Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 08, 2015
Biggest explosions in the universe powered by strongest magnets
Observations from ESO's La Silla and Paranal Observatories in Chile have for the first time demonstrated a link between a very long-lasting burst of gamma rays and an unusually bright supernova explosion.

A black hole under the gravitational lens
An unusual observation method uncovers processes near the event horizon of a distant, massive monster.

Production of iPS cells: Discovery of the fifth element
Two teams of researchers from Inserm, CNRS, Centre Léon Bérard and Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University have discovered a molecule that may favor the production of these induced stem cells.

Super-bright supernova with extreme burst of gamma radiation
Astronomers from the Niels Bohr Institute have observed a super-bright supernova in association with a very unusual long lasting gamma-ray burst.

NASA sees powerful winds around Typhoon Nangka's center
The RapidScat instrument aboard the International Space Station measured Typhoon Nangka's powerful winds as it continues to move through the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

Stratospheric accomplice for Santa Ana winds and California wildfires
Southern Californians and writers love to blame the hot, dry Santa Ana winds for tense, ugly moods, and the winds have long been associated with destructive wildfires.

Sensitive and specific: A new way of probing electrolyte/electrode interfaces
Researchers have developed a new technique that enables sensitive and specific detection of molecules at the electrode/electrolyte interface.

Manchester academics complete Britain's largest study of murder
The most in-depth and comprehensive study of murder in Britain has been completed by a husband and wife team and is the subject of a new book.

Horned dinosaur discovery sheds light on nose horn evolution in Triceratops family
Scientists have discovered Wendiceratops pinhornensis, a new species of horned dinosaur based on fossils collected from a bone bed in southern Alberta, Canada.

Study estimates number of deaths attributed to low levels of education
A new study by researchers at the University of Colorado, New York University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill estimates the number of deaths that can be linked to differences in education, and finds that variation in the risk of death across education levels has widened considerably.

New database documents submarine landslides
Submarine landslides, also known as mass transport deposits (MTDs), are common in marine environments and pose risks to coastal communities and offshore infrastructure.

A glimmer of hope for patients with leukodystrophies
Leukodystrophies are deadly neurodegenerative diseases that affect one in 7,000 children and remain incurable.

Inaugural meeting of Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health begins July 29
In keeping with its vision, the newly formed Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health aims to provide attendees with resources, organizational structure, and the means to sustain interprofessional interaction and discourse related to the discipline of disaster medicine and public health.

Ludwig Cancer Research and the Cancer Research Institute evaluate immunotherapeutic strategies for brain cancer and other types of solid tumors
Ludwig Cancer Research and the Cancer Research Institute have launched clinical trials evaluating an immunotherapy for the treatment of the brain cancer glioblastoma multiforme, and a combination of immunotherapies for a variety of solid tumors.

Crowdsourcing brain data
Neuroscientists in Toronto have shown that crowdsourcing brain data with hundreds of adults in a short period of time could be a new frontier in neuroscience and lead to new insights about the brain.

Mass. General study suggests that medication could improve gastric bypass results
New findings about the mechanisms involved -- or not involved -- in the effects of the most common form of bariatric surgery suggest that combining surgery with a specific type of medication could augment the benefits of the procedure.

Impact of smoking on California's economy in decline at $18.1 billion per year
Today Nicotine & Tobacco Research publishes the third in a series of studies on the cost of smoking in California, one of the first US states to implement a comprehensive tobacco control program.

New timeline links volcanic eruptions to centuries of cold temperature extremes
A new study reorders the timing and reveals the climate impact of nearly 300 major volcanic eruptions worldwide, dating back to the early Roman period.

Targeting bacteria in the gut might help burn and trauma patients
A study published in PLOS ONE has found that burn patients experience dramatic changes in the 100 trillion bacteria inside the gastrointestinal tract.

Study: Learning categorical information gives children a feeling of deja vu
During development, children must learn both broad facts about the world (that dogs have four legs, for example) and information that is more specific (that the family dog is scared of snow).

First images of dolphin brain circuitry hint at how they sense sound
A novel DTI technique used on the preserved brains of two dolphins that died after stranding shows that at least two areas of the dolphin brain are associated with the auditory system, unlike most mammals that primarily process sound in a single area.

Reform to resident physicians' work hours does not improve surgical patient safety
Work-hour restrictions for resident physicians, revised nationally four years ago largely to protect patients against physician trainees' fatigue-related errors, have not had the desired effect of lowering postoperative complication rates in several common surgical specialties, according to new study results.

Probiotics -- for plants
Helpful bacteria promote growth, less fertilizer on crops.

The Lancet: First real-life trial finds oral cholera vaccine protects against endemic disease and could speed up global control efforts
An oral cholera vaccine (Shanchol) given as part of routine health services is safe and protects against severe cholera in children and adults in urban Bangladesh where the disease is endemic, according to the first real-life trial of this vaccine published in The Lancet.

ESC statement on trans fatty acids
The American Food and Drug Administration considers trans fatty acids unsafe for consumption.

The arts improve medical care through learned observation
The visual and narrative arts can help physicians hone their observational skills -- a critical expertise increasingly needed in today's medicine, contends a Georgetown University Medical Center family medicine professor.

Gender differences play key role in supporting healthy diets for seniors: UBC research
Strategies to support healthier diets among seniors need to take into account differences between elderly men and women, according to UBC research.

Vaccines: Practices and hesitancy among general physicians in France
In an article published in the journal Ebiomedecine, Pierre Verger and his collaborators present and analyze the attitudes and practices of over 1,500 general physicians in France, in a context of distrust toward vaccines.

Examining the neonicotinoid threat to honey bees
The decline of honey bees has been a major concern globally for the past decade.

Male koalas raise their voices to avoid conflict
A team of international scientists has tracked the love lives of koalas, uncovering some curious behaviors and finding that male koalas make their distinct bellows to avoid confrontation with competitors.

Volcanic eruptions that changed human history
It is well known that large volcanic eruptions contribute to climate variability.

Brawling badgers age faster
Male badgers that spend their youth fighting tend to age more quickly than their passive counterparts according to new research from the University of Exeter.

E-waste: What we throw away doesn't go away
In our consumer-driven society, electrical and electronic equipment have never been more efficient, economical or in demand.

The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist review examines strategies to prevent stillbirth
A review in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist finds that reducing the risk of stillbirth calls for better monitoring of women during their pregnancy to help find those whose babies' lives could be saved by early delivery.

Study details army suicide attempts, risk profiles for enlisted soldiers, officers
A new analysis of US Army data details rates of suicide attempts during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and researchers have identified risk factors for suicide attempts by enlisted soldiers and officers, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

Hibernating bears protect bones by reducing resorption
Bone loss through disuse is a serious concern for humans, but hibernating bears that do not stir for six months of the year don't suffer the same problems.

Tapping the full innovation potential of research
As many as four fundamental research ideas of KIT convinced the European Research Council.

Diving dolphins are exhalation champions
How diving marine mammals escape the damaging effects of high pressure is something of a mystery.

Messages of individual blame for black Americans perpetuate racial inequality
Why is it that messages about black absentee fathers, such as Obama's 2008 Father's Day address, are so pervasive in society?

Peppermint oil and cinnamon could help treat and heal chronic wounds
Infectious colonies of bacteria called biofilms that develop on chronic wounds and medical devices can cause serious health problems and are tough to treat.

Study finds recent agricultural pest stems from one fly generation's big genetic shift
A new study involving a Kansas State University entomologist reveals that the genes of a fruit fly that has plagued American apple producers for more than 150 years is the result of an extremely rapid evolutionary change.

Research links intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy with liver cancer and other diseases later in life
In a new study of more than 125,000 pregnant women in Sweden, researchers found that the risk of hepatobiliary cancer and immune-mediated and cardiovascular diseases later in life is higher in women with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy than in women without this condition.

Record-breaking heavy rainfall events increased under global warming
Heavy rainfall events setting ever new records have been increasing strikingly in the past thirty years.

Advance Care Planning championed by AGS, others in Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule
The 2016 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule includes codes recognizing Advance Care Planning -- an essential element of high-quality care that supports patients in aligning their future care with what is most important to them through ongoing conversations with their healthcare professionals.

Typhoon Chan-Hom 'eyes' NASA's Aqua satellite
Typhoon Chan-Hom's eye was visible from space when NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead early on July 8, 2015.

New tropical depression forms and moves into central Pacific Ocean
Tropical Depression 4E formed in the Eastern Pacific and crossed the 140 West longitude line as of the 0300 UTC time, which brought it into the central Pacific Ocean.

New study showed spawning frequency regulates species population networks on coral reefs
New research on tropical coral reef ecosystems showed that releasing larvae more often is beneficial for a species' network.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Linfa approaching southeastern China coast
NASA's Aqua satellite provided a bird's eye view of Tropical Storm Linfa as it was approaching the southeastern China coast on July 8.

Study shows long-term effects of type 2 diabetes on the brain, thinking
In just two years, people with type 2 diabetes experienced negative changes in their ability to regulate blood flow in the brain, which was associated with lower scores on tests of cognition skills and their ability to perform their daily activities, according to a new study published in the July 8, 2015, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Complexity before size: Old world monkey had a tiny but complex brain
Victoriapithecus had a small brain relative to its body size with an olfactory bulb about three times as large as that in present-day monkeys.

Disrupting cells' 'powerhouses' can lead to tumor growth, Penn study finds
A study by University of Pennsylvania researchers implicates defects in mitochondria, the energy-production centers of cells, as playing a key role in the transition from normal to cancerous.

Gene therapy restores hearing in deaf mice
Using gene therapy, researchers at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School have restored hearing in mice with a genetic form of deafness.

Cost-effective conservation helps species bounce back
Researchers have developed a way to help ecosystems bounce back after human disturbances such as shipping, oil exploration or fishing, and have applied it to a coral reef fish species.

MPSA receives national honor for developing nations philanthropic initiative
Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) has earned a 2015 ASAE 'Power of A' Silver Award for its efforts to provide access to research and teaching resources to political scientists from the developing world.

'Beyond aid' in health care: Is it time for scrutiny?
The UK government's investments in private hospital chains in developing countries, in the form of 'beyond aid' approaches, could actually be hindering inclusive development and need greater scrutiny, argue experts in The BMJ this week.

Study: Why social workers aren't discussing religion and spirituality with clients
New research by a Baylor University professor shows that licensed clinical social workers, who account for the largest number of clinically trained helping professionals, believe that discussions about their clients' religion and spirituality can often lead to improved health and mental health, but practitioners are not integrating these conversations into their counseling sessions.

Ultra-thin, all-inorganic molecular nanowires successfully compounded
The development of metal oxide-based molecular wires is important for fundamental research and potential practical applications.

Cost of low-risk childbirth varies widely among hospitals
The cost of having a baby can vary by almost $10,000 depending on which hospital is chosen, Yale School of Medicine researchers have found in a study published in the July issue of the journal Health Affairs.

How accurate are symptom checkers?
Online symptom checkers can often be wrong in both diagnosis and triage advice, but they still may be useful alternatives to phone triage services and Internet searches.

CU Denver researchers find lack of education as deadly as smoking
After examining decades of data, researchers from the University of Colorado Denver have found that a lack of education may be as deadly as smoking.

Patent filings by women have risen fastest in academia, finds IU study
The number of women across the globe filing patents with the US Patent and Trade Office over the past 40 years has risen fastest within academia compared to all other sectors of the innovation economy, according to a new study from Indiana University.

Study connects low-cost building improvement with decreased crime
The first research demonstrating the effects of abandoned building remediation on changes in surrounding crime found that low-cost improvements such as new windows and doors may be effective in deterring criminal activity.

The Johns Hopkins University and the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry enter into extended drug discovery collaboration
The Johns Hopkins Drug Discovery program, created with the mission of identifying novel drug targets arising from Johns Hopkins faculty research and translating them into new therapeutics, and the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, The Czech Academy of Sciences have entered into a five-year drug discovery research agreement to develop small-molecule and peptide drugs for a range of therapeutic areas including neurological diseases, cancer and gastrointestinal disorders.

Scripps research-designed drug candidate significantly reduces HIV reactivation rate
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have shown that, unlike other antiretroviral therapies, a natural compound called Cortistatin A reduces residual levels of HIV virus from infected dormant cells, establishing a near-permanent state of latency and greatly diminishing the virus' capacity for reactivation.

WSU researchers find online program helps people with chronic pain
Washington State University researchers have found that people can manage chronic pain and reduce their reliance on opioids through an Internet-based program that teaches non-medical alternatives like increased physical activity, thinking more positively and dealing with emotions.

Common hormone could help treat breast cancer
Around half of all breast cancer patients could one day benefit from having the cheap and widely-available female hormone progesterone added to their treatment, according to Cancer Research UK funded research published in Nature.

New study shows that oil from surface-spill slicks can sink to sea floor
A first of its kind study that modeled oil slick weathering over time in a laboratory setting provides evidence that evaporation combined with sinking of the heavy components of surface-spill slicks can explain the presence of oil on the sea floor.

If you look old on the outside, you're probably old on the inside
An international research team has found a way to measure the aging process in young adults.

Bonelike 3-D silicon synthesized for potential use with medical devices
Researchers have developed a new approach for better integrating medical devices with biological systems.

Some SSRI antidepressants may be associated with increased birth defect risk
Some antidepressants known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) taken during early pregnancy may indeed be associated with an increased risk of birth defects, finds a study published in The BMJ this week.

Seafloor hot springs a significant source of iron in the oceans
A two-month voyage tracking a deep current flowing from one of the most active underwater volcanoes on Earth proves that iron released from hydrothermal vents travels thousands of miles, providing a significant source of iron to support life in the broader oceans.

Mayo Clinic receives $11 million grant from NCI to study cancer survivorship
Mayo Clinic announced today that it has received a five-year, $11 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to study survivorship in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

UK study reveals new method to develop more efficient drugs
A new study led by University of Kentucky researchers suggests a new approach to develop highly potent drugs which could overcome current shortcomings of low drug efficacy and multi-drug resistance in the treatment of cancer as well as viral and bacterial infections.

Why do puddles stop spreading?
Researchers now know why puddles stop spreading.

New psoriasis drug is more effective than current treatment
A phase II clinical trial led by Northwestern Medicine investigators shows that a new psoriasis drug called guselkumab has greater efficacy than the current standard of care for the chronic skin condition.

Keeping the smells of onions, garlic and other stinky foods under wraps
Some of the world's most popular foods and seasonings can also be the smelliest -- think garlic, onions, certain cheeses and the notoriously stinky Asian durian fruit.

Georgetown scientist receives $2.9m to study math, language & brain function relationship
Can reading interventions positively impact reading skills and math skills?

The artificial enzyme that 'acts' natural
Certain genetic diseases arise from a deficit of specific genes.

3-D model to help researchers study pelvic floor disorder linked to childbirth
Researchers have developed the first-ever 3-D complete computer model to help study treatment for pelvic organ prolapse.

Cost-saving ultrasound degassing now possible in continuous processing of aluminum melt
Having proved that ultrasound degassing of molten aluminum alloys is cleaner, greener and cheaper than current methods, a team of scientists from Brunel University London working within a European consortium has now taken the breakthrough a step further.

Men more likely to achieve targets if they are set goals
New research from the University of Leicester shows males are more responsive to goal-setting than females.

Remediating abandoned, inner city buildings reduces crime and violence in surrounding area
Fixing up abandoned buildings significantly reduced crime and violence, including gun assaults, in the surrounding areas, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Penn's Perelman School of Medicine report.

Nanometer catalyst cleans up bad cigarette smoke in smoking room
KIST research team has developed a nano-catalyst for air cleaning in a smoking room that removes 100 percent of acetaldehyde which accounts for the largest portion of the gaseous substances present in cigarette smoke.

Kessler Foundation TBI study shows brain activity changes after cognitive rehabilitation
Kessler Foundation researchers published results of their TBI-MEM trial, the first study to demonstrate significant changes in cerebral activation after memory retraining in individuals with TBI.

Hybrid cells cause chaos around cancers
Rice University researchers have built a simulation to understand how cancerous tumors manipulate blood-vessel growth.

Learn cutting-edge research opportunities using new DNA sequencing technologies
'Next-Generation DNA Sequencing Informatics, 2e,' from CSHL Press, provides a thorough, plain-language introduction to the necessary informatics methods and tools for analyzing NGS data and provides detailed descriptions of algorithms, strengths and weaknesses of specific tools, pitfalls, and alternative methods.

'Safer' replacements for harmful chemical in plastics may be as risky to human health, studies suggest
According to a new series of studies out of NYU Langone Medical Center, two chemicals increasingly used during manufacturing to strengthen plastic wrap, soap, cosmetics, and processed food containers have been linked to a rise in risk of high blood pressure and diabetes in children and adolescents.

Systems Analysis 2015
From Nov. 11-13, 2015, join us at this major international conference to explore the current state and future directions of systems analysis.

Mothers who smoke and give birth preterm more than triple their CVD risk
Mothers who smoke and have a preterm birth more than triple their risk of cardiovascular disease, according to research in more than 900,000 mothers published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Social engagement aids disaster preparedness
Community participation and strong social networks can aid preparedness to natural disaster such as tsunamis in vulnerable regions, shows new research conducted in the south of Thailand.

3-D views reveal intricacies in intestines that could lead to discoveries for IBD
A technology whose roots date to the 1800s has the potential to offer an extraordinary new advantage to modern-day medicine.

President Obama honors outstanding mathematics and science teachers
President Obama today named 108 mathematics and science teachers as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

This week from AGU: Ice cave collapse, learning geoscience and 4 new research papers
This week from AGU are items on the ice cave collapse, learning geoscience and four new research papers.

Vanderbilt researchers develop antibodies to fight chikungunya virus
Vanderbilt University Medical Center's James Crowe, M.D., Ann Scott Carell Professor and director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center, and his team are reporting the first large panel of antibody treatments against the chikungunya virus in the current issue of Cell Host and Microbe.

Chameleons' eyes are not so independent
It looks as if chameleon's eyes move independently, however, if the eyes are truly independent, the right side of the brain should only know what the left eye is seeing and vice versa.

Second instrument delivered for OSIRIS-REx mission
A spectrometer that will help the OSIRIS-REx mission team select a suitable sampling site on asteroid Bennu has arrived at Lockheed Martin's spacecraft assembly facility, ready to be integrated into the nascent spacecraft.

New horned dinosaur reveals evolution of nose horn in Triceratops family
Scientists have discovered a striking new species of horned dinosaur based on fossils collected from a bone bed in southern Alberta, Canada.

Healthy diets for youth with type 1 diabetes can be hard for parents to obtain
Patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) often need to modify their eating habits, but many youths with T1DM do not consume a healthful diet.

NASA data shows surfer-shaped waves in near-Earth space
Named Kelvin-Helmholtz waves in the late 1800s after their discoverers, these waves have since been discovered all over the universe: in clouds, in the atmospheres of other planets, and on the sun.

Chemical & Engineering News celebrates 'The Talented 12': Young science trailblazers
A microbiome code breaker. A carbon dioxide wrangler. A bug battler.

Treating breast cancer with progesterone could aid survival
A special technique where breast cancer cells are 'rescued' for research has been developed at the University of Adelaide.

Secondhand smoke increases stroke risk by 30 percent for nonsmokers
Nearly 800,000 people in the US suffer a stroke each year.

Lymphoma: How the tumor escapes the immune response
Natural killer cells of the immune system can fend off malignant lymphoma cells and thus are considered a promising therapeutic approach.

Out-of-pocket health costs tied to antimicrobial resistance, Stanford study finds
The high out-of-pocket costs for antimicrobial drugs in many developing countries is leading to an increase in drug-resistant pathogens, according to a study by Stanford University researchers. 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