Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 27, 2015
Sochi Winter Olympics 'cost billions more than estimated'
As the International Olympic Committee prepares to choose between Beijing and Almaty as the host of the 2022 Winter Olympics, a new report shows that the cost of last year's Games in Sochi, Russia, has been underestimated by billions of dollars.

Journalism fellowships will increase media spotlight on aging issues
The Journalists in Aging Fellows Program, run jointly by the Gerontological Society of America and New America Media since its launch in 2010, will continue thanks to renewed funding support from the Silver Century Foundation.

Predictors of climate change awareness and risk perception vary around the globe
Using data from the largest cross-sectional survey of climate change perceptions ever conducted, researchers writing in Nature Climate Change today report the first global assessment of factors underlying climate change awareness and risk perception.

Reshaping the solar spectrum to turn light to electricity
Solar energy could be made cheaper if solar cells could be coaxed to generate more power.

Drivers of temporal changes in temperate forest plant diversity
Together with an international team of scientists from all over Europe, a scientist from University of Jena comprehensively analyzed the biodiversity in forests of the temperate zone of Europe.

In CRISPR advance, scientists successfully edit human T cells
In a project spearheaded by investigators at UC San Francisco, scientists have devised a new strategy to precisely modify human T cells using the genome-editing system known as CRISPR/Cas9.

Hiding in plain sight -- a new species discovered in South East Queensland
A University of Queensland graduate has identified a previously unknown species of insect living within reach of Australian suburbia.

A cataclysmic event of a certain age
Geologist James Kennett and colleagues narrow the date of an anomalous cooling event most likely triggered by a cosmic impact.

Greenhouse gas source underestimated from the US Corn Belt, University of Minnesota-led study shows
Estimates of how much nitrous oxide, a significant greenhouse gas and stratospheric ozone-depleting substance, is being emitted in the central United States have been too low by as much as 40 percent, a new study led by University of Minnesota scientists shows.

Elsevier and ADSA announce winners of the Fifth Annual Journal of Dairy Science Most-Cited
Elsevier and the American Dairy Science Association announce the winners of the fifth annual Journal of Dairy Science Most-Cited Awards.

Low-dose lithium reduces side effects from most common treatment for Parkinson's disease
Low-dose lithium reduced involuntary motor movements -- the troubling side effect of the medication most commonly used to treat Parkinson's disease (PD) -- in a mouse model of the condition that is diagnosed in about 60,000 Americans each year.

Mobile stroke treatment units may greatly improve survival rates, chance of recovery for ischemic stroke patients
Two new studies presented today at the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery 12th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, report that Mobile Stroke Treatment Units (MSTUs) can significantly reduce the time it takes to diagnose and treat patients for stroke.

New study: Consumers don't view GMO labels as negative 'warnings'
A new study released just days after the US House passed a bill that would prevent states from requiring labels on genetically modified foods reveals that GMO labeling would not act as warning labels and scare consumers away from buying products with GMO ingredients.

One in 4 patients with defibrillators experiences boost in heart function over time
A Johns Hopkins-led study of outcomes among 1,200 people with implanted defibrillators -- devices intended to prevent sudden cardiac death from abnormal heart rhythms -- shows that within a few years of implantation, one in four experienced improvements in heart function substantial enough to put them over the clinical threshold that qualified them to get a defibrillator in the first place.

Improved survival of HIV patients facilitates heart disease research
The improved survival rate of HIV patients in sub-Saharan Africa due to effective treatment programs is increasing the ability of researchers in Africa to study the impacts of cardiovascular disease in HIV patients, according to a guest editor page published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

UCSB becomes west coast hub for national photonics manufacturing institute
In a bid to boost photonics manufacturing and bring more skilled, high-tech jobs to the country, as well as push the boundaries of energy efficiency and performance in computing and telecommunications, the Obama administration announced today that it has selected the American Institute for Manufacturing of Photonics (AIM Photonics) to lead research and manufacturing of integrated photonic technology and create jobs in this important area.

UTHealth experts provide insight on causes of child obesity, tactics to end it
Encouraging more social interaction for children rather than just limiting TV time and enforcing strong nutritional policies in schools are two of the ways to decrease child obesity rates, according to researchers from the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health Austin Regional Campus.

Research provides strong link between delirium and inflammation in older patients
Delirium is an acute state of confusion that often affects older adults following surgery or serious illness.

Study finds non-genetic cancer mechanism
Cancer can be caused solely by protein imbalances within cells, a study of ovarian cancer has found.

Compulsory schooling laws could bolster free community college argument
A KU researcher found compulsory schooling laws significantly increased school attendance rates, especially among lower-class children, and also shifted the occupational distribution toward skilled and non-manual occupations.

Novel therapeutic strategy for single gene disorders delivers RNA that encodes the missing protein
Researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of delivering an RNA that encodes for the protein alpha-1-antitrypsin -- which is missing or nonfunctional in the genetic disorder AAT deficiency -- into cells in the laboratory, enabling the cells to produce highly functional AAT.

Many young cancer patients may have limited awareness of fertility preservation options
A new study points to the need for increased awareness of fertility preservation options for young patients with cancer.

Some vaccines support evolution of more-virulent viruses
Scientific experiments with the herpesvirus such as the one that causes Marek's disease in poultry have confirmed, for the first time, the highly controversial theory that some vaccines could allow more-virulent versions of a virus to survive, putting unvaccinated individuals at greater risk of severe illness.

Insulin resistance increases risk for Alzheimer's disease, Iowa State study finds
An Iowa State University study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Neurology, found a strong association between insulin resistance and memory function decline, increasing the risk for Alzheimer's disease.

In lab tests, new therapy slows spread of deadly brain tumor cells
The rapid spread of a common and deadly brain tumor has been slowed down significantly in a mouse model by cutting off the way some cancer cells communicate, according to a team of researchers that includes UF Health faculty.

Small genetic differences could spell life-and-death for gut infections
When it comes to fighting gut infections, we are not equal.

Past and present genomes tell the story of Native American biological origins
A study by multi-institutional, international collaboration of researchers, published this week in Science presents strong evidence, gleaned from ancient and modern DNA samples, that the ancestry of all Native Americans can be traced back to a single migration event, with subsequent gene flow between some groups and populations that are currently located in East Asia and Australia.

Some vaccines support evolution of more-virulent viruses
Scientific experiments with the herpes virus strain that causes Marek's disease in poultry have confirmed, for the first time, the highly controversial theory that some types of vaccines allow for the evolution and survival of increasingly virulent versions of a virus, putting unvaccinated individuals at greater risk of severe illness.

Smart hydrogel coating creates 'stick-slip' control of capillary action
Coating the inside of glass microtubes with a polymer hydrogel material dramatically alters the way capillary forces draw water into the tiny structures, researchers have found.

Mum's the word: Maternal language has strong effect on children's social skills
Psychologists at the University of York have revealed new evidence showing how specific language used by parents to talk to their babies can help their child to understand the thoughts of others when they get older.

Researchers predict material with record-setting melting point
Using powerful computer simulations, researchers from Brown University have identified a material with a higher melting point than any known substance.

Placebo delivery method affects patient response
Placebo controls, or supposedly ineffectual treatments, help to maintain blinding in evaluations of the effectiveness of medical treatments in clinical trials.

Twin discoveries, 'eerie' effect may lead to manufacturing advances
The discovery of a previously unknown type of metal deformation -- sinuous flow -- and a method to suppress it could lead to more efficient machining and other manufacturing advances by reducing the force and energy required to process metals.

Scientists win $1.5 million to study new strategies for Parkinson's disease and other disorders
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have been awarded nearly $1.5 million from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to explore the therapeutic potential of a class of proteins that play essential roles in the regulation and maintenance of human health.

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation names winners of Klerman-Freedman Prizes
The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation today announced the winners of its annual Klerman and Freedman Prizes, recognizing exceptional clinical and basic research by scientists who have been supported by NARSAD Young Investigator Grants.

Waste not, want not
As part of the National Research Program 'Energy Turnaround' NRP 70 the Swiss National Science Foundation is supporting the interdisciplinary research project 'THRIVE.' With IBM Research -- Zurich and the Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil as leading houses, scientists from Empa, ETH Zurich, HEIG-VD and PSI will be teaming up with industrial partners until 2017 to develop a heat pump that is powered by waste heat.

Countering threats of epidemic diseases -- first meeting of international commission July 29
This Commission on Global Health Risk Framework for the Future -- for which the US National Academy of Medicine is providing organizational and management functions -- will have its first public meeting Wednesday, July 29, in Washington, D.C.

Flow means 'go' for proper lymph system development
The lymph system provides a slow flow of fluid from tissues into the blood.

Gene therapy may improve survival of patients with recurrent ovarian cancer
Use of gene therapy to deliver a protein that suppresses the development of female reproductive organs may improve the survival of patients with ovarian cancer that has recurred after chemotherapy, which happens 70 percent of the time and is invariably fatal.

Researchers uncover blood markers to identify women at risk for postpartum depression
The hormone oxytocin, sometimes called 'the love hormone,' may be a factor in postpartum depression, when a mother has a lower than normal level.

Some stroke treatments proven to reduce health care costs
Use of mechanical thrombectomy on qualifying stroke patients could result in major savings to the healthcare economy in the United Kingdom and other western countries with a similar healthcare structure, according to a new study presented at the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery 12th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Georg Forster Research Award of the Humboldt Foundation for Brazilian researcher
The cardiovascular researcher Professor Robson Augusto Souza dos Santos of the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, has been awarded the Georg Forster Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Study will explore taste changes related to obesity, gastric bypass surgery
Currently, one of the most effective surgical methods for treating obesity is the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, which limits the amount of food and drink that can be ingested at one time and the amount of calories and nutrients absorbed through the intestinal tract.

Trigger found for defense to rice disease
Biologists have discovered how the rice plant's immune system is triggered by disease, in a discovery that could boost crop yields and lead to more disease-resistant types of rice.

Malaria's key to the liver uncovered
Scientists uncover a port of liver entry for malaria parasites, and if these results hold up in humans, drugs that target this entry protein might help prevent the spread of disease.

Why Alfred Hitchcock grabs your attention
A Georgia Tech study measured brain activity while people watched clips from Alfred Hitchcock and other suspenseful films.

Clinical validation for LOXO-101 against TRK fusion cancer
Published today in Cancer Discovery, first imaging studies conducted post-treatment, confirmed that stage IV patient's tumors had substantially regressed.

Increased protein turnover contributes to the development of pulmonary fibrosis
Scientists of the Comprehensive Pneumology Center at the Helmholtz Zentrum München have identified a new mechanism which contributes to the development of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Future medicinal chemistry shines the spotlight on schistosomiasis
In a special free issue of Future Medicinal Chemistry, leading experts explore current and potential new treatment options for the deadly neglected tropical disease schistosomiasis.

Simple procedure using a nasal balloon can help treat hearing loss in children
For children with a common middle-ear problem, a simple procedure with a nasal balloon can reduce the impact of hearing loss and avoid unnecessary and ineffective use of antibiotics, according to a randomized controlled trial published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Twin volcanic chains above a single hotspot with distinct roots
Many processes inside the earth are still enigmatic. One of the open questions is how neighboring chains of volcanoes, supplied by the same volcanic hotspot, can emit material of distinct geochemical composition over tens of millions of years?

Home births lead to higher infant mortality at least for mothers living in poorer areas
Home births lead to higher infant mortality than hospital births, at least for mothers living in poorer areas.

Exercise mimic molecule may help treat diabetes and obesity
Scientists from the University of Southampton have developed a molecule that acts as an exercise mimic, which could potentially help treat type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Researchers identify protein in mice that helps prepare for healthy egg-sperm union
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have discovered a protein that plays a vital role in healthy egg-sperm union in mice.

New drug for blood cancers now in five phase II clinical trials
Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have established the safety and dosing of a new drug for treating blood cancers.

Scientists' silk structure is secret to process of regenerating salivary cells
A research team led by Chih-Ko Yeh, B.D.S., Ph.D., from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, is the first to use silk fibers as a framework to grow stem cells into salivary gland cells.

In mice, experimental drug treatment for Rett syndrome suggests the disorder is reversible
A team at CSHL has developed a strikingly new approach for treating Rett syndrome, a devastating autism spectrum disorder.

Insulin resistance, glucose uptake in the brain in adults at risk for Alzheimer's
An imaging study suggests insulin resistance, a prevalent and increasingly common condition, was associated with lower brain glucose metabolism in a group of late middle-age adults at risk for Alzheimer's disease, according to an article published online by JAMA Neurology.

Device innovation is driving improvement in stroke treatment outcomes
Two new studies released today at the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery 12th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, reinforce the value and progress of IA treatment with conclusions that the innovative new devices that facilitate this approach are reducing treatment times, improving outcomes and decreasing mortality rates.

Quantum networks: Back and forth are not equal distances!
Quantum technology based on light (photons) has great potential for radically new information technology based on photonic circuits.

Vice President Biden announces the HQ for the nation's newest manufacturing innovation hub
The University of Rochester is a key partner in a consortium that has won a national competition to advance US photonics manufacturing capability.

Narrowing in on pituitary tumors
In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on July 27, investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital present a new technique that could help surgeons more precisely define the locations of pituitary tumors in near real-time.

Babies' brains show that social skills linked to second language learning
Babies learn language best by interacting with people rather than passively through a video or audio recording.

3-D image of malaria 'conductor' aids search for antimalarial drugs
The first three-dimensional image capturing a critical malaria 'conductor' protein could lead to the development of a new class of antimalarial drugs.

Breast cancer survivors who experience pain during intercourse may benefit from lidocaine
Scientists at Oregon Health & Science University report that breast cancer survivors who experience pain during sexual intercourse, a common side effect of breast cancer treatment, may achieve comfort when liquid lidocaine is applied strategically to prevent pain.

NIH helps UC San Diego researchers repurpose Sanofi pain drug for tropical disease
The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded James McKerrow, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the University of California, San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, with a 2015 New Therapeutic Uses Award.

UC San Diego Health and La Jolla Institute announce new affiliation
UC San Diego Health, with the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, has entered into a multi-year affiliation agreement with La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology designed to deepen existing collaborative relationships, boost basic research of diseases of the immune system and more quickly introduce new clinical treatments and therapies.

Travel funding: GSA, SACNAS, STEPPE, for students for major geoscience conferences
The Geological Society of America in partnership with the American Geosciences Institute, Incorporated Research Institute for Seismology, the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, the Society for Sedimentary Geology, and STEPPE have received funding to support 25 undergraduate and graduate students to attend the SACNAS and GSA national conferences in November 2015.

DeepBind predicts where proteins bind, uncovering disease-causing mutations
A new tool called DeepBind uses deep learning to analyze how proteins bind to DNA and RNA, allowing it to detect mutations that could disrupt cellular processes and cause disease.

ASU will lead new research network looking at weather extremes and city infrastructure
Extreme weather events can cripple crucial infrastructure that enables transit, electricity, water and other services in urban areas.

New research on the causes of the Viking Age
The Viking hit-and-run raids on monastic communities such as Lindisfarne and Iona were the most infamous result of burgeoning Scandinavian maritime prowess in the closing years of the 8th century.

Neural efficiency hypothesis confirmed
One of the big questions intelligence researchers grapple with is just how differences in intelligence are reflected in the human brain.

It don't mean a thing if the brain ain't got that swing
Like Duke Ellington's 1931 jazz standard, the human brain improvises while its rhythm section keeps up a steady beat.

Depression and personality disorders drive psych patients to euthanasia
Depression and personality disorders are the most common diagnoses among Belgian psychiatric patients requesting help to die, on the grounds of unbearable suffering, finds research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Yale study identifies 'major player' in skin cancer genes
A multidisciplinary team at Yale, led by Yale Cancer Center members, has defined a subgroup of genetic mutations that are present in a significant number of melanoma skin cancer cases.

USF researchers find reasons behind increases in urban flooding
While rising sea levels are the main driver for increasing flood risk to American cities, storm surges caused by weather patterns that favor high precipitation exacerbates 'compound flooding' potential.

Lingering lymphocytes lash out against Leishmania
Immune cells that hang around after parasitic skin infection help ward off secondary attack.

Researchers create promising new mouse model for lung injury repair
Researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and The Saban Research Institute of CHLA have created a dynamic functional mouse model for lung injury repair, a tool that will help scientists explain the origins of lung disease and provide a system by which new therapies can be identified and tested.

Dust pillars of destruction reveal impact of cosmic wind on galaxy evolution
Astronomers have long known that powerful cosmic winds can sometimes blow through galaxies, sweeping out interstellar material and stopping future star formation.

New book on 'Molecular Approaches to Reproductive and Newborn Medicine' from CSHLPress
'Molecular Approaches to Reproductive and Newborn Medicine,' published by CSHLPress, reviews our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in conception, pregnancy, placental development, labor, and birth, and how molecular techniques are being applied to reproductive and newborn health.

Scientists study predator-prey behavior between sharks and turtles
A new collaborative study led by scientists at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science & Abess Center for Ecosystem Science & Policy examined predator-prey interactions between tiger sharks and sea turtles off the Northwestern Atlantic Ocean.

Smaller, faster, cheaper
Transmitting large amounts of data, such as those needed to keep the internet running, requires high-performance modulators that turn electric signals into light signals.

Some adverse drug events not reported by manufacturers to FDA by 15-day mark
About 10 percent of serious and unexpected adverse events are not reported by drug manufacturers to the US Food and Drug Administration under the 15-day timeframe set out in federal regulations, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Many new mothers report no physician advice on infant sleep position, breastfeeding
Many new mothers do not receive potentially life saving advice from physicians on aspects of infant care such as sleep position, breastfeeding, immunization and pacifier use, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

$4.8 million NIH study will teach an old drug to maintain its tricks
With the help of a nearly $4.9 million, 5-year grant from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health, Wayne State University School of Medicine researchers are leading a landmark multi-center, international study that will provide essential information to clinicians for use of polymoxin B in critically ill patients where no other treatments will work.

Very early birth linked to introversion, neuroticism, and risk aversion in adulthood
Babies born very premature or severely underweight are at heightened risk of becoming introverted, neurotic, and risk averse as adults, indicates research published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood (Fetal & Neonatal Edition).

New treatment options for a fatal leukemia
In industrialized countries like in Europe, acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common form of cancer in children.

Emergency transport times for stroke patients still in need of improvement
Despite efforts to close the time gap between symptom onset and stroke treatment -- including improvements in public education, 911 dispatch operations, pre-hospital detection and triage, hospital stroke system development, and stroke unit management -- a new study presented today at the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery 12th Annual Meeting suggests that delays in emergency transport are still prevalent and that improvements are needed to ensure patients can be treated within the optimal time window.

Less is more when treating rare eye condition
New research from the University of Alberta's Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry is showing less is more when it comes to the treatment of optic disc pits -- a rare eye condition.

Professor Federico Rosei elected ASM International Fellow
Professor Federico Rosei of the INRS Centre Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications has been elected Fellow by ASM International, marking his outstanding research on the synthesis and characterization of multifunctional materials.

Superfast fluorescence sets new speed record
Researchers at Duke University have developed a plasmonic device that, combined with semiconductor quantum dots, could one day be turned into an ultrafast light-emitting diode for optical computing.

Life in the fast spray zone: 4 new endemic tooth-frog species in West African forests
Up until recently there was a single known species in the only vertebrate family endemic to West Africa, the torrent tooth-frog.

At what age does hard work add a shine to lousy prizes?
Putting in a lot of effort to earn a reward can make unappealing prizes more attractive to kindergartners, but not to preschoolers, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Weight loss for a healthy liver
Weight loss through both lifestyle modification and bariatric surgery can significantly reduce features of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a disease characterized by fat in the liver, according to two new studies published in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.

UW study shows how a kernel got naked and corn became king
Ten thousand years ago, a golden grain got naked, brought people together and grew to become one of the top agricultural commodities on the planet.

Major bone meeting in Abu Dhabi to include focus on management of diabetic patients
The International Osteoporosis Foundation will hold the 3rd Middle East & Africa Osteoporosis Meeting from Dec.

Yevgenia Kozorovitskiy named Rita Allen Foundation Scholar
Northwestern University scientist Yevgenia Kozorovitskiy, who researches how the brain's neural circuitry develops, has been named a 2015 Rita Allen Foundation Scholar.

Sausage or broccoli on your pizza?
How people decide to customize their food orders has implications for food retailers and the consumers themselves.

Metagenome-wide association study on oral microbiome uncovered markers for RA
Researchers from BGI, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, etc., reported the study on the oral and the gut microbiome in rheumatoid arthritis.

Selective imitation shows children are flexible social learners, study finds
Psychologists at the University of Texas at Austin found that children flexibly choose when to imitate and when to innovate the behavior of others, demonstrating that children are precocious social learners.

Admission rates increasing for newborns of all weights in NICUs
Admission rates are increasing for newborns of all weights at neonatal intensive care units in the United States, raising questions about possible overuse of this highly specialized and expensive care in some newborns, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics. 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