Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 04, 2015
Exiled stars explode far from home
Astronomers usually discover supernovae within large galaxies, where a star explodes perhaps once a century.

Cheating amoebas reveal key to successful societies
Nobody likes a cheater. In a recent study, a University of Houston evolutionary biologist and her collaborators found that while cheaters do not take over populations, they also cannot ever fully be removed.

Habitats contracting as fish and coral flee equator
Many species are migrating toward Earth's poles in response to climate change, and their habitats are shrinking in the process, researchers say.

Research points to effective methods of freezing avian red blood cells
New research published in the American Journal of Veterinary Research has found that a substance called dimethyl sulfoxide shows promise as a potential cryopreservant for freezing avian blood.

New website can identify birds using photos
In a breakthrough for computer vision and for bird watching, researchers and bird enthusiasts have enabled computers to achieve a task that stumps most humans -- identifying hundreds of bird species pictured in photos.

Child-friendly formulation of WHO-recommended HIV treatment approved by US FDA
Infants and young children living with HIV will finally have access to an improved formulation of an antiretroviral treatment, following the US Food and Drug Administration's tentative approval last week of lopinavir/ritonavir oral pellets developed by the Indian generic company Cipla.

Seven new miniaturized frog species found in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest
Following nearly five years of exploration in mountainous areas of the southern Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest, a team of researchers has uncovered seven new species of a highly miniaturized, brightly colored frog genus known as Brachycephalus.

Study reveals largest turtle breeding colony in the Atlantic
A new study from the University of Exeter has revealed that the Central African country of Gabon is providing an invaluable nesting ground for a vulnerable species of sea turtle considered a regional conservation priority.

Female mice are able to smell male pheromones only when ready to mate
An American study in mice reveals that hormones that dictate a female's attraction towards males do so in part by controlling her sense of smell.

Hurricane Blanca now appears less organized in NASA infrared light
One of the instruments that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite looks at tropical cyclones using infrared light.

What are Medicare costs for patients with oral cavity, pharyngeal cancers?
Medicare costs for older patients with oral cavity and pharyngeal cancers increased based on demographics, co-existing illnesses and treatment selection, according to a report published online by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Artificial intelligence discovers planarian regeneration model
An artificial intelligence system has for the first time reverse-engineered the regeneration mechanism of planaria -- the small worms whose extraordinary power to regrow body parts has made them a research model in human regenerative medicine.

Vanishing friction
Physicists at MIT have developed an experimental technique to simulate friction at the nanoscale.

Critically endangered species should be left to breed in the wild
Research from the University of East Anglia shows that critically endangered species should be left to breed in the wild -- rather than in captivity.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Andres fading RapidScat of Andres
NASA's RapidScat instrument and NASA's Aqua satellite provided a look Tropical Storm Andres' fading winds and rain as it weakens toward dissipation in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Eating less during late night hours may stave off some effects of sleep deprivation
Eating less late at night may help curb the concentration and alertness deficits that accompany sleep deprivation, according to results of a new study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania that will be presented at SLEEP 2015, the 29th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.

UGA researchers edit plant DNA using mechanism evolved in bacteria
Researchers at the University of Georgia have used a gene editing tool known as CRISPR/Cas to modify the genome of a tree species for the first time.

Southampton to help operate US National Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems
The University of Southampton has been selected as the sole UK partner to help operate the new National Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the United States.

Cancer screening increase may reflect Affordable Care Act provision
Screening for colorectal cancer increased in lower socioeconomic status individuals after 2008, perhaps reflecting the Affordable Care Act's removal of financial barriers to screening according to a new analysis.

Is dietary supplementation appropriate for children with autism spectrum disorder?
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are often picky eaters, which can lead parents to suspect that their children might not be getting adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals.

New hope in the fight against tuberculosis
Scientists from the HIPS and the HZI discover a new target for the fight against multi-resistant mycobacteria, from a rejuvenated antibiotic series

Decaying RNA molecules tell a story
Translation and degradation occur in parallel on the same mRNA molecule.

Shh! Don't wake the sleeping virus!
Scientists at Bar-Ilan University report on a novel experimental model that, for the first time, successfully mimics the 'sleeping' and 'waking' of the varicella-zoster virus.

Cellulose turning into a supermaterial of the future
The researchers are working together to develop new biomaterial applications within the Design Driven Value Chains in the World of Cellulose 2.0 project coordinated by VTT.

Do cheaters have an evolutionary advantage?
What is it with cheating? Cheaters seem to have an immediate advantage over cooperators, but do they have an evolutionary advantage?

DNA which only females have
In many animal species, the chromosomes differ between the sexes.

Cozy niches: Certain host cell environments make malaria parasites resistant to drugs
A study published on June 4 in PLOS Pathogens shows that the different metabolic states of human host cells provide different growth conditions for Plasmodium parasites.

MD Anderson and Exact Sciences announce partnership to develop screening and diagnostic tests for lung cancer
Exact Sciences Corp. and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center today announced an agreement to jointly develop and commercialize blood-based screening and diagnostics tests for the early detection of lung cancer.

A microscopic approach to the magnetic sensitivity of animals
Researchers at the University of Tokyo have developed a new instrument for imaging the magnetosensitivity of photochemical reactions on a submicron scale.

CU Anschutz study shows low-cost weight loss program has long-term results
As America's obesity epidemic continues to grow, a new study from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus shows that a low-cost, non-profit weight loss program offers the kind of long-term results that often elude dieters.

New tool brings standards to epigenetic studies
Scientists from the University of Chicago have developed a new technique that calibrates a commonly-used tool in epigenetic experiments with an internal standard.

Reprogramming of DNA observed in human germ cells for first time
A team of researchers led by the University of Cambridge has described for the first time in humans how the epigenome -- the suite of molecules attached to our DNA that switch our genes on and off -- is comprehensively erased in early primordial germ cells prior to the generation of egg and sperm.

VirScan reveals viral history in a drop of blood
From a single drop of blood, researchers can now simultaneously test for more than 1,000 different strains of viruses that currently or have previously infected a person.

Common method to lower lead levels in drinking water may have opposite effect
New research has shown that pH lowering of municipal water supplies, a common strategy used to control the release of soluble lead from plumbing materials, can affect corrosion of cast iron water mains, resulting in increased levels of both particulate iron and particulate lead in drinking water.

Applying research agendas to sport fishing
As one of the most highly prized game fish in the upper Midwest, muskellunge (also known as muskies) and northern pike help support a $20 billion sport fishing industry.

Your complete viral history revealed by VirScan
With less than a drop of blood, a new technology called VirScan can identify all of the viruses that individuals have been exposed to over the course of their lives.

Clues to the Earth's ancient core
Old rocks hold on to their secrets. Now, a geophysicist at Michigan Technological University has unlocked clues trapped in the magnetic signatures of mineral grains in those rocks.

ONR awards outstanding student with scholarship money at science competition
Could better protection from traumatic brain injuries be on the horizon?

Penn engineers show how 'perfect' materials begin to fail
Until recently, making a defect-free material was impossible. Now that nanotechnological advances have made such materials a reality, however, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Germany's Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems have shown how these defects first form on the road to failure.

The secret lives of fish revealed by the digital age
'Imagine the clandestine lives of marine fishes,' begins 'Migration Ecology of Marine Fishes,' a new book by Dr.

Few opportunities to change
If you want to live, you need to breathe and muster enough energy to move, find nourishment and reproduce.

Team discovers how feedback from cortex helps mammals make fine distinctions about odors
Everyday tasks we may regard as 'simple' -- for example, knowing the difference between the smell of an orange and a pickle -- are actually marvels of evolutionary development, the work of eons.

Web Science Institute: The era of 'big data analytics'
The University of Southampton's Web Science Institute is celebrating its first anniversary at a special event in London on Monday, June 8.

Panel recommends improvements in estrogen testing accuracy
Unreliable estrogen measurements have had a negative impact on the treatment of and research into many hormone-related cancers and chronic conditions.

Bristol undergraduate identifies Gloucestershire fossil as new species of ancient reptile
Fossils found in a quarry in Gloucestershire have been identified by a student and her supervisors at the University of Bristol as a new small species of reptile with self-sharpening blade-like teeth that lived 205 million years ago.

NIH researchers pilot predictive medicine by studying healthy people's DNA
NHGRI scientists have turned traditional genomics research on its head.

TSRI study: Hormone 'erases' male smell for female mice
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have found that state-specific odor 'blindness' exists in female mice.

Black women often cope with infertility alone
African-American women are equally, if not more, likely to experience infertility than their white counterparts, but they often cope with this traumatic issue in silence and isolation, according to a new University of Michigan study.

How dividing cells end up the same size
A new study from Duke University shows that how much a cell grows before it splits into two depends on its initial size.

Australian fossil forces rethink on our ancestors' emergence onto land
The fossil's age raises the possibility that the first animals to emerge from the water to live on land were large tetrapods in Gondwana in the southern hemisphere, rather than smaller species in Europe.

Houston Methodist Hospital, MD Anderson teams perform first multi-organ transplant
Surgical teams from Houston Methodist Hospital and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center successfully transplanted, for the first time, a scalp and skull while performing kidney and pancreas transplants.

Internet privacy manifesto calls for more consumer power
A revolutionary power shift from internet giants such as Google to ordinary consumers is critically overdue, according to new research from a University of East Anglia online privacy expert.

Penn study maps the types of physical activity associated with better sleep
Physical activities, such as walking, as well as aerobics/calisthenics, running, weight-lifting, and yoga/Pilates are associated with better sleep habits, compared to no activity, according to a new study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Warmer, lower-oxygen oceans will shift marine habitats
Warming temperatures and decreasing levels of dissolved oxygen will act together to create metabolic stress for marine animals.

Developing delirium in the ICU linked to fatal outcomes
About one-third of patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) will develop delirium, a condition that lengthens hospital stays and substantially increases one's risk of dying in the hospital, according to a new study led by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers appearing in the British Medical Journal.

Research offers a new approach to improving HIV vaccines
Researchers identify a molecule that recognizes HIV and initiates an immune response.

SAGE launches Journal of Strategic Contracting and Negotiation June 2015
SAGE has today announced the launch of Journal of Strategic Contracting and Negotiation, the official journal of the International Association for Contract and Commercial Management.

Recovering predators create new wildlife management challenges
A new study by scientists from NOAA Fisheries' Northwest Fisheries Science Center and the University of Washington examines recovering predator populations along the West Coast of the United States and in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem, and the conflicts surrounding them.

Unlocking nanofibers' potential
In the latest issue of the journal Nanotechnology, MIT researchers describe a new technique for producing nanofibers that increases the rate of production fourfold while reducing energy consumption by more than 90 percent, holding out the prospect of cheap, efficient nanofiber production.

Warren Alpert Foundation Prize recognizes malaria breakthroughs
The 2015 Warren Alpert Foundation Prize will be awarded to Ruth S.

Programming DNA to reverse antibiotic resistance in bacteria
New Tel Aviv University research introduces a promising new tool to combat the rapid, extensive spread of antibiotic resistance around the world.

Your viral infection history in a single drop of blood
New technology developed by Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers makes it possible to test for current and past infections with any known human virus by analyzing a single drop of a person's blood.

A small vortex on the wing makes the elegance of birds' flight
A recent study shows that the birds use a thumb-like structure on the wing to create a small vortex which makes their turns and landings smooth.

Minding the gap: City bats won't fly through bright spaces
Researchers at the University of Birmingham have discovered that bats living in a city are less likely to move from tree to tree in brightly lit areas, according to research published online today in the journal Global Change Biology.

'Vampire' plants can have positive impacts up the food chain
New research at the University of York has revealed that parasitic 'vampire' plants that attach onto and derive nutrients from another living plant may benefit the abundance and diversity of surrounding vegetation and animal life.

An initiation mechanism for dendritic spines discovered
An initiation mechanism illuminates the molecular processes involved in learning and cognitive dysfunction.

Protein maintains double duty as key cog in body clock and metabolic control
Rev-erbα is a well-studied transcription factor that regulates a cell's internal clock and metabolic genes.

The Lancet: Women's contribution to healthcare constitutes nearly 5 percent of global GDP, but nearly half is unpaid and unrecognized
A major new Commission on women and health has found that women are contributing around $3 trillion to global health care, but nearly half of this (2.35 percent of global GDP) is unpaid and unrecognized.

Eating the placenta: trendy but no proven health benefits and unknown risks
Celebrities have spiked women's interest in eating their placentas after childbirth.

Extra DNA creates cucumber with all female flowers
A new study identifies the gene duplication that causes cucumber varieties produce only female flowers -- a high-yeild variety.

Despite abnormalities after concussion, sleep continues to aid memory and recall
After a concussion, a person can be left with disturbed sleep, memory deficits and other cognitive problems for years, but a new study led by Rebecca Spencer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggests that despite these abnormalities, sleep still helps them to overcome memory deficits, and the benefit is equivalent to that seen in individuals without a history of mild traumatic brain injury, also known as concussion.

An immune system marker for therapy-resistant prostate cancer
A team at CSHL shows how signaling by an immune system component called interleukin-6 (IL-6) appears to play an important role in driving aggressive, therapy-resistant prostate cancer.

Planarian regeneration model discovered by artificial intelligence
An artificial intelligence system has for the first time reverse-engineered the regeneration mechanism of planaria -- the small worms whose power to regrow body parts makes them a research model in human regenerative medicine.

Penn historian discusses the threat birds posed to the power grid in 1920s California
In a new paper in the journal Environmental Humanities, the University of Pennsylvania's Etienne Benson examines a threat to the power grid in 1920s California: voluminous streams of bird excrement.

Bee warned -- Study finds pesticides threaten native pollinators
A new Cornell study of New York state apple orchards finds that pesticides harm wild bees, and fungicides labeled 'safe for bees' also indirectly may threaten native pollinators.

Simulation helps to prepare for the consequences of natural disasters
A simulation tool has been developed under the European CRISMA project coordinated by VTT.

Parent-reported symptoms gauge features of the food allergic disease EoE
Researchers have identified that parent-reported responses to a questionnaire called the Pediatric Eosinophilic Esophagitis Symptom Score correspond to clinical and biologic features of eosinophilic esophagitis -- a severe and often painful food allergy that renders children unable to eat a wide variety of foods.

Confusion about allergies is putting people at risk say experts and medical charities
In 'Making Sense of Allergies,' a guide published today by Sense About Science, allergy specialists and charities warn that essential information and life-saving actions are being diluted in a sea of over diagnosis.

News package explores emerging issues for isolated tribes
Some of the world's last isolated tribes are emerging from the Amazon rainforest, forcing scientists and policymakers in South America to reconsider their policies regarding contact with such people.

Grant brings access to health care, pregnancy prevention for youth in DC
Teenage girls in the District of Columbia's Anacostia neighborhood are twice more likely to become teen mothers than their peers in other parts of the city, and almost three times more likely than the national average.

Poor sleep, negative attitude amplify pain in knee osteoarthritis
A new study reports that patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) who have poor sleep habits display greater central sensitization -- an amplification of clinical pain.

New tropical tree species await discovery
Scientists raised the estimated number of tropical tree species to at least 40,000 to 53,000, the Smithsonian reports.

Evidence against a global warming hiatus?
An analysis using updated global surface temperature data disputes the existence of a 21st century global warming slowdown described in studies including the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment.

Withholding angiotensin receptor blockers after surgery increases risk of postoperative death
Withholding angiotensin receptor blockers for longer than two days after surgery is associated with a significantly increased risk of postoperative death, according to a study of more than 30,000 patients in the VA health-care system by researchers at UC San Francisco and the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

Massachusetts General-led consortium focusing on rapid development of Q fever vaccine
A consortium of academic and industry organizations led by a team from the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital has launched a new effort to develop an entirely new type of vaccine against Q fever.

Canada funds model to bring safe, quality and affordable sanitary pads to East African women, girls
Kenya-based ZanaAfrica is to scale up production of safe, high quality and affordable sanitary pads in Africa with CDN $2.4 million (US $1.9 million) announced today by Canadian government-funded Grand Challenges Canada, Internet giant TripAdvisor, the Stewardship Foundation and other private sources.

Moderate exercise helps prevent gestational diabetes and reduce weight gain during pregnancy
Women who exercise during pregnancy are less likely to have gestational diabetes, and the exercise also helps to reduce maternal weight gain, finds a study published on June 3, 2015, in BJOG: an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

How Salmonella synchronizes its invasion plan
A new study from the Institute of Food Research has uncovered a mechanism by which Salmonella bacteria organize the expression of genes required for infection.

Sacramento Israel-Water Technology Conference
Israel has solved its own water problems, using desalinization, comprehensive water management and cutting edge technology.

Preventive neuroradiology: Brain imaging bolsters efforts to lower Alzheimer's risk
Armed with new knowledge about how neurodegenerative diseases alter brain structures, increasing numbers of neurologists, psychiatrists and other clinicians are adopting quantitative brain imaging as a tool to measure and help manage cognitive declines in patients.

DNA breakage underlies both learning, age-related damage
MIT researchers have found that the process that allows brains to learn also leads to degeneration with age.

Forks colliding: How DNA breaks during re-replication
Leveraging a novel system designed to examine the double-strand DNA breaks that occur as a consequence of gene amplification during DNA replication, Whitehead Institute scientists are bringing new clarity to the causes of such genomic damage.

You're as old as your stem cells: Cell Press journal presents research trends in aging
A special issue of Cell Stem Cell published on June 4 includes a collection of reviews and perspectives on the biology of aging.

Discovery of how bacteria survive antibiotics may improve treatment of infectious diseases
Infectious diseases kill more people worldwide than any other single cause, but treatment often fails because a small fraction of bacterial cells can transiently survive antibiotics and recolonize the body.

Resuming blood pressure medicine promptly after surgery reduces risk of death
It may be better for patients to resume taking their blood pressure medication sooner after surgery than previously thought.

Stricter limits for ozone pollution would boost need for science, measurements
A tougher federal standard for ozone pollution, under consideration to improve public health, would ramp up the importance of scientific measurements and models, according to a new commentary published in the June 5 edition of Science by researchers at NOAA and its cooperative institute at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Lending a hand, or a paw -- what drives us to help others?
Our social connections and social compass define us to a large degree as human.

Study points to human impact on evolution of freshwater fish
In recreational fishing, the practice of catch-and-release is intended to conserve freshwater populations.

Why are we still fighting tuberculosis? (video)
It's a disease that has plagued humans since the Paleolithic era: tuberculosis.

Two INRS researchers inducted into the Canadian Academy of Engineering
Professors Sonia Aïssa and Federico Rosei (both Senior Members of IEEE) of the Centre for Energy, Materials and Telecommunications of INRS are now among the Canadian engineering elite, after being elected by their peers as Fellows of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE).

Thirty years of AIDS data highlight survival gains, room for improvement
Although treatment advances have dramatically reduced deaths from opportunistic infections related to AIDS, a new study drawing on 30 years of data from more than 20,000 patients in San Francisco suggests there is still ample room to improve.

New species of horned dinosaur with 'bizarre' features revealed
About 10 years ago, Peter Hews stumbled across some bones sticking out of a cliff along the Oldman River in southeastern Alberta, Canada.

Feeding caterpillars make leaves shine
Scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena and the Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, succeeded in visualizing the immediate wound or herbivory responses in plants.

Study links delay of gratification to how brain structures are connected
The ability to delay gratification in chimpanzees is linked to how specific structures of the brain are connected and communicate with each other, according to researchers at Georgia State University and Kennesaw State University.

Social networking against cancer
Research published in International Journal of Data Mining and Bioinformatics shows how social network analysis can be used to understand and identify the biomarkers in our bodies for diseases, including different types of cancer.

Comparative analyses of current three-dimensional numerical solar wind models
The world wide most advanced three-dimensional time-dependent numerical simulation solar wind models are assessed. 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