by the drug manufacturer provided better evidence on mortality.

International study raises questions about cause of global ice ages
A new international study casts doubt on the leading theory of what causes ice ages around the world -- changes in the way the Earth orbits the sun.
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