Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 23, 2015
Tiny mechanical wrist gives new dexterity to needlescopic surgery
A Vanderbilt research team has successfully created a mechanical wrist less than 1/16th of an inch thick -- small enough to use in needlescopic surgery, the least invasive form of minimally invasive surgery.

New antibody specificity portal bolsters biomedical research reliability
Histone Antibody Specificity Database is a newly launched online portal that lets scientists find the right antibodies for their research with a much higher degree of confidence than ever before.

Resolving the cancer/diet paradox: New special issue on cancer in metabolism
How much does diet affect the cancer patient? Do 'antioxidants' really play an important role in health -- or are they causing more cancers than they cure?

'Successful aging' linked to harmful drinking among over 50s
The over 50s who are 'successful agers' -- healthy, active, sociable, and well off -- are more at risk of harmful drinking than their less successful peers, concludes research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Managers beware of gender faultlines
Do you have gender 'faultlines' in your organization? New research suggests that such fissures appear when gender differences solidify into cliques.

Satellite sees birth of Tropical Storm Felicia in Eastern Pacific Ocean
Tropical Storm Felicia was born early on July 23 in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, over 400 miles southwest of Baja California's southern tip.

Overeating caused by a hormone deficiency in brain?
Rutgers scientists have found that when hormone glucagon like peptide-1 was reduced in the central nervous system of laboratory mice, they overate and consumed more high fat food.

Female stink bugs 'select' the color of their eggs
Stink bug mothers will lay darker or lighter eggs depending on how much light is reflecting off of a surface.

Meeting face-to-face with El Capitan (Yosemite National Park, USA)
Granitic rocks make up much of Earth's continental crust and many of the planet's most iconic landscapes.

It takes a village... to ward off dangerous infections? New microbiome research suggests so
Like a collection of ragtag villagers fighting off an invading army, the mix of bacteria that live in our guts may band together to keep dangerous infections from taking hold, new research suggests.

Researchers find promising treatment for devastating genetic disorder
A multi-institutional team of researchers has identified an apparently successful treatment for a genetic immune disorder that causes a multitude of health problems -- ranging from infections, diabetes, lung disease and the body's immune system attacking and damaging healthy tissues.

MSU scientists set sights on glaucoma medication to treat TB
A new discovery by Michigan State University scientists suggests that a common medication used to treat glaucoma could also be used to treat tuberculosis, even the drug-resistant kind.

Cannabis psychosis: Gender matters
New research by health scientists at the University of York has revealed that a greater proportion of men than women suffer from cannabis psychosis.

An innovative algorithm is helping scientists decipher how drugs work inside the body
Researchers have developed a computer algorithm that is helping scientists see how drugs produce pharmacological effects inside the body.

BIDMC research shows endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm is safe
A new study from researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center compared open surgical repair with a catheter-based procedure and found that the less invasive endovascular aortic repair has clear benefits for most patients.

Simple flip of genetic switch determines aging or longevity in animals
When does aging really begin? Northwestern University scientists now have a molecular clue.

Brown dwarfs, stars share formation process, new study indicates
The discovery of jets of material ejected from still-forming brown dwarfs provides the first direct evidence that these enigmatic objects form in the same way as their more-massive siblings, stars, rather than like planets.

NASA looks inside Typhoon Halola
Satellite technology has the ability to see things we could never imagine, like how hard the rain is falling in storms, and how high cloud tops stretch into the atmosphere.

WSU researchers find US breast milk is glyphosate free
Washington State University scientists have found that glyphosate, the main ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, does not accumulate in mother's breast milk.

Web app helps researchers explore cancer genetics
As gene sequencing has gotten faster and cheaper, clinicians and researchers are able to use genomic data to study, diagnose, and develop a course of treatment for a variety of individual cancers.

Endocrine Society Announces 2016 Laureate Award winners
The Endocrine Society today announced it has chosen 18 accomplished endocrinologists as winners of the organization's prestigious 2016 Laureate Awards.

Investigators developed a tool for more accurate interpretation of biomedical research
Investigators affiliated with VIB and UGent recently achieved great success with a study involving biomedical research on mouse models.

For prostate cancer patients, risk-specific therapies now more the norm
After decades of overtreatment for low-risk prostate cancer and inadequate management of its more aggressive forms, patients are now more likely to receive medical care matched to level of risk, according to a study by researchers at UC San Francisco.

Researchers find new method to halt the advance of liver cancer
Study suggests that drugs targeting the lymphotoxin-beta receptor may improve liver cancer treatment.

Methodist Healthcare joins the Mayo Clinic Care Network
Methodist Healthcare and Mayo Clinic announced today that Methodist has joined the Mayo Clinic Care Network, a national network of health care providers committed to better serving patients and their families through collaboration.

UT Dallas nanotechnology research leads to super-elastic conducting fibers
A research team based at the University of Texas at Dallas has made electrically conducting fibers that can be reversibly stretched to over 14 times their initial length and whose electrical conductivity increases 200-fold when stretched.

Researchers: Body fat can send signals to brain, affecting stress response
The brain's effect on other parts of the body has been well established.

Synthetic coral could remove toxic heavy metals from the ocean
A new material that mimics coral could help remove toxic heavy metals like mercury from the ocean, according to a new study published in the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science.

Small oxygen jump helped enable early animals take first breaths
Measurements of iron speciation in ancient rocks were used to construct the chemistry of ancient oceans.

Pitt's Jeremy Levy earns $3 million nanotech grant
The US Department of Defense recently selected University of Pittsburgh professor Jeremy Levy as one of seven distinguished university faculty scientists and engineers forming the next new class of National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellows.

Biomarkers higher in binge drinkers
A biomarker found in the blood of alcohol users is significantly higher in binge drinkers than in those who consume alcohol moderately, according to a study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Can patient navigators reduce no-shows for cancer screening follow-up?
Researchers at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital reported a 20 percent decline in the rate of missed appointments for cervical cancer evaluation following a Pap smear when a patient navigator program was initiated at the referral center.

The mystery of the instant noodle chromosomes
Researchers from the Lomonosov Moscow State University evaluated the benefits of placing the DNA on the principle of spaghetti.

Research suggests retail meat is a potential vehicle for disease-causing Klebsiella
Chicken, turkey and pork sold in grocery stores harbors disease-causing bacteria known as Klebsiella pneumoniae, according to a new study.

High-throughput approach to select subpopulations of multipotent cells for regenerative medicine
Rapid, large-scale screening to characterize the different subpopulations of multipotent cells that can be derived from fat tissue is an effective strategy to identify and select for specific cell types that would be advantageous for particular therapeutic applications in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.

Leading experts prescribe how to make cancer drugs more affordable
A group of 118 of the nation's leading cancer experts have drafted a prescription for reducing the high cost of cancer drugs and voiced support for a patient-based grassroots movement demanding action on the issue.

Burn treatment calls for 'constant' feeding
Burn treatment not only focuses on wound care and pain management at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, but doctors also pay very close attention to how much a patient is fed.

Researchers discover new role for protein in cell division
Pharmaceutical sciences researchers at Washington State University have discovered a protein's previously unknown role in cell division.

Stem cell transplantation for children with rare form of leukemia improves outcomes
Researchers in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation at Children's Hospital Los Angeles have shown greatly improved outcomes in using stem cell transplantation to treat patients with a serious but very rare form of chronic blood cancer called juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia.

Study: Implicit bias against lesbians, gays decreasing across demographic groups
In an online study of more than 500,000 people, women, as well as white, Hispanic, liberal and younger people, showed the greatest reductions in bias.

AGU honors journalists Andrew Revkin, Douglas Fox, Sandi Doughton for outstanding science reporting
AGU honors journalists Andrew Revkin, Douglas Fox and Sandi Doughton for outstanding science reporting.

The Lancet: New studies show that 2 classes of inexpensive generic drugs can reduce breast cancer deaths
Two new studies, both published in The Lancet, suggest that two different classes of drugs, aromatase inhibitors and bisphosphonates, can each improve survival prospects for postmenopausal women with early breast cancer.

Expert panel sets nutrition guidelines to manage GI symptoms in autism
A new guideline for the nutrition of management gastrointestinal symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorders provides a framework for clinicians to navigate frequently seen issues such as food selectivity, alternative diets and nutritional deficits.

Researchers boost wireless power transfer with magnetic field enhancement
Research from North Carolina State University and Carnegie Mellon University shows that passing wireless power transfer through a magnetic resonance field enhancer (MRFE) -- which can be as simple as a copper loop -- can boost the transfer efficiency by at least 100 percent as compared to transferring through air alone.

Novel algorithm identifies DNA copy-number landscapes in African American colon cancers
The algorithm ENVE could be the Google for genetic aberrations -- and it comes from Case Western Reserve.

Opening the door to the cause of myeloid leukemia: Finding the targets of common mutation
Researchers at the University of Birmingham have made a breakthrough in understanding how mutated genes in leukemia reprogram blood stem cells and send them spiraling out of control.

Mayo researchers decode molecular action of combination therapy for deadly thyroid cancer
In their bid to find the best combination of therapies to treat anaplastic thyroid cancer, researchers on Mayo Clinic's Florida campus demonstrated that all histone deacetylase inhibitors are not created equal.

PharmaMar announces license agreement with TTY Biopharm for APLIDINĀ® (plitidepsin) in oncology
PharmaMar has entered into an exclusive license and commercialization agreement with the pharmaceutical company TTY Biopharm to market and distribute the anticancer drug candidate APLIDINĀ® (plitidepsin) in Taiwan.

Moffitt researchers develop first genetic test to predict tumor sensitivity to radiation therapy
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have contributed to these advances by developing the first test that analyzes the sensitivity of tumors to radiation therapy.

Keep Tahoe blue? Less algae, not clarity, key for lake's blueness
The assumption that Lake Tahoe's blueness is tied to clarity has driven advocacy and management efforts in the Lake Tahoe Basin for decades.

Are invisibility cloaks possible? (video)
Have you ever wished you could hide under an invisibility cloak like Harry Potter or conceal your car with a Klingon cloaking device like in Star Trek?

Mammoths killed by abrupt climate change
New research has revealed abrupt warming, that closely resembles the rapid man-made warming occurring today, has repeatedly played a key role in mass extinction events of large animals, the megafauna, in Earth's past.

Personalized banner ads are a double-edged sword
Trust in a particular vendor affects the degree to which consumers will accept or reject a personalized banner ad.

Estrogen-suppressing drugs substantially reduce breast cancer deaths
A class of hormonal drugs called aromatase inhibitors substantially reduce the risk of death in postmenopausal women with the most common type of breast cancer, a major study of more than 30,000 women shows.

TSRI researcher wins $4.5 million in grants to support development of AIDS vaccine
The Scripps Research Institute has been awarded two grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation totaling more than $4.5 million to fund efforts to develop a vaccine against HIV/AIDS.

Four-legged fossil suggests snakes evolved from burrowing ancestors
The discovery of a four-legged fossil of a snake hints that this suborder may have evolved from burrowing, rather than marine, ancestors.

Faster, better, cheaper: A new method to generate extended data for genome assemblies
Scientists at The Genome Analysis Centre have developed a new library construction method for genome sequencing that can simultaneously construct up to 12 size-selected long mate pair or 'jump' libraries ranging in sizes from 1.7kb to 18kb with reduced DNA input, time and cost.

Building confidence helps people with MS have fuller lives, reports CWRU researcher
To help people with MS maintain autonomy and independence, a team of researchers set out to determine what factors prevented individuals from undertaking and enjoying the activities they believe are most important to live fulfilling lives.

Why West Nile virus is more dangerous in the elderly
West Nile virus (WNV) is particularly dangerous in older people, who account for a large number of severe cases and deaths caused by the virus.

Researchers: Body fat can send signals to brain, affecting stress response
The brain's effect on other parts of the body has been well established.

Study identifies challenges of delirium detection in older adults in emergency department
Researchers from the Indiana University Center for Aging Research and the Regenstrief Institute have conducted what is believed to be the first study to interview providers to identify the barriers and possible catalysts to delirium detection in emergency care situations.

New 'chemotherapy booster' could treat lung and pancreatic cancer
A new drug that blocks cancer's escape route from chemotherapy could be used to treat deadly lung and pancreatic cancers.

ASBMB wins National Science Foundation grant to expand mentorship program
The National Science Foundation awarded the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology a grant of half a million dollars to support a comprehensive mentoring program for postdoctoral fellows and early-career faculty members.

Simple technology makes CRISPR gene editing cheaper
The CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing tool requires an RNA guide to precisely target a segment of DNA, where the Cas9 enzyme can either cut or latch on with a fluorescent probe.

Dartmouth-NASA collaboration reveals new X-ray actions
A Dartmouth researcher and her colleagues have engaged in a unique study of potentially destructive high-energy electrons streaking into Earth's atmosphere from space, for the first time employing two distinctly different and distant vantage points high above the Earth.

Cell phone notifications may be driving you to distraction
Whether you are alerted to an incoming phone call or text by a trendy ringtone, an alarm bell or a quiet vibration, just receiving a notification on your cell phone can cause enough of a distraction to impair your ability to focus on a given task, according to a new Florida State University study.

Researchers pinpoint where the brain unites our eyes' double vision
Using prisms and an advanced brain scanner, the University of Wisconsin's Bas Rokers and collaborators at Utrecht University in the Netherlands have found the point in the human brain -- very early in image processing in the visual cortex -- in which the transformation to a cyclopean view of the world takes place.

ESC Congress 2015 Hot Lines to reveal the latest in CVD research
Six hot line sessions at ESC Congress 2015 are set to reveal the latest in cardiovascular disease research across a range of conditions and comorbidities.

Continued domestic abuse facilitated by post-separation contact -- new Trinity research
Contact between children and fathers following parental separation facilitates the continued abuse of women and children, according to new research focusing on the experiences of families with a prior history of domestic abuse conducted by the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin

Biologists identify ways to enhance complex data integration across research domains
The American Institute of Biological Sciences has published a new report that identifies key barriers to complex data integration and offers recommendations for the research community, research funding organizations, and others.

Access denied: Leukemia thwarted by cutting off link to environmental support
A new study by researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine reveals a protein's critical -- and previously unknown -- role in the development and progression of acute myeloid leukemia, a fast-growing and extremely difficult-to-treat blood cancer.

Penn study finds link between physician training and brand name prescribing
Physicians in training are twice as likely to order a costly brand-name statin (used to lower blood cholesterol levels) when supervised by senior physicians who prefer those medications in their own practice, according to a new study led by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Make mine a decaf: Breakthrough in knowledge of how nanoparticles grow
University of Leicester and CNRS researchers observe how nanoparticles grow when exposed to helium.

Stretching the limits on conducting wires
In the race to produce highly stretchable conductors, researchers have developed a new technique that aligns sheets of layered carbon nanotubes along stretched rubber cores, creating an extremely flexible conductive fiber.

US South Asians more reluctant to seek medication for pain
When compared with other ethnicities, Asians are the most unsatisfied with the health care they received in the United States, previous research has shown.

Bossy cock takes the lead vocal of cock-a-doodle-do
From ancient times, people have been aware of the rooster's 'cock-a-doodle-do' that marks the break of dawn, but has anyone wondered who crows first?

Astronomers discover Earth's bigger cousin
Today an international team of astronomers from NASA's Kepler mission have announced the discovery of a near-Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star.

What killed off the megafauna?
Rapid phases of warming climate played a greater role in the extinction of megafauna in the Late Pleistocene than did human activity, a new study shows.

Teens with medical marijuana cards much likelier to say they're addicted
A new University of Michigan study finds that teens using marijuana for medical reasons are 10 times more likely to say they are hooked on marijuana than youth who get marijuana illegally.

Fighting mosquito resistance to insecticides
Controlling mosquitoes that carry human diseases is a global health challenge as their ability to resist insecticides now threatens efforts to prevent epidemics.

Stressed young birds stop learning from their parents and turn to wider flock
Juvenile zebra finches that experience high stress levels will ignore how their own parents forage and instead learn such skills from other, unrelated adults.

Missoula's Sunburst sensors wins XPRIZE for ocean device
Sunburst Sensors LLC, a company resulting from University of Montana research, won $1.5 million in XPRIZE funding on July 20 for producing the best device to affordably, accurately and efficiently measure ocean chemistry.

Proposed 2016 Medicare physician cuts threaten access to community-based radiation therapy
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) is concerned about proposed additional payment cuts to radiation therapy detailed in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS), released July 8, 2015, which will take effect on Jan.

More efficient process to produce graphene developed by Ben-Gurion University researchers
Their ultra-bright lamp-ablation method surmounts the shortcomings and has succeeded in synthesizing few-layer (4-5) graphene in higher yields.

NFL, GE Award University of Montana researchers $500,000 to study brain injuries
Two University of Montana researchers were among six final winners nationally to receive $500,000 from the Head Health Challenge I, an up-to-$10 million program sponsored by General Electric Co. and the National Football League.

Brown Universtity begins study of early life chemical exposures
With more than $1.5 million from the National Institutes of Health over the next four years, Brown University epidemiologist Joseph Braun will study how exposure to three common chemicals during pregnancy and childhood affects brain development and the thyroid.

Ultra-thin hollow nanocages could reduce platinum use in fuel cell electrodes
A new fabrication technique that produces platinum hollow nanocages with ultra-thin walls could dramatically reduce the amount of the costly metal needed to provide catalytic activity in such applications as fuel cells.

Social climbing makes the English happier than Americans
People who grew up in a working class family are more satisfied in later life than those from a higher class background according to new research from The University of Manchester.

The genetic roots of adolescent scoliosis
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis -- a condition featuring curvature of the spine -- affects tens of millions of children worldwide, but does not have a known cause.

College social life can predict well-being at midlife
It's well known that being socially connected promotes a person's overall and psychological health.

Scripps researchers map out trajectory of April 2015 earthquake in Nepal
Researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have accurately mapped out the movement of the devastating 7.8-magnitude Nepal earthquake that killed over 9,000 and injured over 23,000 people.

NASA sees newborn Tropical Depression 12W near northeastern tip of Philippines
When Tropical Depression 12W formed on the northeastern tip of the Philippines in the Luzon Region, NASA's Aqua satellite captured infrared data on the newborn storm.

Changing the color of light
Researchers at the University of Delaware have received a $1 million grant from the W.M.

Cages offer new direction in sustainable catalyst design
University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers have developed a new approach to structuring the catalysts used in essential reactions in the chemical and energy fields.

Hormesis hypothesis may be acknowledged by US regulatory action
When environmental toxicologist Edward Calabrese at UMass Amherst heard that the US National Regulatory Commission has opened a new docket on proposed rule changes and standards for radiation protection, he felt it as a vindication of his 30-year career.

EARTH: Racing to the future of automotive efficiency and performance
EARTH's latest feature explores the science behind efficiency upgrades used by three major racing competitors: Porsche, Audi and Toyota.

Chemotherapy and quality of life at the end of life
Chemotherapy for patients with end-stage cancer was associated with worse quality of life near death for patients with a good ability to still perform many life functions, according to an article published online by JAMA Oncology.

Pesticides found in most pollen collected from foraging bees in Massachusetts
More than 70 percent of pollen and honey samples collected from foraging bees in Massachusetts contain at least one neonicotinoid, a class of pesticide that has been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder, in which adult bees abandon their hives during winter, according to a new study from Harvard T.H.

Mangroves help protect against sea level rise
Mangrove forests could play a crucial role in protecting coastal areas from sea level rise caused by climate change, according to new research involving the University of Southampton.

Researchers identify potential new targets for treating kidney disease
Proteins in the Wnt signaling pathway help drive kidney scarring that can lead to chronic kidney disease.

Same genes may influence GCSE results across range of subjects
Many of the same genes may affect GCSE results across a broad range of subjects according to a new study from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King's College London.

Young scientist discovers magnetic material unnecessary to create spin current
Research at Argonne indicates that you don't need a magnetic material to create spin current from insulators--with important implications for the field of spintronics and the development of high-speed, low-power electronics that use electron spin rather than charge to carry information.

Preventing knee pain in at-risk adults with diabetes
A University of Delaware-led study found that an intensive program of diet and exercise had a small but statistically significant protective effect against the development of knee pain in the short term among overweight adults with diabetes.

Gladstone Institutes launches novel partnership with Dolby Family Ventures and Evotec AG
The Gladstone Institutes announces the creation of Cure Network Ventures Inc. and Cure Network Dolby Acceleration Partners, LLC, a business endeavor with Dolby Family Ventures and Evotec AG, which will focus on Alzheimer's disease.

New antibody portal bolsters biomedical research reliability
The Histone Antibody Specificity Database is a newly launched online portal that lets scientists find the right antibodies for their research with a much higher degree of confidence than ever before.

Study finds abrupt climate change may have rocked the cradle of civilization
New research reveals that some of the earliest civilizations in the Middle East and the Fertile Crescent may have been affected by abrupt climate change.

New insights into the circuitry of PTSD and mild traumatic brain injury
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have devastating consequences.

Scientists identify schizophrenia's 'Rosetta Stone' gene
A breakthrough reveals gene's influence in a vulnerable period of the brain's development.

UTHealth researcher to study genetic and social aspects of HIV clusters
Kayo Fujimoto, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health, has been awarded a grant to study the genetic and social network aspects of human immunodeficiency virus transmission.

Rice University finding could lead to cheap, efficient metal-based solar cells
New research from Rice University could make it easier for engineers to harness the power of light-capturing nanomaterials to boost the efficiency and reduce the costs of photovoltaic solar cells.

Genetically distinct cells reveal nature's strategy for avoiding pregnancy complications
Researchers add a new twist to the more than century old biological principles of Mendelian inheritance -- describing a small group of cells in pregnant mothers that promote genetic fitness and multi-generational reproductive health.

Spintronics: Molecules stabilizing magnetism
Organic molecules allow producing printable electronics and solar cells with extraordinary properties.

Penn researchers discover new chiral property of silicon, with photonic applications
By encoding information in photons via their spin, 'photonic' computers could be orders of magnitude faster and efficient than their current-day counterparts. 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