Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 24, 2015
Study identifies characteristics of patients likely to have a potential living liver donor
New research published in Liver Transplantation, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the International Liver Transplantation Society, reports that younger patients, those who are married, and those with Child-Pugh C disease -- the most severe measure of liver disease -- are more likely immigrants, divorced patients and those at the lowest income levels were less likely to have a potential live donor volunteer for liver donation.

What's new in contact lenses? Prescribing trends reflect new lens materials and designs
More Americans are using soft contact lenses -- especially daily disposable lenses -- and taking advantage of new designs targeting vision problems that were difficult to correct with previous contact lenses, reports the July issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry.

University of Illinois awarded $3.1 million to develop all-terrain rovers for high-throughput field phenotyping
The University of Illinois announced that is has been awarded a two-year, $3.1 million grant from the DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.

Forgotten fossil indicates earlier origin of teeth
A tiny tooth plate of the 410 million year old fossil fish Romundina stellina indicates that teeth evolved earlier in the tree of life than recently thought.

A supportive close friendship helps boys and girls overcome adversity
A single supportive close friendship can help young people from low-income backgrounds to thrive in challenging circumstances, according to a new University of Sussex study.

Lovebird has clear sight during rapid turns
High-speed videos of lovebirds making quick in flight turns reveal how they improve sight and shorten blur by rotating their head at speeds of up to 2700 degrees per second.

As smoking declines, more are likely to quit
Smokeless tobacco and, more recently, e-cigarettes have been promoted as a harm reduction strategy for smokers who are 'unable or unwilling to quit.' The strategy, embraced by both industry and some public health advocates, is based on the assumption that as smoking declines overall, only those who cannot quit will remain.

UTHealth faculty members earn Regents' Outstanding Teaching Awards
Ten faculty members at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have been recognized for teaching excellence by The University of Texas System Board of Regents.

Giant comet-like tail discovered on small exoplanet
The prospect of finding ocean-bearing exoplanets has been boosted, thanks to a pioneering new study.

Silica 'spiky screws' could enhance industrial coatings, additive manufacturing
It took marine sponges millions of years to perfect their spike-like structures, but research mimicking these formations may soon alter how industrial coatings and 3-D printed objects are produced.

Eavesdropping on the body: New device tracks chemical signals within cells
Biomedical engineers at the University of Toronto have invented a new device that more quickly and accurately 'listens in' on the chemical messages that tell our cells how to multiply.

Discovering a new stage in the galactic lifecycle
A Caltech-led team, using the powerful ALMA telescope in Chile, has analyzed the clouds of gas and dust from some of the earliest galaxies ever observed -- one billion years after the Big Bang.

Research findings point way to designing crack-resistant metals
Discoveries by an ASU engineering research team about the causes of stress-corrosion cracking in metal alloys could help prevent failure of critical infrastructure systems such as pipelines that transport water, fossil fuels and natural gas, as well as operating systems for nuclear power generation facilities and the framework of aircraft.

Major boost to UK robotics capability with launch of EPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network
The UK's ability to develop and exploit the vast potential of Robotics and Autonomous Systems was given a major boost today with the formal launch of The EPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network.

Needle exchanges can prevent more HIV outbreaks like one in Indiana
Congress needs to immediately lift the ban on federal funding for needle exchange programs to counter the threat of HIV outbreaks among injection drug users like the one that has seen an alarming number of new cases erupt in a single rural Indiana county.

Distributed technique for power 'scheduling' advances smart grid concept
Researchers have developed a new technique for 'scheduling' energy in electric grids that moves away from centralized management by tapping into the distributed computing power of energy devices.

New Zealand blackcurrants good for the brain
Research has shown that New Zealand blackcurrants are good for keeping us mentally young and agile, a finding that could have potential in managing the mental decline associated with aging populations, or helping people with brain disorders such as Parkinson's disease or depression.

New technique to accurately detect the 'handedness' of molecules in a mixture
Scientists have demonstrated for the first time the ability to rapidly, reliably and simultaneously identify the 'handedness' of different molecules in a mixture.

Friends motivate us to drink more: QUT study
Friends can be a dangerous influence, with new QUT research confirming what many drinkers already know -- that drinking with mates can push you to drink more.

Study: Whooping cough resurgence due to vaccinated people not knowing they're infectious?
The dramatic resurgence of whooping cough is due, in large part, to vaccinated people who are infectious but who do not display the symptoms, suggests a new study by two Santa Fe Institute researchers in BMC Medicine.

Oh, to have Dr. Facebook on call!
If it were up to Internet-savvy Americans, more of them would be emailing or sending Facebook messages to their doctors to chat about their health.

Factors released following stem cell transplantation therapeutically impact serious burns
Using injections of MSCs, researchers treated rats modeled with severe burns.

Spintronics advance brings wafer-scale quantum devices closer to reality
University of Chicago researchers have made a crucial step toward nuclear spintronic technologies.

For vitiligo patient, arthritis drug restores skin color
A medication for treating rheumatoid arthritis has restored skin color in a patient suffering from vitiligo, according to dermatologists at Yale School of Medicine.

Future physicians more inclined to embrace genomic medicine than practicing physicians
Medical students showed a greater acceptance of using approaches in genomic medicine, a key element in the practice of precision medicine, to treat patients as compared to physicians currently in practice according to a Brief Communication in the journal Medical Science Educator.

UNAIDS-Lancet Commission: World must drastically accelerate AIDS efforts or face more
Countries most affected by HIV must focus on stopping new HIV infections and expanding access to antiretroviral treatment or risk the epidemic rebounding, urges a major new report from the UNAIDS and Lancet Commission.

EARTH: Studies re-examine how major copper deposits form
For decades, scientists generally agreed upon the geological processes behind PCD formation; now EARTH Magazine examines two new studies that suggest alternatives to these long-held understandings.

NASA's Aqua Satellite sees Tropical Depression Kujira at landfall
Tropical Depression Kujira made landfall in northeastern Vietnam early on June 24 as NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead.

Unique consensus paper on patient preferences for arrhythmias management published
A unique consensus paper on patient preferences for arrhythmias management is presented today1 at EHRA EUROPACE - CARDIOSTIM 2015 and published in EP Europace.2 'Patients live with the consequences of treatments so it's reasonable that they should have some say.'

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists receives MacArthur Award
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announced today that it is receiving a two-year, $450,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T.

Tiny particles in blood useful for early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer
A protein encoded by the gene glypican-1 present on cancer exosomes may be used as part of a potential non-invasive diagnostic and screening tool to detect early pancreatic cancer, potentially at a stage amenable to surgical treatment, according to a study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Vietnam's Ministry of Health recognizes BUSM for building capacity in hospital nutrition
Carine Lenders, M.D., M.S., ScD, associate professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and physician nutrition specialist at Boston Medical Center (BMC), and Elizabeth Henry, DrPH, MHS, who will graduate from BU's School of Public Health (BUSPH) in September, have received the People's Health Medal from the Social Republic of Vietnam's Ministry of Health for their work on behalf of the Abbott Fund Institute of Nutrition Science (AFINS).

Detroit patients' contributions to national study re-define low-grade brain tumor diagnosis
Sixty-seven patients from the Hermelin Brain Tumor Center at Henry Ford Hospital and their families made important contributions to a national cancer study that proposes a change in how some brain tumors are classified and ultimately treated.

Nanowires could be the LEDs of the future
The latest research from the Niels Bohr Institute shows that LEDs made from nanowires will use less energy and provide better light.

Unlocking fermentation secrets open the door to new biofuels
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have, for the first time, uncovered the complex interdependence and orchestration of metabolic reactions, gene regulation, and environmental cues of clostridial metabolism, providing new insights for advanced biofuel development.

2014 Impact Factor release shows the influence of content published by Portland Press
The Impact Factors and journal metrics for the range of molecular bioscience journals published by Portland Press, the knowledge hub for life sciences, have been announced.

Rainbow of glowing corals discovered in depths of the Red Sea
Glowing corals that display a surprising array of colors have been discovered in the deep water reefs of the Red Sea by scientists from the University of Southampton, UK, Tel Aviv University and the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences, Israel, together with an international team of researchers.

How the brightest lights in the universe 'flicker'
Active galactic nuclei are the brightest objects in the universe.

Study hints at why parrots are great vocal imitators
Duke University researchers, in collaboration with an international group of scientists, have uncovered key structural differences in parrot brains that may help explain why this group of bird species can mimic speech and songs so well.

Got acne? Lay off the B12
New UCLA research suggests that Vitamin B12 tweaks how genes behave in the facial bacteria of some people who normally enjoy clear skin, leading to pimples.

BMJ investigation examines bitter dispute over e-cigarettes in the public health community
An investigation published by The BMJ today reveals how the controversial concept of 'harm reduction', embraced enthusiastically by the tobacco industry, has sharply divided the public health community.

Low-field synchronized transcranial magnetic stimulation effective for major depressive disorder
The results of a study assessing safety and efficacy of sTMS therapy with the NEST device in adult patients with Major Depressive Disorder have been published in the Elsevier journal Brain Stimulation and are now available online on Science Direct.

Malaysia's 'megadiverse' biology to be explored, conserved with new grant
With a National Geographic Society grant, University of Kansas graduate student Chan Kin Onn will focus on revealing the hidden diversity and riverscape genetics of reptiles and amphibians in Northeastern Peninsular Malaysia.

Brain imaging technique receives NIH grant
A biomedical engineer at the Cockrell School of Engineering has received a $1.8 million NIH grant to advance his light-based technique for imaging blood flow across the brain.

First species of yeti crab found in Antarctica named after British deep-sea biologist
The first species of yeti crab from hydrothermal vent systems of the East Scotia Ridge in the Southern Ocean, Antarctica, has been described by a team of British scientists.

Nearly half of Hispanics unaware they have high cholesterol; less than a third treated
About half of Hispanics were not aware that they had high cholesterol in a multi-site study.

New Sesotho-named dinosaur from South Africa
South African and Argentinian palaeontologists have discovered a new 200-million-year-old dinosaur from South Africa hidden for decades among the largest fossil collection in South Africa at the Evolutionary Studies Institute at Wits University.

Eating in the absence of hunger: A recipe for expanding waistline
QUT researcher Dr Stephanie Fay has found that snacking when you're not hungry can cause weight gain as much as overly large portion sizes and energy-rich foods.

Atlas of older brains could help diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease
A digital map of the ageing brain could aid the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders in older people, a study suggests.

Recycled water, salt-tolerant grass a water-saving pair
Plants need water. People need water. Unfortunately, there's only so much clean water to go around -- and so the effort begins to find a solution.

Girls suffer more overuse injuries in teen sports
A new study from the The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center found that teenage girls suffer more overuse injuries than boys in high school sports, particularly girls who run track or play field hockey or lacrosse.

Weight loss plus vitamin D reduces inflammation linked to cancer, chronic disease
For the first time, researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have found that weight loss, in combination with vitamin D supplementation, has a greater effect on reducing chronic inflammation than weight loss alone.

Cystic fibrosis deadlier for Hispanic than non-Hispanic patients, Stanford study finds
Cystic fibrosis is more deadly for Hispanic than non-Hispanic patients, a disparity that is not explained by differences in their access to health care, according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Targeting telomeres, the timekeepers of cells, could improve chemotherapy
In an unexpected finding, the Salk Institute and collaborators show how disabling telomere protection during cell division prompts cell death.

Johns Hopkins scientists restore normal function in heart muscle cells of diabetic rats
Working with heart muscle cells from diabetic rats, scientists at Johns Hopkins have located what they say is the epicenter of mischief wreaked by too much blood sugar and used a sugar-gobbling enzyme to restore normal function in the glucose-damaged cells of animal heart muscles.

Innovative male circumcision device for HIV prevention receives WHO prequalification
The ShangRing, a novel medical device for voluntary medical male circumcision, has received prequalification from the World Health Organization (WHO) for use.

Study reveals how our brains can form first impressions quickly
A study of how people can quickly spot animals by sight is helping uncover the workings of the human brain.

QUT professor awarded Australian Laureate Fellowship
A QUT project to help Australia thrive in the Big Data Era has been awarded $2.4 million in a prestigious round of research funding.

Norepinephrine aids brain in sorting complex auditory signals
In the Journal of Neuroscience this week, doctoral student Maaya Ikeda and her advisor, neuroscientist Luke Remage-Healey at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, report finding that the neuromodulator norepinephrine has an unexpected, direct action on auditory processing of complex signals, specifically bird songs in the zebra finch.

Hubble sees atmosphere being stripped from Neptune-sized exoplanet
Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have discovered an immense cloud of hydrogen dispersing from a warm, Neptune-sized planet orbiting a nearby star.

This week from AGU: Malaysian quake aftermath, Arctic sea ice predictions
This week from AGU comes news on Malaysian quake aftermath and Arctic sea ice predictions.

Minorities underrepresented in US special education classrooms
Although minority children are frequently reported to be overrepresented in special education classrooms, a team of researchers suggests that minority children are less likely than otherwise similar white children to receive help for disabilities.

Towards graphene biosensors
For the first time, a team of scientists has succeeded in precisely measuring and controlling the thickness of an organic compound that has been bound to a graphene layer.

UAlberta partnership could be a 'game-changer' for cancer patients
A multimillion dollar research partnership announced at the University of Alberta is giving a 'dream team' of researchers the opportunity to potentially transform cancer treatment and better patient outcomes.

World's first full-color, flexible, skin-like display developed at UCF
Inspired by octopuses and chameleons, researchers at the University of Central Florida develop technique for using a metallic nanostructure to create the first full-color, flexible display so thin it could be used to create color-changing clothing.

Patient outcomes could improve by preparing nursing homes for health information exchange
When older adults transfer between nursing homes and hospitals, inefficient and unclear communication between the organizations can hinder patient care.

Reenergizing antibiotics in the war against infections
In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering led by Wyss Core Faculty member James Collins, Ph.D., pinpoints a critical differentiator that separates the effects of bactericidal and bacteriostatic antibiotics: cellular respiration.

First ESC recommendations for arrhythmias and chronic kidney disease published
The first ESC recommendations for patients with cardiac arrhythmias and chronic kidney disease are presented today1 at EHRA EUROPACE - CARDIOSTIM 2015 and published in EP Europace.2

Could 'virtual reality' treat alcoholism?
A form of 'virtual-reality' therapy may help people with alcohol dependence reduce their craving for alcohol, a new study suggests.

Exceptional view of deep Arctic Ocean methane seeps
Close to 30.000 high definition images of the deep Arctic Ocean floor were captured on a recent research cruise.

Childhood adversities, including witnessing parental domestic violence, linked to later migraines
Adults who were exposed to childhood adversity, including witnessing parental domestic violence, childhood physical and sexual abuse have higher odds of experiencing migraine headaches in adulthood, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Toronto.

Challenging negative stereotypes to narrow the achievement gap
A writing intervention linked to improved academic performance among girls and minorities may work by triggering a sense of belonging, helping to ease the students' anxiety, say Columbia researchers.

To the rescue: Helping threatened Mediterranean sea turtles
With all sea turtles being currently on the list of endangered species, authors Ullmann and Stachowitsch offer a critical review of what is being done towards saving injured Mediterranean loggerhead and green turtles.

In ERs, UTIs and STIs in women misdiagnosed, even mixed up nearly half the time
Urinary tract and sexually transmitted infections in women are misdiagnosed by emergency departments nearly half the time, according to a paper in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.

Red dwarf burns off planet's hydrogen giving it massive comet-like tail
A giant cloud escaping from a warm, Neptune-mass exoplanet is reported in this week's Nature.

Analyzing ocean mixing reveals insight on climate
Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a computer model that clarifies the complex processes driving ocean mixing in the vast eddies that swirl across hundreds of miles of open ocean.

LSU receives $18.5 million NIH grant to build biomedical research pipeline
LSU has received an $18.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Healthto support an Institutional Development Award, or IDeA, Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, or INBRE.

Diabetic blindness: UVA IDs best source of stem cells to block vision loss
Researchers have determined that stem cells taking from donors likely will be more effective at battling diabetic retinopathy than cells taken from patients' own bodies.

Women have up to a fourfold increase in risk of stillbirth following a previous stillbirth
Women who have experienced a stillbirth have up to a fourfold increased risk of stillbirth in a second pregnancy compared to those who had an initial live birth, finds a new meta-analysis published in The BMJ this week.

Artifical neuron mimicks function of human cells
Scientists at Sweden's Karolinska Institutet have managed to build a fully functional neuron by using organic bioelectronics.

NIFA grant aims to assure food safety in urban gardens of Detroit
A team of researchers led by Wayne State University has recently launched an initiative to determine the prevalence of contaminants in urban agriculture soil in Detroit, establish linkages among the contaminants and identify the agricultural risk factors for the contamination.

Partnering of PD researchers with patient groups needed to improve effectiveness of clinical trials
Despite an urgent need for new medications, clinical trials in Parkinson's disease have a relatively low rate of success.

Conrad Prebys donates $100 million to Sanford-Burnham
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) announced today that it has received a gift of $100 million from prominent San Diego developer, philanthropist, and Sanford-Burnham honorary trustee Conrad Prebys.

Antarctic life -- highly diverse, unusually structured
In a comprehensive assessment of Antarctic biodiversity, published in Nature this week, scientists have revealed the region is more diverse and biologically interesting than previously thought.

DNA shed from head and neck tumors detected in blood and saliva
On the hunt for better cancer screening tests, Johns Hopkins scientists led a proof of principle study that successfully identified tumor DNA shed into the blood and saliva of 93 patients with head and neck cancer.

ALMA detects carbon 'smog' permeating interstellar atmospheres of early galaxies
ALMA detected the first faint traces of carbon atoms permeating the interstellar atmospheres of so-called normal galaxies, seen only one billion years after the Big Bang.

Single-cell technologies advance the value of genomics
Biologists are looking to extract as much information as possible from small amounts of valuable biological material, and to understand biological responses at higher levels of resolution.

Scientists highlight the importance of nanoscale hybrid materials for noninvasive cancer diagnosis
Cancerous cells can now be pinpointed more accurately with multimodal combined bioimaging assisted with a type of materials called organic-inorganic nanohybrids.

Bad news and good news for birds nesting at reservoirs
In a six-year study at Arrow Lakes Reservoir in British Columbia, researchers from Cooper, Beauchesne and Associates and Simon Fraser University found that while some nests failed due to flooding as the reservoir filled up in the spring, the higher water levels actually provided benefits for the nests that survived.

Newly found ring of teeth uncovers what common ancestor of molting animals looked like
A new analysis of one of the most bizarre-looking fossils ever discovered has definitively sorted its head from its tail, and turned up a previously unknown ring of teeth, which could help answer some of the questions around the early development of moulting animals.

Porcupines can't jump: Camera traps in the forest canopy reveal dwarf porcupine behavior
A team of researchers documenting the use of natural canopy bridges over a pipeline clearing with camera traps in Peru found an unexpected animal using some of the bridges.

Professor discovers new lichen species in city of Boulder
A University of Colorado Boulder scientist unexpectedly discovered two lichen species new to science in the same week while conducting research in Boulder Colorado, near the city's eastern limits.

Medical research not addressing patient and clinician priorities
Research on treatments for health problems, such as diabetes, stroke and schizophrenia, is not being focused on the treatments considered most important by patients and clinicians, according to a study published in the open access journal Research Involvement and Engagement.

NASA's Hubble sees a 'behemoth' bleeding atmosphere around a warm exoplanet
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have discovered an immense cloud of hydrogen dubbed 'The Behemoth' bleeding from a planet orbiting a nearby star.

Thermo Fisher Proteomics Facility for Disease Target Discovery opens at Gladstone
The Thermo Fisher Scientific Proteomics Facility for Disease Target Discovery opened today at the Gladstone Institutes, as part of a collaboration between Thermo Fisher, Gladstone, the University of California, San Francisco, and QB3, to accelerate targeted proteomics research using the most advanced mass spectrometry technologies.

Uninterrupted NOAC therapy during AF ablation is safe
Uninterrupted treatment with novel oral anticoagulants during catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation is safe, reveals research presented today at EHRA EUROPACE - CARDIOSTIM 2015 by Dr Carsten Wunderlich, senior consultant in the Department of Invasive Electrophysiology, Heart Centre Dresden, Germany.

Scripps scientists awarded $3.5 million to expand development of new diabetes therapies
Scientists from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have been awarded $3.5 million from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health to accelerate development of a new class of anti-diabetic compounds.

Giving atoms their marching orders
Building self-assembled 'molecular straws' from bis-urea macrocycles, Linda Shimizu of the University of South Carolina has developed a new nanotube system that can be used to directly compare single-file diffusion dynamics with Fickian diffusion dynamics.

Inflaming the drive for suicide
One American dies from suicide every 12.8 minutes, making suicide the tenth leading cause of death in the United States according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

First species of yeti crab found in Antarctica
The first species of yeti crab from hydrothermal vent systems of the East Scotia Ridge in the Southern Ocean, Antarctica, is described.

What your clothes may say about you
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering have designed a responsive hybrid material that is fueled by an oscillatory chemical reaction and can perform computations based on changes in the environment or movement, and potentially even respond to human vital signs.

Study examines cesarean section delivery and autism spectrum disorder
The initial results of a study suggested that children born by cesarean section were 21 percent more likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder but that association did not hold up in further analysis of sibling pairs, implying the initial association was not causal and was more likely due to unknown genetic or environmental factors, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

Geography is destiny in deaths from kidney failure, study shows
The notion that geography often shapes economic and political destiny has long informed the work of economists and political scholars.

Three Ebola virus variants identified in Guinea
Sequencing the genome of Ebola virus strains circulating in Guinea has allowed scientists at the Institut Pasteur in Dakar and in Paris, the CNRS and the University of Sydney to retrace the spread of the virus and monitor its evolution in the country where the outbreak started.

Springer acquires 3 pioneering open-access journals from the Max Planck Society
Springer has acquired the three pioneering 'living' open-access journals: Living Reviews in Relativity (impact factor 19.25), Living Reviews in Solar Physics (impact factor 17.64) and the recently launched journal Living Reviews in Computational Astrophysics from the Max Planck Society. 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