Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 24, 2015
Dead feeder cells support stem cell growth
Stem cells naturally cling to feeder cells as they grow in petri dishes.

New insight into how brain makes memories
Vanderbilt researchers have identified the role that a key protein associated with autism and the co-occurrence of alcohol dependency and depression plays in forming the spines that create new connections in the brain.

Stem-cell-based therapy promising for treatment of breast cancer metastases in the brain
Investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute have developed an imageable mouse model of brain-metastatic breast cancer and shown the potential of a stem-cell-based therapy to eliminate metastatic cells from the brain and prolong survival.

Cancer rates among patients with hepatitis C are increased compared to those not infected
Results announced today at The International Liver CongressTM 2015 show that cancer rates in patients with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) were significantly increased compared to the non-HCV cohort.

DBT dramatically improves cancer detection rate in dense breast tissue
Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) increases the rate of cancer detection in women with dense breast tissue by as much as 67 percent, according to new research from the Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

ASHG announces 2015 winners of National DNA Day Essay Contest
In commemoration of National DNA Day, ASHG hosted its 10th Annual DNA Day Essay Contest to encourage high school students and teachers to learn about human genetics concepts beyond the standard curriculum.

Ledipasvir-sofosbuvir combination proves effective in subset of patients with chronic hepatitis C
A new study presented today at The International Liver Congress™ 2015 has demonstrated that ledipasvir in combination with sofosbuvir achieves sustained virologic response rates 12 weeks after treatment (SVR12; primary endpoint), of 93 percent and 95 percent in patients chronically infected with hepatitis C virus genotypes 4 or 5, respectively.

Combined brachytherapy techniques should be 'benchmark' for cervical cancer treatment
The first large international study to investigate the late side-effects of a combination of two forms of brachytherapy to treat cervical cancer has shown that the technique successfully delivers higher radiation doses to the tumor without an increase in treatment-related problems afterwards.

Text messaging useful for reaching 'at-risk' teens about sex
Text messaging that connects teens with sexual health educators is effective for delivering sexual health information, according to a recent study in The Edward R.

Biodiversity promotes multitasking in ecosystems
A worldwide study of the interplay between organisms and their environment bolsters the idea that greater biodiversity helps maintain more stable and productive ecosystems.

Generating broadband terahertz radiation from a microplasma in air
Researchers have shown that a laser-generated microplasma in air can be used as a source of broadband terahertz radiation.

Team develops faster, higher quality 3-D camera
Inspired by the Microsoft Kinect and the human eye, Northwestern University professor Oliver Cossairt and his team developed an inexpensive 3-D camera that can be used in any environment to produce high-quality images.

Prenatal stem cell treatment improves mobility issues caused by spina bifida
The lower-limb paralysis associated with spina bifida may be effectively treated before birth by combining a unique stem cell therapy with surgery, new research from UC Davis Health System has found.

3-D printing is so last year! We're onto 4-D printing now
In 4-D printing, the fourth dimension is time, shape shifting in fact, and Australian researchers are helping to set the pace in the next revolution in additive manufacturing.

Understanding the body's response to worms and allergies
Research from the University of Manchester is bringing scientists a step closer to developing new therapies for controlling the body's response to allergies and parasitic worm infections.

How's your 'twilight vision'? Study suggests new standardized test
A simple method of testing 'twilight vision' gives reliable results in identifying people who have decreased visual acuity under low light conditions, according to a study in the May issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry.

A 'forest instead of the trees' viewpoint may motivate change after negative feedback
The probability that an individual accepts negative feedback is dependent on construal level and perceived changeability of the feedback domain, according to new research.

Delayed diagnosis of celiac disease may put lives at risk: Is screening the solution?
Celiac disease is one of the most common life-long conditions in Europe, yet many people remain undiagnosed and lengthy diagnostic delays may be putting lives at risk.

Breakthrough provides new hope for more effective treatments of HER2+ breast cancer
Ahmad M. Khalil, Ph.D., and his team identified the parts of the body responsible for revving up one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer, HER2+.

The power of best friends
When parents of children with disabilities drop their child off at kindergarten they often worry about whether they will make friends -- a key factor in reducing anxiety, depression and the likelihood of being bullied.

Ames Laboratory scientists create cheaper magnetic material for cars, wind turbines
Cerium is a widely available and inexpensive rare-earth metal. US Department of Energy Ames Laboratory scientists have used it to create a high-performance magnet that's similar in performance to traditional dysprosium-containing magnets and could make wind turbines less expensive to manufacture.

2015 Triennial Earth-Sun Summit: Media briefing scheduled
The American Astronomical Society's Solar Physics Division and the American Geophysical Union's Space Physics and Aeronomy Section will meet together at the Westin Indianapolis in Indiana for the first Triennial Earth-Sun Summit, 26-30 April 2015.

Drug prices to treat multiple sclerosis soar, point to larger problem
A study released today found that drugs used to treat multiple sclerosis have soared in price in the past two decades, in some cases more than 700 percent, even though newer drugs have come to the market -- a process that normally should have stabilized or reduced the cost of at least the older medications.

NASH associated with a 50 percent higher chance of death compared with NAFLD
Results from a large population-based cohort of almost a million people in the UK found that the chances of dying from non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, over a 14-year period, was approximately 50 percent higher than for those with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Mental disorders don't predict future violence
Most psychiatric disorders -- including depression -- do not predict future violent behavior, reports a new longitudinal study of delinquent youth.

Once-daily grazoprevir/elbasvir is effective in patients infected with chronic hepatitis C
Results presented today at The International Liver Congress™ 2015 show that a 12-week oral regimen of once-daily single tablet grazoprevir/elbasvir is effective and well-tolerated in treatment-naive (TN) patients infected with chronic hepatitis C virus genotypes -1, -4 or -6, including those with compensated cirrhosis.

Long lasting anti-hemophilia factor safe in kids
Children with hemophilia A require three to four infusions each week to prevent bleeding episodes, chronic pain and joint damage.

Cribs are for sleeping, car seats are for traveling
Sleep-related deaths are the most common cause of death for infants 1-12 months of age.

Systematic interaction network filtering in biobanks
While seeking targets to attack Huntington's disease, an incurable inherited neurodegenerative disorder, neurobiologists of the research group led by Professor Erich Wanker of the Max Delbrück Center found what they were looking for.

Proviso Partners in Health awarded grant by Institute for Healthcare Improvement
The Proviso Partners for Health was awarded a grant from the Institute of Healthcare Improvement to support their efforts to improve community health.

Ascent or no ascent?
The largest magmatic events on Earth are caused by massive melting of ascending large volumes of hot material from the Earth's interior.

FDG PET/CT not useful in staging newly diagnosed stage III invasive lobular breast cancer
Although National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines consider 18F-PET/CT appropriate for systemic staging of newly diagnosed stage III breast cancer, the technique may not be equally valuable for all breast cancer histologies.

Are hospitals doing all they can to prevent C. diff infections? Not yet, new study finds
Nearly half of hospitals aren't taking key steps to prevent a kind of gut infection that kills nearly 30,000 people annually -- despite strong evidence that such steps work, according to a new study.

The appeal of being anti-GMO
A team of Belgian philosophers and plant biotechnologists have turned to cognitive science to explain why opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has become so widespread, despite positive contributions GM crops have made to sustainable agriculture.

NTU Singapore and TUM design world's first electric taxi for the tropics
The world's first electric taxi for tropical megacities has been launched.

Risk perception: Social exchange can amplify subjective fears
A 'pass the message' experiment investigates how people perceive and communicate the risks of a widely used chemical.

DNA study could shed light on how genetic faults trigger disease
A new technique that identifies how genes are controlled could help scientists spot errors in the genetic code which trigger disease, a study suggests.

Orphaned boys as vulnerable to abuse as girls
Orphaned children in low- and middle-income countries face a high risk of physical and sexual abuse and boys are as vulnerable as girls.

Grazoprevir/elbasvir combo shows high cure rate for patients with chronic HCV
Once-daily oral grazoprevir/elbasvir combination therapy, taken without interferon or ribavirin for 12 weeks, demonstrated high sustained virologic response rates for treatment-naïve patients with cirrhotic or non-cirrhotic chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1, 4, or 6.

Novel therapeutic candidate targets key driver of HCC in genomically defined subset of patients
Findings were presented today at The International Liver CongressTM 2015 on a novel therapeutic candidate for a genomically defined subset of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients with an aberrant fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) pathway.

Discovery may open door for treating fragile X carriers
Fragile X syndrome, an inherited cause of autism and intellectual disability, can have consequences even for carriers of the disorder who don't have full-blown symptoms.

Stem-cell-based therapy promising for treatment of breast cancer metastases in the brain
Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have developed an imageable mouse model of brain-metastatic breast cancer and shown the potential of a stem-cell-based therapy to eliminate metastatic cells from the brain and prolong survival.

Aid workers should read through archaeologists' notebooks on building houses
Aid workers who provide shelter following natural disasters, such as hurricanes or earthquakes, should consider long-term archaeological information about how locals constructed their homes in the past, and what they do when they repair and rebuild.

Diabetes drug found in freshwater is a potential cause of intersex fish
A medication commonly taken for type II diabetes, which is being found in freshwater systems worldwide, has been shown to cause intersex in fish -- male fish that produce eggs, according to a study done at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

New open-access journal on cannabis and cannabinoid research launching fall 2015
Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, a new peer-reviewed, open-access journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is the only journal dedicated to the scientific, medical, and psychosocial exploration of clinical cannabis, cannabinoids, and the biochemical mechanisms of endocannabinoids.

Geothermal energy, aluto volcano, and Ethiopia's rift valley
William Hutchison and colleagues present new data from Ethiopia's Rift Valley and Aluto volcano, a major volcano in the region.

Bumblebee genomes create a buzz in the field of pollination
Bees play a key role in our ecosystem and in the world's food supply.

Beyond genes: Are centrioles carriers of biological information?
EPFL scientists discover that certain cell structures, the centrioles, could act as information carriers throughout cell generations.

Theodorescu receives prestigious Barringer Medal
CU Cancer Center Director, Dan Theodorescu, M.D., Ph.D., earns the Barringer Medal from the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons.

Diffusion tensor MR tractography effective as quantitative tool, treatment marker response
MR tractography may be a reliable quantitative imaging biomarker to assess prostate cancer treatment response to androgen deprivation and radiation therapy.

Study sheds new light on brain's source of power
New research published today in the journal Nature Communications represents a potentially fundamental shift in our understanding of how nerve cells in the brain generate the energy needed to function.

Discovery of a protein capable of regulating DNA repair during sperm formation
UAB researchers have discovered that the inhibition of a protein, called ATM, could foster the appearance of genetic anomalies during the process of spermatogenesis.

Researchers find alarming rise in cost of MS drugs over past 2 decades
A new study, led by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University and Oregon State University, shows an 'alarming rise' over the last 20 years in the costs of drugs used to slow the progression of multiple sclerosis or reduce the frequency of attacks.

York's anti-malarial plant given Chinese approval
A new hybrid plant used in anti-malarial drug production, developed by scientists at the University of York's Centre for Novel Agricultural Products, is now registered as a new variety in China.

Micro fingers for arranging single cells
Toyohashi Tech researchers have developed a cell manipulation tool to trap and release single cells in a parallel arrangement in open-top microwells.

Texas A&M study finds we think better on our feet, literally
A study from the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health finds students with standing desks are more attentive than their seated counterparts.

To improve STEM diversity, fix higher education, scholar says
To increase diversity in US STEM workforce, policymakers and educators need to address factors in college programs that discourage minority students, contribute to their noncompletion of degrees.

Northwestern scientists develop first liquid nanolaser
Northwestern University scientists have developed the first liquid nanoscale laser. 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