Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 11, 2015
Longitudinal brain changes during transition from adolescence to adulthood found in ASD
A study published in the June 2015 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry demonstrates that the atypical trajectory of cortical/brain development in autism spectrum disorder extends well beyond young childhood and into late adolescence and young adulthood.

Most heart muscle cells formed during childhood
New human heart muscle cells can be formed, but this mainly happens during the first 10 years of life, according to a new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

Vitamin D supplements may benefit children with kidney disease
Among children with chronic kidney disease, those with lower vitamin D levels had higher levels of blood markers related to kidney dysfunction as well as greater kidney function loss over time.

A viral protein that helps EBV-infected B cells to escape human killer T cells
About 90 percent of adults worldwide are infected with Epstein-Barr virus, or EBV.

Unique bacterial fingerprint identified in systemic sclerosis
The results of a study presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2015) Press Conference showed that people with systemic sclerosis (SSc) have a unique bacterial signature in their colon, when compared with healthy people.

Researchers discover molecule that accelerates tissue regeneration after bone marrow transplants
A joint investigation including UT Southwestern Medical Center has found a molecule that may play a significant role in accelerating cell recovery following bone marrow transplants, liver disease, and colon disease.

Hormone that differentiates sugar, diet sweeteners could exist in humans
We've all been there: we eat an entire sleeve of fat-free, low-calorie cookies and we're stuffing ourselves with more food 15 minutes later.

Nearly 10 percent of women live too far from access to gynecologic cancer care
More than one-third of counties in the Unites States are located more than 50 miles from the nearest gynecologic oncologist, making access to specialty care for ovarian and other gynecologic cancers difficult for nearly 15 million women.

To be sperm, or not to be sperm?
Researchers in Japan have found, for the first time in vertebrates, a genetic switch that determines whether germ cells become sperm or eggs.

Faculty research at University of Toronto's Rotman School honored with awards
Two research papers co-authored by faculty members at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management have been recognized with awards.

Being calm is contagious?
Woodlice are able to calm their excited neighbors according to findings made by Pierre Broly and Jean-Louis Deneubourg of the Free Brussels University (Belgium).

Lab study: Daily aspirin could block growth of breast, other cancers
A Veterans Affairs lab study found that a daily dose of aspirin was effective at blocking breast tumor growth.

Call for help to killer cells improves cancer rejection
Many tumors are infiltrated by cells of the innate immune system called eosinophils.

USC stem cell researcher Min Yu named Pew-Stewart scholar for cancer research
USC stem cell researcher Min Yu, M.D., Ph.D., is one of five early-career scientists to be named a 2015 Pew-Stewart scholar for cancer research.

New NICE thresholds for diabetes in pregnancy could miss up to 4,000 women per year in UK at risk of complications
The new threshold for diabetes in pregnancy recently introduced by the UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence misses a significant number of women at risk of serious complications, a report published today in the Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, shows.

UMN scientists identify 2 mutations critical for MERS transmission from bats to humans
Researchers have identified two critical mutations allowing the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus to transmit from bats to humans.

CWRU study finds dental implants result in better quality of life for osteoporotic women
With age, postmenopausal women with osteoporosis are at greater risk of losing their teeth.

TGen, Dell expand pediatric cancer fight to Europe and Middle East
Dell today announced its extended partnership with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) to help clinical researchers and doctors globally expand the reach and impact of the world's first FDA-approved precision medicine trial for pediatric cancer.

Queen's researchers in hospital superbug breakthrough
Researchers at Queen's University Belfast have developed a cutting-edge new medical therapy that could protect UK hospital patients against a lethal superbug.

Scientists studying blue whale DNA uncover an epic journey by 'Isabela'
Scientists studying blue whales in the waters of Chile through DNA profiling and photo-identification may have solved the mystery of where these huge animals go to breed, as revealed by a single female blue whale named 'Isabela,' according to a recent study by the Chile's Blue Whale Center/Universidad Austral de Chile, NOAA and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Genomics England selects Omicia, University of Utah Technology for 100,000 Genomes Project
Genomics England announced that it will be using technology co-developed in a partnership between the University of Utah and Omicia to interpret the DNA of Britons as part of the 100,000 Genomes Project, a national effort to hasten creation of diagnostics and treatments that are tailored to a person's genetic make-up.

Pew names 22 top scientists as scholars in the biomedical sciences
The Pew Charitable Trusts today named 22 promising early-career researchers as Pew scholars in the biomedical sciences.

Keeping cool without killing the planet (video)
We've had the delightful benefits of air conditioning and refrigeration for more than a hundred years now.

NASA's Hubble Telescope detects 'sunscreen' layer on distant planet
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has detected a stratosphere, one of the primary layers of Earth's atmosphere, on a massive and blazing-hot exoplanet known as WASP-33b.

New study links excessive iron in cells with AMD, other diseases
A new study from the University of Kentucky describes a new molecular mechanism that contributes to age-related macular degeneration due to accumulation of excessive iron within the cells of the retina.

Study examines 'joiners' who help make startups successful
Research highlighted this week in the journal Science analyzes a class of 'joiners,' employees who support the founders of startup companies.

ADAMTS family of genes may be the next 'thing' in ovarian cancer treatment
There is the Addams Family. And then there is the ADAMTS family.

Nuts and peanuts may protect against major causes of death
A paper published today in the International Journal of Epidemiology confirms a link between peanut and nut intake and lower mortality rates, but finds no protective effect for peanut butter.

Children's exposure to secondhand smoke in England has dropped 80 percent since 1998
A new study published today by the scientific journal Addiction finds that in England, children's exposure to secondhand smoke has declined by approximately 80 percent since 1998.

New iPad app helps children and young people with JIA communicate their pain experiences
The results of a study presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2015) demonstrated the value of a new interactive iPad app that helps young people with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis describe their pain.

The dispersal of alien species redefines biogeography
It has been hypothesized that globalization of human-mediated dispersal of species may break down biogeographic boundaries.

Your phone knows how many steps you take per day, shouldn't your doctor?
The rise of health apps has made it possible to chart your steps, heartbeat, and sleep patterns, but the availability of this constant stream of information has yet to reach patient electronic health records.

Scientists find way to disrupt brain tumor stem cells
Brain tumor stem cells can resist treatment and regrow tumors, but scientists have identified a vulnerability in these cells that could lead to a new approach in battling deadly brain tumors.

Scripps Florida scientists uncover unique role of nerve cells in the body's use of energy
While it is well-known that weight gain results from an imbalance between what we eat and our energy expenditure, not so obvious is the role the nervous system plays in controlling that energy balance.

Study: changing climate prompts boreal forest shift
With warming summer temperatures across Alaska, white spruce tree growth in Interior Alaska has declined to record low levels, while the same species in Western Alaska is growing better than ever measured before.

Pew names top Latin American scientists as fellows
The Pew Charitable Trusts today named 10 postdoctoral scientists to the Pew Latin American Fellows Program in the Biomedical Sciences.

Wild mongooses avoid inbreeding with unusual reproductive strategy
Researchers studying banded mongooses in Uganda have discovered that these small mammals are able to discriminate between relatives and non-relatives to avoid inbreeding.

The winner doesn't always take all
Theoretically predicted and now demonstrated experimentally for the first time using soil bacteria: weaker organisms can prevail against stronger ones -- if they are superior in number.

Method reveals what bacteria sense in their surroundings
A new, rapid method is helping detect how bacteria sense and respond to changes in their environment.

Surfaces get smooth or bumpy on demand
New process allows surfaces to grow smooth or bumpy on demand.

A protein provides emergency aid
Small heat shock proteins ensure that other proteins do not clot, allowing the cell to survive stress.

New drug triggers tissue regeneration: Faster regrowth and healing of damaged tissues
The concept sounds like the stuff of science fiction: take a pill, and new tissues grow to replace damaged ones.

Community-acquired pneumonia increases long-term morbidity and mortality
Having had community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) greatly increases the risk of long-term morbidity and mortality compared to the general population who have never had CAP, according to a new study from researchers in Canada, the longest and largest outcomes study of patients with CAP reported to date.

College students who binge drink have more delayed sleep timing, variable sleep schedules
A new study suggests that students who initiate and/or continue drinking and engage in binge drinking in college have more delayed sleep timing and more variable sleep schedules.

Winners of Bernd T. Matthias Prize announced
Three scientists have been named as recipients of the 2015 Bernd T.

UMass Amherst biochemist named a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator
Li-Jun Ma, a University of Massachusetts Amherst biochemist and genomics expert, has received a coveted five-year, $500,000 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease award to develop new treatment options for opportunistic fungal infections.

Genetic switch determines egg or sperm
New experiments in the Japanese rice fish show that the fox13 gene appears to be the switch that determines whether a germ cell becomes an egg or sperm cell.

Stanford scientists find genetic basis of brain networks seen in imaging studies
A new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine found that synchronized physiological interactions between remote brain regions have genetic underpinnings.

Physical trauma associated with onset of psoriatic arthritis among psoriasis patients
The results of a large population study presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2015) showed an increased risk of developing Psoriatic Arthritis among psoriasis patients exposed to physical trauma, particularly when the trauma involved bone and/or joints.

UTA researchers use giant foam blocks to keep approach slabs of bridges from settling
A research team at The University of Texas at Arlington is using giant lightweight geofoam blocks to bolster the earth beneath roads and bridges and slow down the settling of roadways and bridges.

Elsevier announces publishing agreement with Southern Society for Clinical Investigation
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, has announced that it has been selected by the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation to publish its journal, the American Journal of the Medical Sciences, as of January 2016.

Probing ways to convince young women not to use indoor tanning
Messages with images depicting the harsh realities of melanoma are more powerful than the text-only warning required by the US Food and Drug Administration in persuading women to reconsider indoor tanning.

Scientists tune X-rays with tiny mirrors
Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have created a new way of manipulating high-intensity X-rays, which will allow researchers to select extremely brief but precise X-ray bursts for their experiments.

Greater suicide prevention efforts coming to rural Washington state
Washington state's rural communities with the highest suicide rates soon will get more resources to help with prevention training and support.

Interactions between cortical and subcortical regions important in hypersensitivity in ASD
A research team led by Christian Keysers and Leonardo Cerliani at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience in Amsterdam identified an abnormally high synchrony between the sensory cortices involved in perception and subcortical regions relaying information from the sensory organs to the cortex.

Answering the mystery of turquoise provenance
Turquoise has had cultural significance for Native American peoples in the southwestern United States and Mexico for more than a millennium, and turquoise artifacts have been recovered from archaeological sites hundreds of kilometers distant from known sources of the mineral.

Implantable antibiotic-laced sponges reduce sternal infections in cardiac surgery
Cardiac surgeons often 'crack open' the flat bone that forms the middle front section of the chest, known as the sternum, in order to reach important structures.

Scientists reveal underpinnings of drought tolerance in plants
Drought is one of the most urgent environmental crises facing the world today.

NYU wireless researchers call for reformed safety standards for wireless devices
An NYU paper -- which was chosen as the best from several hundred entries at the 2015 IEEE Conference on Communications, one of the flagship gatherings of the IEEE Communications Society -- called for temperature changes in the tissues of the body to be used as a safety metric for mobile devices operating at mmWave frequencies, rather than power density, now the standard.

Large doses of antioxidants may be harmful to neuronal stem cells
Stem cells are especially sensitive to oxygen radicals and antioxidants shows new research from the group of Anu Wartiovaara in the Molecular Neurology Research Program of University of Helsinki.

New study finds group discussion improves lie detection
A new study published recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds that groups are consistently more accurate in distinguishing truths from lies than one individual is.

High salt prevents weight gain in mice on a high-fat diet
In a study that seems to defy conventional dietary wisdom, University of Iowa scientists have found that adding high salt to a high-fat diet actually prevents weight gain in mice.

Movement in ADHD may help children think, perform better in school
The constant movement of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be distracting -- but the fidgeting also may improve their cognitive performance, a study by researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute has found.

Spider and centipede venom evolved from insulin-like hormone
Funnel-web spider venom contains powerful neurotoxins that instantly paralyze prey (usually insects).

Autonomous vehicles make the truck driver of the future to be an office worker
As part of the European DESERVE project, VTT, Iveco Finland and TTS-Kehitys Oy are developing a new software platform which will bring autonomous driving features to trucks.

Women with lupus and APS at risk of reduced fertility and pregnancy complication
New recommendations by EULAR for women's health and pregnancy in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and/or antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) were presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress.

Variations in atmospheric oxygen levels shaped Earth's climate through the ages
Variations in the amount of oxygen in Earth's atmosphere significantly altered global climate throughout the planet's history.

Research on gonorrhea uncovers new immune system trigger
Researchers at the University of Toronto have uncovered how Gram-negative bacteria -- a broad class of bugs that cause diseases ranging from gonorrhea to diarrhea and pneumonia -- can trigger a reaction from our immune system.

Study: DASH diet can substitute lean pork for chicken or fish to reduce blood pressure
Adults who are following the DASH-style eating pattern to lower their blood pressure can expand their protein options to include lean, unprocessed pork, according to research from Purdue University.

Molecular modeling of novel potent agents for treating Alzheimer's disease
Toyohashi Tech researchers in cooperation with the Ukraine National Academy of Sciences proposed novel agents for inhibiting the production of amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptides, which are involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease.

Comorbid conditions associated with worse lung cancer survival
Lung cancer patients with comorbid conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, or congestive heart failure had a higher risk of death than lung cancer patients without comorbid conditions.

$8.5 million grant for developing nano printing technology
Northwestern University has received a five-year, $8.5 million grant from the US Department of Defense's competitive Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative program to develop a '4-dimensional printer' -- the next generation of printing technology for the scientific world.

Public Release:  ORNL invites companies to connect with the lab at 'Explore ORNL'
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory will open its doors July 14-15 for its 'Explore ORNL' conference designed to introduce the region's business community to the lab's world-class R&D facilities and expertise.

Stroke education helps patients recognize stroke symptoms, encourages fast response
Clear, simple preparedness messages can help patients recognize symptoms of a subsequent stroke and speed up emergency room arrival times.

NASA saw Tropical Depression 3-E coming together
The third tropical depression of the active Eastern Pacific Ocean hurricane season formed and NASA's RapidScat saw its winds coming together as it formed.

Study finds inadequate hydration among US children
More than half of all children and adolescents in the US are not getting enough hydration -- probably because they're not drinking enough water -- a situation that could have significant repercussions for their physical health and their cognitive and emotional functioning, according to the first national study of its kind from Harvard T.H.

SAGE launches open-access journal Cardiovascular and Thoracic Open
SAGE, one of the world's leading independent and academic publishers, has launched a new open-access journal Cardiovascular and Thoracic Open.

Study shows first signs that ADHD drug may improve cognitive difficulties in menopausal women
According to a new study, women experiencing difficulty with time management, attention, organization, memory, and problem solving -- often referred to as executive functions -- related to menopause may find improvement with a drug already being used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Connecticut handgun licensing law associated with 40 percent drop in gun homicides
A 1995 Connecticut law requiring a permit or license -- contingent on passing a background check -- in order to purchase a handgun was associated with a 40 percent reduction in the state's firearm-related homicide rate, new research suggests.

Study affirms link between disjointed care and unnecessary medical procedures
A 'look back' study of Medicare fee-for-service claims for more than 1.2 million patients over age 65 has directly affirmed and quantified a long-suspected link between lower rates of coordinated health care services and higher rates of unnecessary medical tests and procedures.

Clear, strong stimulation may help prevent apathy for persons with dementia
Nursing home residents with dementia are less likely to be apathetic if they live in an appropriately stimulating environment, according to nursing researchers.

Milk proteins may protect against cardiovascular disease
The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that results in browned foods like seared steaks and toasted bread.

Swift intervention doubles survival rate from cardiac arrest
A team of Swedish researchers finds that early cardiopulmonary resuscitation more than doubles the chance of survival for patients suffering out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Infants' superior perception linked to later autism symptoms
People with autism are often described as 'seeing the world differently.' They tend to show superior perception for details, like, for example, the autistic artist Stephen Wiltshire's highly accurate representations of cityscapes drawn from memory.

Bright light after night shift may enhance alertness and cognitive performance
A new study suggests that bright light at the end of a night shift may have potential as a countermeasure to improve driving performance, particularly for low light work environments and commutes that occur before dawn.

How the hawkmoth sees, hovers and tracks flowers in the dark
Using high-speed infrared cameras and robotic flowers, scientists have learned how the hawkmoth juggles the complex sensing and control challenges of seeing in the dark, hovering in mid-air and tracking moving flowers.

Low birth weight and childhood infections predict ankylosing spondylitis
The results of a study presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2015) Press Conference showed that a diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis can be predicted by low birth weight, having older siblings and hospitalization for infection between the ages of 5-16 years.

Understanding 'defense cascade' may help in treating victims of trauma
The well-known 'fight or flight' response is part of the inborn series of defense/fear responses activated in reaction to threats.

Mathematical models with complicated dynamics for disease study
A paper to be published this week in the SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems presents a mathematical model to study the effects of individual movement on infectious disease spread.

Dusty secrets could help asthma sufferers
In the first study of its kind, researchers in the UA's BIO5 Institute have set out to identify compounds in dust samples from Amish farming communities.

Obesity associated with increased breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women
An analysis of extended follow-up data from the Women's Health Initiative clinical trials suggests that postmenopausal women who were overweight and obese had an increased risk of invasive breast cancer compared to women of normal weight, according to an article published online by JAMA Oncology.

WCMC researchers discover how ovarian cancer halts body's natural defense against tumor
Ovarian cancer shuts down immune system cells that would otherwise act as a first line of defense against the deadly tumor, Weill Cornell Medical College scientists report today.

Most admired companies have room for social media improvement
Not all of America's most admired companies are killing it on social media.

Longstanding problem put to rest
Computer scientists prove that a 40-year-old algorithm is optimal.

doDOC, a startup by MIT Portugal alumni, selected to attend Techstars Boston
doDOC, the Coimbra and Boston-based startup, was selected by Techstars.

NASA satellite shows Tropical Cyclone Ashobaa approaching Oman
Tropical Cyclone Ashobaa continues toward a landfall in eastern Oman and NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of the storm on its approach on June 11.

Researchers look at lower-cost alternative protein source for pig diets
Threonine is an indispensable amino acid, which is often provided in supplement form in swine diets.

Lehigh University researchers unveil engineering innovations at TechConnect 2015
Lehigh University engineers, materials scientists and chemists will present their innovative breakthroughs to a national showcase of investors and industrial partners at the TechConnect 2015 World Innovation Conference in Washington on June 14-17.

Study unites neuroscience and psychology to paint more complete picture of sleep and memory
A new study from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute integrates neuroscience and psychological research to reveal how sleep is more complex than previously thought.

Is eating for 2 a good idea? Maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy helps mother and baby
Pregnant women can improve their health and even reduce the risk of complications during childbirth by maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise.

Reactivating fault slip with fluid injection
Water injected into an inactive fault can cause aseismic slip along the fault -- movement without detectable earthquakes -- that may then indirectly lead to micro-earthquakes.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs inhibit ovulation after just 10 days
The results of a study presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2015) show that diclofenac, naproxen and etoricoxib significantly inhibit ovulation in women with mild musculoskeletal pain.

Raptor tracker
In a discovery seemingly straight from the movie 'Jurassic World,' University of Alberta researcher Scott Persons and alumnus Lida Xing are part of the research team that has just documented a rich fossil footprint site in central China containing tracks by several kinds of dinosaurs, including raptors.

Framework materials yield to pressure
High pressure has become an indispensable research tool in the quest for novel functional materials.

Serotonin receptor is involved in eczema and other itch conditions
Scratching the itch of eczema, researchers have identified the serotonin receptor HTR7 as a key mediator of eczema and other forms of chronic itch.

MD Anderson study finds gene mutations sensitize tumors to specific cancer drugs
Mutations in ARID1a, which are common in many cancer types, disrupt DNA damage repair in cancer cells, allowing the cancer to progress.

Twitter data may help shed light on sleep disorders
Researchers from Boston Children's Hospital and Merck have built the beginnings of 'digital phenotype' of insomnia and other sleep disorders based on data from Twitter.

Night vision in tune with nature in hovering hawkmoths
How do nocturnal insects forage so successfully in the twilight and darkness?

Early-career cancer researchers named as Pew-Stewart Scholars
The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Alexander and Margaret Stewart Trust announced today the newest class of Pew-Stewart scholars for cancer research.

Virtual reality sheds new light on how we navigate in the dark
A series of immersive reality experiments has confirmed that the human brain's internal navigation system works in the same fashion as the grid cell system recently found in other mammals.

UCLA-led NASA mission provides closest ever look at dwarf planet Ceres
NASA's Dawn mission is observing the dwarf planet Ceres from 2,700 miles above its surface, and this week released a new image of Ceres and a one-minute video animation of Ceres, based on images Dawn took of this heavily cratered, mysterious world.

The role of dendritic cells in keeping HIV in check without drugs
Elite controllers (EC) are a small group of HIV-infected individuals who are able to suppress the virus in the absence of antiretroviral therapy.

'Light for Life' section marks Year of Light, parallels Biomedical Optics conference
A special section published this month in the Journal of Biomedical Optics titled 'Light for Life' celebrates the International Year of Light and parallels a dedicated session at the European Conference of Biomedical Optics, set for June 21-25, in Munich.

Atmospheric oxygen levels may have influenced past climate
Variations in the percentage of atmospheric oxygen may have influenced climate in the past 500 million years, according to new calculations by Christopher Poulsen and colleagues.

Dendritic cells of elite controllers able to recognize, mount defense against HIV
Investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard have added another piece to the puzzle of how a small group of individuals known as elite controllers are able to control HIV infection without drug treatment. 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