Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 02, 2015
Oregon experiments open window on landscape formation
University of Oregon geologists have seen ridges and valleys form in real time and -- even though the work was a fast-forwarded operation done in a laboratory setting -- they now have an idea of how climate change may impact landscapes.

Can autism be measured in a sniff?
Imagine the way you might smell a rose. You'd take a nice big sniff to breathe in the sweet but subtle floral scent.

New technique maps elusive chemical markers on proteins
Researchers have developed antibodies to help study critical chemical modifications responsible for a protein's development.

Commonly prescribed drugs affect decisions to harm oneself and others
Healthy people given the serotonin-enhancing antidepressant citalopram were willing to pay almost twice as much to prevent harm to themselves or others than those given placebo drugs in a moral decision-making experiment at UCL.

Working out in artificial gravity
Engineers at MIT have built a compact human centrifuge with an exercise component: a cycle ergometer that a person can pedal as the centrifuge spins.

Long-term memories are maintained by prion-like proteins
Research from Eric Kandel's lab has uncovered further evidence of a system in the brain that persistently maintains memories for long periods of time.

Seahorse tails could inspire new generation of robots
Inspiration for the next big technological breakthrough in robotics, defense systems and biomedicine could come from a seahorse's tail, according to a new study reported Thursday in the journal Science.

CNIO researchers show that telomeres are linked to the origins of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
A team of researchers from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre have now discovered that telomeres, the structures that protect the chromosomes, are at the origin of pulmonary fibrosis.

Data exchange between vehicles and the road network increases traffic safety
The just-completed international Celtic Plus CoMoSeF project involved the development of data exchange between vehicles and infrastructure.

First comprehensive analysis of the woolly mammoth genome completed
The first comprehensive analysis of the woolly mammoth genome reveals extensive genetic changes that allowed mammoths to adapt to life in the arctic.

Clemson research: Bad sleep habits linked to higher self-control risks
Poor sleep habits can have a negative effect on self-control, which presents risks to individuals' personal and professional lives, according to Clemson University researchers.

Intrusiveness of old emotional memories can be reduced by computer game play procedure
Unwanted, intrusive visual memories are a core feature of stress- and trauma-related clinical disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder, but they can also crop up in everyday life.

Study shows novel HIV vaccine regimen provides robust protection in non-human primates
A new study led by scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center shows than an HIV-1 vaccine regimen, involving a viral vector boosted with a purified envelope protein, provided complete protection in half of the vaccinated non-human primates (NHPs) against a series of six repeated challenges with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), a virus similar to HIV that infects NHPs.

The quantum middle man
Quantum computer storage may require the help of an intermediary to transmit information.

Seeing the world through assistive glasses
A new research project at the Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interactive Technology (CITEC) in Bielefeld University focuses on the development of a mobile adaptive assistance system in the form of intelligent glasses that provide unobtrusive and intuitive support in everyday situations.

Why the seahorse's tail is square
Why is the seahorse's tail square? An international team of researchers has found the answer and it could lead to building better robots and medical devices.

Digesting bread and pasta can release biologically active molecules
Biologically active molecules released by digesting bread and pasta can survive digestion and potentially pass through the gut lining, suggests new research.

Canadian wildfires continue
Canada is reeling from an early fire season this year as dozens of fires ravage at least three provinces of the country.

Launch of first European nanomedicine characterization lab
Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, is part of the collaborative 'European Nanomedicine Characterization Laboratory,' a European project funded by the EU framework program 'Horizon 2020.' Its goal is to reach a level of international excellence in nanomedicine characterization for diseases like cancer, diabetes, inflammatory diseases or infections.

WATCHMAN device gives patients alternative to blood thinners and reduces stroke risk
MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center was the first in the Washington metropolitan region to implant the newly approved WATCHMAN Device.

SAGE strengthens medical portfolio with SingHealth partnership to publish Proceedings
SAGE and SingHealth have today announced a new partnership to publish SingHealth's flagship journal, Proceedings of Singapore Healthcare, as of September 2015.

It's cold outside: 2 remarkable roundworm species from Antarctica revisited
Two miraculous nematode species from the Antarctic Islands have been reviewed.

Astronomers predict fireworks from rare stellar encounter in 2018
Astronomers are gearing up for high-energy fireworks coming in early 2018, when a stellar remnant the size of a city meets one of the brightest stars in our galaxy.

Fish will have to find new habitats or perish if global warming is left unchecked
Climate change is forcing fish out of their current habitats and into cooler waters and many more species will soon be affected if climate goals are not met, say scientists.

Supercharging stem cells to create new therapies
Researchers at the University of Adelaide have discovered a new method for culturing stem cells which sees the highly therapeutic cells grow faster and stronger.

Review indicates where cardio benefits of exercise may lie
A systematic review of 160 clinical trials of the cardiometabolic benefits of exercise shows which health indicators improve most with physical activity and for whom.

Viaducts with wind turbines, the new renewable energy source
Wind turbines could be installed under some of the biggest bridges on the road network to produce electricity.

Study: Sharing knowledge positively impacts innovation in retail
A new study from The University of Texas at Dallas finds that a retail store should share customer service experiences with other units in the same chain to have more innovative behavior in its own store.

To conduct, or to insulate? That is the question
Researchers have identified a material that behaves as a conductor and an insulator at the same time, challenging current understanding of how materials behave, and pointing to a new type of insulating state.

Online reader comments can provide valuable feedback to news sites
University of Missouri School of Journalism have found that editors and owners of news organizations may want to pay more attention to what their readers are saying about their news stories in order to better serve their consumers.

Study on the evolution of plant reproduction receives 2.6 million euros
A European and US consortium coordinated by Jorg Becker, group leader at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia, has now received funding of 2.6 million euros to study the evolution of sexual reproduction in plants.

'Déjà vu all over again:' Research shows 'mulch fungus' causes turfgrass disease
Inadvertently continuing a line of study they conducted about 15 years ago, a team of Penn State researchers recently discovered the causal agent for an emerging turfgrass disease affecting golf courses around the world.

ASHG issues position statement on genetic testing in children and adolescents
ASHG has issued a position statement on Points to Consider: Ethical, Legal, and Psychosocial Implications of Genetic Testing in Children and Adolescents.

Romeo and Juliet roles for banded mongooses
Female banded mongooses risk their lives to mate with rivals during pack 'warfare' and both males and females have also learned to discriminate between relatives and non-relatives to avoid inbreeding even when mating within their own social group.

Hard soft coral: New genus and species of 'living fossil' octocoral related to blue coral
A new species and genus of octocoral (Cnidaria Anthozoa) was described from Zamami Island Okinawa Japan, Nanipora kamurai.

Infection with Wolbachia bacteria curbs fighting among fruit flies
Male fruit flies infected with the bacterium, Wolbachia, are less aggressive than those not infected, according to research published in the July Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

The sting in dengue's tail
In a new Science study, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore scientists have identified how small changes in dengue's viral genome can affect the virus' ability to manipulate human immune defenses and spread more efficiently.

Rapid response to kids' stroke symptoms may speed diagnosis
A rapid response plan for children at a hospital quickly identified stroke and other neurological problems.

Mosquito-borne viruses subject of $4 million in federal grants to Pitt vaccine researchers
Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Vaccine Research recently received nearly $4 million through five federal grants to study a group of related mosquito-borne viruses.

Aluminum clusters shut down molecular fuel factory
When aluminum atoms bunch up, porous materials called zeolites lose their ability to convert oil to gasoline.

Viral protein in their sights
A team from Harvard Medical School, using electron cryomicroscopy, has for the first time revealed at the atomic level the structure of a protein required for viral replication in vesicular stomatitis virus, a virus that is a model for a group of RNA viruses that includes Ebola and other threats to human health.

Southampton researchers go with the flow to help protect endangered European eel
New research led by the University of Southampton is paving the way to protect the endangered European eel as they migrate through rivers to the ocean.

New Adis platform connects the world of drug development
Adis, a leading global provider of drug information, has taken a major step forward in its quest to make expertly written drug information more accessible, with the launch of a new platform AdisInsight.

Tough tail of a seahorse may provide robotic solutions
One of the ocean's oddest little creatures, the seahorse, is providing inspiration for robotics researchers as they learn from nature how to build robots that have capabilities sometimes at odds with one another -- flexible, but also tough and strong.

Rope-chewing technique an easy way to screen monkeys for disease
What a piece of rope and strawberry jam have to do with preventing the spread of zoonotic disease.

Research reveals how the human brain might reconstruct past events
When remembering something from our past, we often vividly re-experience the whole episode in which it occurred.

What bee-killing mites can teach us about parasite evolution
An infestation of speck-sized Varroa destructor mites can wipe out an entire colony of honey bees in two to three years if left untreated.

New technology using silver may hold key to electronics advances
Engineers have invented a way to fabricate silver, a highly conductive metal, for printed electronics that are produced at room temperature.

Seafaring spiders depend on their 'sails' and 'anchors'
Spiders travel across water like ships, using their legs as sails and their silk as an anchor, according to research published in the open-access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology.

Can we predict evolution?
Is it possible to predict the evolution of the influenza virus?

Do you really think you're a foodie?
Think you're a foodie? Adventurous eaters, known as 'foodies,' are often associated with indulgence and excess.

Researchers find the macroscopic Brownian motion phenomena of self-powered liquid metal motors
The classical Brownian motion, resulted from microscopic molecule collisions, has been found for more than one hundred years.

Researchers find mass killings, school shootings are contagious
A team of researchers examined databases on past high-profile mass killings and school shootings in the US and fit a contagion model to the data to determine that these tragedies create a period of contagion lasting an average of 13 days, that roughly 20 to 30 percent of such occurrences arise from contagion and that the incidence of these events is significantly higher in states with a high prevalence of gun ownership.

Experts call for 'all hands on deck' to tackle global burden of non-communicable disease
A group of the world's top doctors and scientists working in cardiology and preventive medicine have issued a call to action to tackle the global problem of deaths from non-communicable diseases, such as heart problems, diabetes and cancer, through healthy lifestyle initiatives.

Investigational HIV vaccine regimen shows encouraging results in non-human primates
Johnson & Johnson announced today that scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Crucell Holland B.V, and several other collaborators today published results from a preclinical study of an HIV vaccine regimen used in in non-human primates.

Hippo dances with hormones
In fruit flies, the abnormal growth induced by Hippo pathway disruption depends on genes involved in responding to the steroid hormone ecdysone.

Scientists advance cancer drug design with image of 1 of key proteins of life
Scientists have pioneered the use of a high-powered imaging technique to picture in exquisite detail one of the central proteins of life -- a cellular recycling unit with a role in many diseases.

Water to understand the brain
By using intrinsic optical signals imaging, researchers from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, demonstrated that, contrary to what was thought, another physiological variation is involved: the activated neurons swell due to the massive entry of water.

Multiplying emerald ash borer decoys made easier
Emerald ash borers have no trouble reproducing themselves, as they have now spread through half the United States, but duplicating effective emerald ash borer decoys is not quite as easy.

Gene therapy for cystic fibrosis shows encouraging trial results
A therapy that replaces the faulty gene responsible for cystic fibrosis in patients' lungs has produced encouraging results in a major UK trial.

The bioprinted 'play dough' capable of cell and protein transfer
Scientists have developed a new technique allowing the bioprinting at ambient temperatures of a strong paste similar to 'play dough' capable of incorporating protein-releasing microspheres.

Rumors of southern pine deaths have been exaggerated, UGA researchers say
Researchers at the University of Georgia have a message for Southern tree farmers worried about unexplainable pine tree deaths: don't panic.

Genetic testing in kids is fraught with complications
The American Society of Human Genetics Workgroup on Pediatric Genetic and Genomic Testing has issued guidelines for genetic testing in children and adolescents that are based on a thorough review of studies on ethical, legal, and social implications.

A learning method for energy optimization of the plug-in hybrid electric bus
The energy management for a plug-in hybrid electric bus (PHEB) is an important technique to improve the vehicles' fuel economy.

Soundproofing with quantum physics
Sebastian Huber and his colleagues show that the road from abstract theory to practical applications needn't always be very long.

Two new studies on the connection between hypertension and cognitive decline
With the number of individuals affected by cognitive decline expected to rise over the next few decades, investigating its potential causes is of major public health interest.

Smart mouth guard could detect teeth grinding, dehydration, concussions
The next big thing in wearable technology may show up right inside your mouth.

Cancer survivors who smoke perceive less risk from tobacco
Cancer survivors who smoke report fewer negative opinions about smoking, have more barriers to quitting, and are around other smokers more often than survivors who had quit before or after their diagnosis.

Extreme lab at European X-ray laser XFEL is a go
The Helmholtz Senate has given the green light for the Association's involvement in the Helmholtz International Beamline, a new kind of experimentation station at the X-ray laser European XFEL in Hamburg, Germany.

Prion trials and tribulations: Finding the right tools and experimental models
Prions are fascinating, enigmatic, and might teach us not only about rare prion diseases like Creutzfeld-Jakob disease, mad cow disease, or scrapie, but also about other more common neurodgenerative diseases.

In blinding eye disease, trash-collecting cells go awry, accelerate damage
Spider-like cells inside the brain, spinal cord and eye hunt for invaders, capturing and then devouring them.

Discovery points to a new path toward a universal flu vaccine
The conventional flu vaccine requires annual shots to protect against only a few specific strains.

Changes to the AOU Check-list of North American Birds
The latest Supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list of North American Birds was published this week in The Auk: Ornithological Advances, and includes several major updates to the organization of the continent's bird species.

New measurements reveal differences between stem cells for treating retinal degeneration
By growing two types of stem cells in a '3-D culture' and measuring their ability to produce retinal cells, a team lead by St.

Unexpected enzyme may resurrect roses' fading scents
Researchers working with roses have identified an enzyme, known as RhNUDX1, which plays a key role in producing the flowers' sweet fragrances.

Researchers reveal a genetic blueprint for cartilage
Cartilage does a lot more than determine the shapes of people's ears and noses.

Melanoma mutation rewires cell metabolism
A mutation found in most melanomas rewires cancer cells' metabolism, making them dependent on a ketogenesis enzyme.

Researchers show how our sense of smell evolved, including in cave men
A group of scientists led by Dr. Kara Hoover of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and including Professor Matthew Cobb of the University of Manchester, has studied how our sense of smell has evolved, and has even reconstructed how a long-extinct human relative would have been able to smell.

Nanospiked bacteria are the brightest hard X-ray emitters
In a scientific breakthrough, researchers at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai and Institute for Plasma Research, Gandhi Nagar have fashioned bacteria to emit intense, hard X-ray radiation.

International consortium to study plant fertility evolution
Taking advantage of recent research progress and advanced gene sequencing technology, Brown University will join a consortium of European researchers for a three-year, $2.9 million study of how fertilization has evolved in flowering plants.

Human antibody blocks dengue virus in mice
Researchers have discovered that a human antibody specific to dengue virus serotype 2, called 2D22, protects mice from a lethal form of the virus -- and they suggest that the site where 2D22 binds to the virus could represent a potential vaccine target.

Traders' hormones' may destabilize financial markets
The hormones testosterone and cortisol may destabilize financial markets by making traders take more risks, according to a study.

Vanderbilt research could lead to vaccines and treatment for dengue virus
Researchers at Vanderbilt University and the National University of Singapore have determined the structure of a human monoclonal antibody which, in an animal model, strongly neutralizes a type of the potentially lethal dengue virus.

Elastic gel to heal wounds
A team of bioengineers at Brigham and Women's Hospital has developed a new protein-based gel that, when exposed to light, mimics many of the properties of elastic tissue, such as skin and blood vessels.

McMaster researchers test fecal transplantation to treat ulcerative colitis
A study recently published in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases found that UC can be controlled by the type of bacteria that inhabits the gut.

Cardiovascular disease in females -- new perspectives on lifelong risks
While heart disease is the number one cause of death in both sexes, it poses special considerations in women--with risks often beginning in childhood and changing at different stages of life.

NASA looks at Tropical Depression 10W's most powerful storms
Infrared date from NASA's Aqua satellite spotted the strongest storms within newborn Tropical Depression 10W over the Philippine Sea today, July 2.

Special focus on advanced nonlinear control of hypersonic flight vehicles
Near space is of both military and commercial interest. Due to the capability of high-speed flying in this area, a reliable and cost-efficient way to access space is presented by hypersonic flight vehicles.

Will climate change put mussels off the menu?
Fans of moules marinière may soon find themselves out of luck according to research which suggests that global warming may threaten shellfish industries.

ASHG honors Leonid Kruglyak with Curt Stern Award
ASHG has named Leonid Kruglyak, Ph.D., Professor of Human Genetics and Professor of Biological Chemistry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, as the 2015 recipient of the Curt Stern Award.

The Lancet Respiratory Medicine: First trial of gene therapy for cystic fibrosis to show beneficial effect on lung function
For the first time gene therapy for cystic fibrosis has shown a significant benefit in lung function compared with placebo, in a phase 2 randomized trial published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal.

Dark matter map begins to reveal the universe's early history
Researchers from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, the University of Tokyo and other institutions have begun a wide-area survey of the distribution of dark matter in the universe using Hyper Suprime-Cam, a new wide-field camera installed on the Subaru Telescope in Hawai'i.

Anxiety increases the risk of gastrointestinal infection and long-term complications
A study in the aftermath of 2010 tap water contamination in the Belgian towns of Schelle and Hemiksem provides valuable insights into the cause of irritable bowel syndrome A team comprised of scientists at VIB, KU Leuven and UZ Leuven has made significant progress in uncovering the connection between psychological factors and the immune system.

The clock is ticking: New method reveals exact time of death after 10 days
A new method for calculating the exact time of death, even after as much as 10 days, has been developed by a group of researchers at the University of Salzburg.

Miniature landscapes show how hills and valleys form
Detailed tabletop experiments are helping researchers understand how Earth's landscapes erode to form networks of hills and valleys.

Millions of children's lives saved through low-cost investments
More than 34 million children's lives have been saved since 2000 because of investments in child health programs at a cost of as little as $4,205 per child, according to a new analysis in The Lancet.

HKUST researchers discover ways to regenerate corticospinal tract axons
In the July 1 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, HKUST researchers report that the deletion of the PTEN gene would enhance compensatory sprouting of uninjured CST axons.

Scientists warn of species loss due to man-made landscapes
Researchers say farmland is a poor substitute for natural areas but simple improvements could make a difference to biodiversity conservation.

Cause of acute liver failure in young children discovered
Acute liver failure is a rare yet life-threatening disease for young children.

New guidelines recommend brain stents to fight strokes in certain patients
New devices called stent retrievers are enabling physicians to benefit selected patients who suffer strokes caused by blood clots.

Freezing single atoms to absolute zero with microwaves brings quantum technology closer
Physicists at the University of Sussex have found a way of using everyday technology found in kitchen microwaves and mobile telephones to bring quantum technology closer.

Be square, seahorse; it has mechanical advantages
The seahorse tail is square because this shape is better at resisting damage and at grasping than a circular tail would be, a new engineering study shows.

Stopping Candida in its tracks
Scientists are one step closer to understanding how a normally harmless fungus changes to become a deadly infectious agent.

Mortality rates in Europe vary depending on the socioeconomic level of the residence area
For a number of years now, scientific literature has questioned whether mortality rates depend on socioeconomic differences among the population.

Genes may not be to blame for link between migraine and heart disease
A new study suggests that genes may not be to blame for the increased risk of heart disease some studies have shown in people with migraine, especially those with migraine with aura.

Genetic variation determines response to anti-diabetic drug
In the first study of its kind, researchers have shown how an anti-diabetic drug can have variable effects depending on small natural differences in DNA sequence between individuals.

Contextually smart mobile services will be available to consumers
By the end of the year, contextually smart mobile services will be available to consumers and professional drivers as Cinia, Multiprint, Vediafi and Technical Research Centre of Finland VTT Ltd. commercialize new smart mobile services that are currently being piloted.

The very hungry sea anemone
The surprising culinary preferences of an abyssal sea anemone have been unveiled by a team of scientists from the National Oceanography Centre.

Found: Antibody that zaps resilient dengue serotype
A research team led by the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore has found the second-to-last piece of the puzzle needed to potentially cure or treat dengue.

NASA sees 2 tropical cyclones on either side of the equator
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over two tropical cyclones in the Pacific Ocean on different sides of the equator today, July 2. 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