Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 09, 2015
Benaroya Research Institute will receive $750,000 for food allergy research
Erik Wambre, Ph.D., an immunology and allergy researcher at Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, has received a Mid-Career Investigators Award from Food Allergy Research & Education that provides $750,000 over five years to support research in food allergy, specifically peanut allergy.

How can you see an atom? (video)
Since ancient Greek times, philosophers and scientists have pondered the atom.

Touch-sensing neurons are multitaskers
Two types of touch information -- the feel of an object and the position of an animal's limb -- have long been thought to flow into the brain via different channels and be integrated in sophisticated processing regions.

The benefits of storytelling in video games
A wealth of studies have shown that violent video games contribute to antisocial and aggressive behavior.

Unravelling relativistic effects in the heaviest actinide element
An international collaboration led by the research group of superheavy elements at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Tokai, Japan has achieved the ionization potential measurement of lawrencium (element 103) with a novel-type technique at the JAEA tandem accelerator.

Flip-flopping black holes spin to the end of the dance
Researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology simulated the merger of binary black holes and noticed that one black hole completely changes the orientation of its spin.

Breakthrough finds molecules that block previously 'undruggable' protein tied to cancer
University of Kansas findings on HuR, an 'oncoprotein,' hold promise for treating every type of cancer tested, including cancers of the colon, prostate, breast, brain, ovaries, pancreas and lung.

You scratch his back, he scratches mine and I'll scratch yours
If you have a strong network of business colleagues who sit on each other's board, your pay can be a lot heftier -- but often at the expense of your shareholders.

Our sun came late to the Milky Way's star-birth party
In one of the most comprehensive multi-observatory galaxy surveys yet, astronomers find that galaxies like our Milky Way underwent a stellar 'baby boom,' churning out stars at a prodigious rate, about 30 times faster than today.

SAGE to begin publishing the International Journal of Stroke January 2016
SAGE, one of the world's leading independent and academic publishers, has today announced that it is to publish the International Journal of Stroke, the official journal of the World Stroke Organization incorporating the International Stroke Society and the World Stroke Federation.

Selenide protects heart muscle in the wake of cardiac arrest
Damage to heart muscle from insufficient blood supply during cardiac arrest and reperfusion injury after blood flow is restored can be reduced by nearly 90 percent if selenide, a form of the essential nutrient selenium, is administered intravenously in the wake of the attack, according to a new preclinical study by Mark Roth, Ph.D., and colleagues at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Carnegie Mellon chemists create tiny gold nanoparticles that reflect nature's patterns
Our world is full of patterns, from the twist of a DNA molecule to the spiral of the Milky Way.

UTSW researchers lead collaborative charge to uncover genetic diversity of pancreatic cancer
A genetic analysis led by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers suggests that most pancreatic cancers harbor genetic alterations that could be targeted by existing drugs, using their genetic features as a roadmap for treatment.

Mutation causes mice to behave as if they have an eating disorder
A genetic mutation associated with an increased risk of developing eating disorders in humans has now been found to cause several behavioral abnormalities in mice that are similar to those seen in people with anorexia nervosa.

Signal variability and cognitive performance in the aging human brain
Researchers in the Lifelong Brain and Cognition Lab at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois have utilized the magnetic resonance imaging facilities available in Beckman's Biomedical Imaging Center to measure the moment-to-moment variability in brain activity, more specifically in the blood oxygenation level-dependent signal.

Dealing with death in deployment
A new University of Utah study is the first to provide clear insight into contributors to suicide risk among military personnel and veterans who have deployed.

New Waldenstrom's drug shows sustained benefit at two years
Dana-Farber researchers report in the New England Journal of Medicine that ibrutinib, a newly approved drug for Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia, continues to control the rare blood cancer, with 95 percent of patients surviving for two years.

Scientists tackle our addiction to salt and fat by altering foods' pore size, number
Two University of Illinois food scientists have learned that understanding and manipulating porosity during food manufacturing can affect a food's health benefits.

Improving the quality of medical care using computer understanding of human language
How can computer-based analysis of free text -- the narrative comments found in medical records and expressed in everyday language or technical terminology - help improve the quality of medical care?

NASA study finds small solar eruptions can have profound effects on unprotected planets
While no one yet knows what's needed to build a habitable planet, it's clear that the interplay between the sun and Earth is crucial for making our planet livable -- a balance between a sun that provides energy and a planet that can protect itself from the harshest solar emissions.

Synthetic muscle developed with PPPL scientists' help ready for launch
NASA will launch a rocket containing a synthetic muscle experiment on April 13.

Brain scan study shows clot-busting drug benefits stroke patients
A drug that breaks up blood clots in the brains of stroke patients could be used more widely than at present without increased risk, a brain scan study suggests.

Spending cuts in India will hurt already inadequate health services
Deep cuts in health spending by the Indian government will lead to continued inadequate health services and delays in achieving universal access to healthcare, argue experts in The BMJ this week.

Serious life events in childhood can triple risk of developing type 1 diabetes
New research from Sweden published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) shows that serious life events in childhood, such as death or illness in the family, divorce/separation, a new child or adult in the family, and conflicts in the family, can triple the risk of subsequently developing type 1 diabetes.

Chancellor helps OSC dedicate Ruby Cluster
Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor John Carey and other dignitaries visited Ohio State's west campus April 9 to help unveil the Ohio Supercomputer Center's newest supercomputer platform -- the HP/Intel Xeon Phi Ruby Cluster.

Gene loss creates eating disorder-related behaviors in mice
Building on their discovery of a gene linked to eating disorders in humans, a team of researchers at the University of Iowa has now shown that loss of the gene in mice leads to several behavioral abnormalities that resemble behaviors seen in people with anorexia nervosa.

Civil engineer to explore the use of geothermal energy to melt ice from bridges
A team of researchers from The University of Texas at Arlington is exploring ways to use geothermal energy to make bridges and overpasses safer during winter weather.

UGA researchers find hormone receptor that allows mosquitoes to reproduce
University of Georgia entomologists have unlocked one of the hormonal mechanisms that allow mosquitoes to produce eggs.

Early physical therapy for low back pain reduces costs, resources
A study in the scientific journal BMC Health Services Research shows that early and guideline adherent physical therapy following an initial episode of acute, nonspecific low back pain resulted in substantially lower costs and reduced use of health care resources over a two-year period.

Greatest mass extinction driven by acidic oceans, study finds
Changes to the Earth's oceans, caused by extreme volcanic activity, triggered the greatest extinction of all time, a study suggests.

Who's a CEO? Google image results can shift gender biases
A University of Washington study assesses how accurately gender representations in online image search results for 45 different occupations -- from CEO to telemarketer to engineer -- match reality.

Combined sewer systems lead to risk of illness after heavy rains
Consumers whose drinking water can be contaminated by the release of untreated wastewater after heavy rains face increased risk for gastrointestinal illness, according to a report in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Microbes help produce serotonin in gut
Although serotonin is well known as a brain neurotransmitter, it is estimated that 90 percent of the body's serotonin is made in the digestive tract.

Can facial plastic surgery make you more likeable?
Facial plastic surgery may do more than make you look youthful.

UCLA researchers deliver large particles into cells at high speed
A new device developed by UCLA engineers and doctors eventually help scientists study the development of disease, enable them to capture improved images of the inside of cells and lead to other improvements in medical and biological research.

Choice of protein and carbohydrate-rich foods may have big effects on long-term weight gain
Small changes to the types of protein- and carbohydrate-rich foods that we eat may have a large impact on preventing long-term weight gain.

How the brain balances risk-taking and learning
Salk scientists discover a learning circuit in worms that gives clues to human behavior.

Study revises theory of how PTEN, a critical tumor suppressor, shuts off growth signals
From a team at CSHL, new evidence contradicting prior beliefs about how the protein PTEN -- one of the most important of the body's tumor suppressors -- works; specifically, how it is recruited to particular locations in our cells where pro-growth signals need to be shut off.

Two INRS professors appointed to the Global Young Academy
Professors Patrizio Antici and Tiago Falk of Centre Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications at INRS have been appointed to the Global Young Academy in recognition of their scientific excellence.

NSF brings together UT Dallas computer scientists, industry for new tech hub
UT Dallas computer scientists hope that funding from the National Science Foundation to create an Industry/University Cooperative Research Center will help the Dallas area become a research hub for technology that enhances human abilities.

Stem cell disease model clarifies bone cancer trigger
Using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), a team led by Mount Sinai researchers has gained new insight into genetic changes that may turn a well known anti-cancer signaling gene into a driver of risk for bone cancers.

Every dogwood has its day: Dogwood Genome Project calls on citizen scientists for help
The flowering dogwood tree is associated with the beginning of spring throughout much of the US.

Hormones that guide root growth rates revealed
A plant's roots grow and spread into the soil, taking up necessary water and minerals.

Fires in Western Australia April 2015
Bushfires are inevitable in the fire-prone landscapes of Western Australia.

Make your home a home for the birds
The landscaping plants chosen by residents for their yards plays a much greater role in the diversity of native birds in suburban neighborhoods than do the surrounding parks, forest preserves, or streetside trees, say biologists at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Detecting lysosomal pH with better fluorescent probes
Detecting problems with lysosomes is the focus of a new set of fluorescent probes developed by researchers at Michigan Technological University.

NIH funds 9 antimicrobial resistance diagnostics projects
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded more than $11 million in first-year funding for nine research projects supporting enhanced diagnostics to rapidly detect antimicrobial-resistant bacteria.

Erupting electrodes: How recharging leaves behind microscopic debris inside batteries
An eruption of lithium at the tip of a battery's electrode, cracks in the electrode's body, and a coat forming on the electrode's surface reveal how recharging a battery many times leads to its demise.

Study: Amygdala encodes 'cooties' and 'crushes' in the developing brain
Scientists have found a signal in the brain that reflects young children's aversion to members of the opposite sex (the 'cooties' effect) and also their growing interest in opposite-sex peers as they enter puberty.

Too many obstetrics beds in NYC hospitals: Cost to city is $26.4 million per year
Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and Columbia Business School studied bed capacity -- measured by the number of staffed beds -- in New York City hospital obstetrics units and found a significant excess number of beds, which overall cost the city an estimated $26.4 million each year.

Dynamic dead zones alter fish catches in Lake Erie
Lake Erie's dead zones are actually quite active, greatly affecting fish distributions, catch rates and the effectiveness of fishing gear.

In the sea, a deadly form of leukemia is catching
Outbreaks of leukemia that have devastated some populations of soft-shell clams along the east coast of North America for decades can be explained by the spread of cancerous tumor cells from one clam to another.

Mental practice and physical therapy effective treatment for stroke, research shows
A combination of mental practice and physical therapy is an effective treatment for people recovering from a stroke, according to researchers at Georgia State University.

Texas Biomed scientist receives up to $2.36 million NIH grant over 5 years to study new virus detection
Scientists at Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio are receiving funding from the National Institutes of Health in the form of a $2.36 million R01 grant over the next five years to focus efforts on exploring and developing a novel mechanism of Filovirus detection -- using llama antibodies.

Carnegie Mellon scientists question representation of women in international journal
Three leading cognitive scientists from Carnegie Mellon University are questioning the gender representation of invited contributors in the special February 2015 issue, 'The Changing Face of Cognition,' published by the international journal Cognition.

Nine early career researchers awarded for research presented at fruit fly conference
The Genetics Society of America (GSA) and the Drosophila research community are pleased to announce the winners of the GSA poster awards at the 56th Annual Drosophila Research Conference, which took place in Chicago, Ill., March 4-8, 2015.

New Ebola study points to potential drug target
Opening the door to potential treatments for the deadly Ebola virus, scientists led by Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Vanderbilt biologist receives grant to study inheritable bacterial infections
Vanderbilt biologist Seth Bordenstein has been awarded a $950,000 grant from NSF for research into the regulation of bacterial infections passed from mother to offspring.

Quantum physics -- hot and cold at the same time
Temperature is a statistical concept. Very small systems, consisting of a small number of particles, are not usually described statistically.

Brain activity in infants predicts language outcomes in autism spectrum disorder
Autism spectrum disorder can produce different clinical outcomes in young children, with some having strong conversation abilities and others not talking at all.

Nintedanib in lung cancer: Added benefit depends on disease severity
In non-small cell lung cancer the new angiokinase inhibitor has advantages in patients without brain metastases, but disadvantages in patients with brain metastases.

A call to action for 2 cancer research fronts to join forces
Targeting the genetic drivers of cancer works in clinical trials, but cancers often resurface shortly thereafter.

Drug regulations tied to fewer prescriptions of effective gout drug
Well intentioned, but costly and potentially problematic. That's how researchers describe the end result of a decision by the Food and Drug Administration to regulate colchicine, a drug used to treat gout, among other ailments.

Registration for EULAR 2015 is open!
The European League Against Rheumatism's Annual Congress is the foremost international medical meeting announcing the latest research on rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases with more than 12,000 delegates and 200 members of the press in attendance each year.

U-M researchers track the toxicity of Lake Erie cyanobacterial blooms
Efforts to reduce the amount of phosphorus and other nutrients washing off farm fields and into Lake Erie shifted into overdrive after high levels of a bacterial toxin shut down the drinking water supply to more than 400,000 Toledo-area residents last August.

Study tallies huge cost of hepatitis C drugs for RI prisons
Correctional systems are obliged to care for inmates but, as a new study of Rhode Island prisons shows, treating every chronically infected inmate in the state with expensive but effective hepatitis C drugs would cost nearly twice as much as the entire correctional health budget.

UT Arlington nanopillar fabrication to lead to more efficient electronics
A University of Texas at Arlington engineering researcher will build nanoscale pillars that will lead to more energy-efficient transistors in electronic devices and gadgets.

The most powerful learning 'tool'
We learn how our world works by observing the frequency of events.

Researchers find new approach to treat drug-resistant HER2-positive breast cancer
Resistance to therapy is a major problem in the cancer field.

Epigenomic changes play an important role during the progression of melanoma
KU Leuven researchers have zeroed in on what makes cancer cells in melanoma so aggressive.

Road salt guidelines need review to protect food chain in lakes: York U study
The study, conducted in the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, suggests that lake and highway authorities consider adjusting road salt use protocols to protect aquatic life such as the water flea, by taking the nutritional status of the lakes into account.

Ferromanganese crusts record past climates
The onset of northern hemispheric glaciation cycles three million years ago has dramatically changed Arctic climate.

A grateful heart is a healthier heart
Recognizing and giving thanks for the positive aspects of life can result in improved mental, and ultimately physical, health in patients with asymptomatic heart failure, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Joalane's winds consolidate around its eye
The RapidScat instrument that flies aboard the International Space Station provided data about Tropical Cyclone Joalane's surface winds that showed how the strongest sustained winds consolidated as the tropical cyclone intensified and developed an eye.

York scientists lead study on new treatment for prostate cancer
Scientists at the University of York have discovered a potential new treatment for prostate cancer using low temperature plasmas.

Exceptionally preserved fossil gives voice to ancient terror bird
A new species of South American fossil terror bird called Llallawavis scagliai or, 'Scaglia's Magnificent Bird' is shedding light on the diversity of the group and how these giant extinct predators interacted with their environment.

Dispersant used to clean Deepwater Horizon spill more toxic to corals than the oil
The dispersant used to remediate the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is more toxic to cold-water corals in lower concentrations than the spilled oil.

USC researcher plucks hair to grow hair
If there's a cure for male pattern baldness, it might hurt a little.

Canada Excellence Research Chair meeting at the University of Waterloo
Media are invited to attend the 5th Annual Canada Excellence Research Chairs Meeting at the University of Waterloo, next week.

New evidence for combat and cannibalism in tyrannosaurs
A new study documents injuries inflicted in life and death to a large tyrannosaurine dinosaur.

New high-throughput screening method may uncover novel treatments for kidney disease
Researchers have developed a system that could be used to identify novel drug candidates that protect the function of the kidney cells that are damaged in patients with chronic kidney disease.

Axillary lymph node evaluation performed frequently in ductal carcinoma in situ
Axillary lymph node evaluation is performed frequently in women with ductal carcinoma in situ breast cancer, despite recommendations generally against such an assessment procedure in women with localized cancer undergoing breast-conserving surgery, according to a study published online by JAMA Oncology.

More food, low pollution effort gains traction
Nitrogen fertilizers make it possible to feed more people in the world than ever before.

TGen finds likely genetic source of muscle weakness in 6 previously undiagnosed children
TGen scientists, using state-of-the-art genetic technology, have discovered the likely cause of a child's rare type of severe muscle weakness.

The TRMM rainfall mission comes to an end after 17 years
In 1997 when the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, or TRMM, was launched, its mission was scheduled to last just a few years.

A mother's genes can influence the bacteria in her baby's gut
Researchers at UC Davis have found that a gene, which is not active in some mothers, produces a breast milk sugar that influences the development of the community of gut bacteria in her infant.

The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Being underweight in middle age associated with increased dementia risk
Middle-aged people who are underweight are a third more likely to develop dementia than people of similar age with a healthy BMI, according to new research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.

A downward trend for new cases of pediatric melanoma
Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer that has been increasing in incidence in adults over the past 40 years.

Facial plastic surgery improves perception of femininity, personality, attractiveness
Facial rejuvenation surgery may not only make you look younger, it may improve perceptions of you with regard to likeability, social skills, attractiveness and femininity, according to a report published online by JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

Review highlights potential of cancer immunotherapy plus targeted therapy
The prospect of combining genomically targeted therapies with drugs that free the immune system to attack cancer suggests 'we are finally poised to deliver curative therapies to cancer patients,' researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center note in a review in the April 9 edition of Cell.

Golgi trafficking controlled by G-proteins
A family of proteins called G proteins are a recognized component of the communication system the human body uses to sense hormones and other chemicals in the bloodstream and to send messages to cells.

Delicate magnolia scent activates human pheromone receptor
The question if humans can communicate via pheromones in the same way as animals is under debate.

Smithsonian's Panama debate fueled by zircon dating
New evidence published in Science by Smithsonian geologists dates the closure of an ancient seaway at 13 to 15 million years ago and challenges accepted theories about the rise of the Isthmus of Panama and its impact on world climate and animal migrations.

A pathfinder for optogenetics
A new priority program supported by the German Research Foundation under the auspices of Goethe University has set itself the goal of developing the next generation of optogenetic tools and expanding their application both in basic research and also for medical purposes.

Inbreeding in mountain gorillas may contribute to save the species
Mountain gorillas are large primates critically endangered living in central Africa, but they are adapted to survive in small groups, according to an international research that has sequenced the genome from different gorillas to compare the genomes of all four Gorilla subspecies.

Plasma flow damping observed due to stochastization of the magnetic field
Katsumi Ida and colleagues at the National Institute for Fusion Science of the National Institutes of Natural Sciences and Shigeru Inagaki of the Research Institute for Applied Mechanics of Kyushu University in Japan have clarified in experiment how the flow of magnetically confined plasmas is damped when the magnetic flux surface confining the plasma is disturbed (stochastization of the magnetic field).

Amniotic stem cells demonstrate healing potential
Scientists use stem cells derived from amniotic fluid to promote the growth of robust, functional blood vessels in healing hydrogels.

New evidence supports success of fecal transplants in treatment of Clostridium difficile infection
Research published in the open access journal Microbiome offers new evidence for the success of fecal microbial transplantation in treating severe Clostridium difficile infection, a growing problem worldwide that leads to thousands of fatalities every year.

Children with neurological disorders need flu vaccine but don't always get it
Children who have neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy or epilepsy are no more likely to be vaccinated against influenza than youngsters without these conditions, despite the increased risk for complications from flu these children experience.

Mountain gorillas enter the genomic age
Researchers have produced the first whole-genome sequences of endangered mountain gorillas in the Virunga volcanic mountain range in central Africa.

Scientists awarded $1.2 million to find drug candidates to treat wide range of cancers
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have been awarded $1.2 million from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health to accelerate development of drug candidates to curb one of the most important drivers of human cancer.

Increased levels of radon in Pennsylvania homes correspond to onset of fracking
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers say that levels of radon in Pennsylvania homes -- where 42 percent of readings surpass what the US government considers safe -- have been on the rise since 2004, around the time that the fracking industry began drilling natural gas wells in the state.

Shakespeare's plays reveal his psychological signature
Applying psychological theory and text-analyzing software, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have discovered a unique psychological profile that characterizes Shakespeare's established works, and this profile strongly identifies Shakespeare as an author of the long-contested play Double Falsehood.

Engineers now understand how complex carbon nanostructures form
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are microscopic tubular structures that engineers 'grow' through a process conducted in a high-temperature furnace.

Ocean myth busted: 'Toddler' sea turtles are very active swimmers
It turns out sea turtles, even at a tender 6-18 months of age, are very active swimmers.

First report of a new crop virus in North America
University of Illinois scientists reported in Archives of Virology evidence of the new mastrevirus, tentatively named switchgrass mosaic-associated virus 1.

'Warm blob' in Pacific Ocean linked to weird weather across the US
An unusually warm patch of surface water, nicknamed 'the blob' when it emerged in early 2014, is part of a Pacific Ocean pattern that may be affecting everything from West Coast fisheries and water supplies to East Coast snowstorms.

Brain imaging explains reason for good and poor language outcomes in ASD toddlers
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine researchers say it may be possible to predict future language development outcomes in toddlers with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), even before they've been formally diagnosed with the condition.

CCNY's Theresa Montini awarded $300,000 for tobacco cessation study
Despite significant decreases in Americans' tobacco use, approximately 70 percent of homeless people use tobacco.

Editing HIV out of our genome with CRISPR
In an attempt to render latent HIV completely harmless, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School are using Cas9/CRISPR, a powerful gene editing tool, to develop a novel technology that can potentially cut the DNA of the latent virus out of an infected cell. 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