Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 29, 2015
Penn bioethicists call for end to 'pay-to-play' clinical research
Charging people to participate in research studies is likely to undermine the fundamental ethical basis of clinical research, according to a new paper written by bioethicists, including lead author Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and published in Science Translational Medicine.

Could a sugar tax help combat obesity?
Following the BMA's call for a 20 percent sugar tax to subsidize the cost of fruit and vegetables, experts in The BMJ this week debate whether a sugar tax could help combat obesity.

Generalized anxiety disorders twice as likely in those with inflammatory bowel disease
People who have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, have twice the odds of having a generalized anxiety disorder at some point in their lives when compared to peers without IBD, according to a new study published by University of Toronto researchers.

'Failed stars' host powerful auroral displays
By observing a brown dwarf 20 light-years away using both radio and optical telescopes, a team led by Gregg Hallinan, assistant professor of astronomy at Caltech, has found that such so-called failed stars host powerful auroras near their magnetic poles -- additional evidence that brown dwarfs are more like giant planets than small stars.

New 3-D human skin models could replace animal testing to assess dermal sensitivity to medical device
New research shows that exposing a 3-D human skin tissue model to extracts of medical device materials can detect the presence of sensitizers known to cause an allergic response on contact in some individuals.

Prostate 'organoid' hints at how early BPA exposure may increase cancer risk
A first-of-its kind prostate 'organoid' grown from human embryonic stem cells has enabled researchers to show that exposure to bisphenol A, a chemical in many plastics, can cause overproduction of prostate stem cells in the developing organ -- and thus may increase men's risk of prostate cancer.

Colonoscopies of the future: Adjustable-focus endoscope helps to reduce discomfort
Researchers from the National University of Singapore have created an endoscopic probe that delivers adjustable-focus capabilities in a slimmer package.

NASA's MMS formation will give unique look at magnetic reconnection
On July 9, 2015, the four spacecraft of NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, mission began flying in a pyramid shape for the first time.

High intensity training helps ease arthritis pains
It may seem counterintuitive, but high intensity training appears to reduce inflammation in women with arthritis.

Simulated seawater flooding decreases growth of vegetable seedlings
Scientists evaluated plant growth responses of 10 vegetables to simulated seawater flooding.

Type 1 diabetes patients have lower blood levels of 4 proteins that protect against immune attack
Patients with type 1 diabetes have significantly lower blood levels of four proteins that help protect their tissue from attack by their immune system, scientists report.

Teaching med students about health disparities builds their confidence
An innovative three-month elective course has helped make some first-year medical students at Albert Einstein College of Medicine more confident about dealing with health disparities they'll likely encounter as physicians, according to a follow-up study published online today in the journal Academic Medicine.

Long telomere length associated with increased lung cancer risk
A large-scale genetic study of the links between telomere length and risk for five common cancers finds that long telomeres are associated with an increased risk of lung adenocarcinoma.

Detecting small metallic contaminants in food via magnetization
Toyohashi Tech researchers have developed a practical metallic-contaminant detector using three high-Tc RF superconducting quantum interference devices for food inspection.

Study of birds' sense of smell reveals important clues for behavior and adaptation
A large comparative genomic study of the olfactory genes tied to a bird's sense of smell has revealed important differences that correlate with their ecological niches and specific behaviors.

New computer-based technology may lead to improvements in facial transplantation
Following several years of research and collaboration, physicians and engineers at Johns Hopkins and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center say they have developed a computer platform that provides rapid, real-time feedback before and during facial transplant surgery, which may someday improve face-jaw-teeth alignment between donor and recipient.

Alcohol laws have a preventive effect on young men
Young men are at risk from alcohol consumption. Regulations such as the minimum legal drinking age can protect them.

Researchers find links between individual characteristics and disability employment gap
Researchers have explored the characteristics of people with disabilities who have achieved success in the workplace.

First detection of lithium from an exploding star
The chemical element lithium has been found for the first time in material ejected by a nova.

Seniors get mental health drugs at twice the rate of other adults, see psychiatrists less
Older Americans receive prescriptions for mental health drugs at more than twice the rate that younger adults do, but they're much less likely to be getting their mental health care from a psychiatrist, a new study shows.

A cost-effective solution to tuned graphene production
Graphene has been called the miracle material but the single-atomic layer material is still seeking its place in the materials world.

Mild hypothermia in deceased organ donors improves organ function in kidney transplant
Mild hypothermia in deceased organ donors significantly reduces delayed graft function in kidney transplant recipients when compared to normal body temperature, according to UC San Francisco researchers and collaborators.

Scientists identify gene vital for rebuilding intestine after cancer treatment
Scientists at the UNC School of Medicine and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center found that a rare type of stem cell is immune to radiation damage thanks to high levels of a gene called Sox9.

First reports of robotic surgery for advanced vena cava tumor thrombus due to kidney cancer
Surgery is required when cancer of the kidney causes a Level III thrombus, or clot, to develop in the major vein leading back to the heart.

Springer and Tsinghua University Press present the second Nano Research Award
Paul Alivisatos, Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California Berkeley's Samsung Distinguished Professor of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, has received the second Tsinghua University Press -- Springer Nano Research Award.

Shoring up Tor
Researchers mount successful attacks against popular anonymity network -- and show how to prevent them.

Astronomers discover powerful aurora beyond solar system
The first aurora discovered beyond our solar system is on a brown dwarf 18 light-years from Earth.

Study finds brain chemicals that keep wakefulness in check
Mice that have a particular brain chemical switched off become hyperactive and sleep for just 65 per cent of their normal time.

Figuring out how to make tastier wines using fewer pesticides
Wine-making is steeped in age-old traditions, but to address the threat of pests and concerns over heavy pesticide use, vintners are turning to science.

Aquariums deliver health and wellbeing benefits
In the first study of its kind, the team found that viewing aquarium displays led to noticeable reductions in blood pressure and heart rate, and that higher numbers of fish helped to hold people's attention for longer and improve their moods.

Outstanding: Navy reservist on the cutting edge of science and technology
For contributions to groundbreaking technologies such as tactical cyber ranges and augmented-reality glasses, Lt.

Ongoing recovery efforts take toll on hurricane survivors
According to the Sandy Child and Family Health Study, a major report on NJ residents living in Superstorm Sandy's path, over 100,000 experienced significant structural damage to their primary homes.

NJII awarded $2.9 million federal grant to ensure safe, reliable health information exchange
The New Jersey Innovation Institute, acting as New Jersey's State-designated entity on behalf of the New Jersey Department of Health, has received a $2.9 million grant from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, an agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Dense star clusters shown to be binary black hole factories
The merger of two black holes is one of the most sought-after observations of modern astronomy.

NYU's Bluestone Center receives $369,250 from NIDCR to study oral cancer pain
The proposed studies are designed to test whether nonviral gene delivery into the oral cancer could be used to treat cancer pain effectively and safely.

Leading surgeon, researcher Jack A. Roth, M.D., named 2015 ASTRO Honorary Member
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has selected leading surgeon and researcher Jack A.

What does clinical research at universities in Germany need?
At the annual meeting of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft on June 30, 2015, the Senate of the largest research funding organization approved recommendations for 'Developing Clinical Research at German Universities Between 2015 and 2025.'

End-of-production LED lighting increases red pigmentation in lettuce
Experiments determined effects of end-of-production supplemental lighting of different sources and intensities on foliage color of four red leaf lettuce varieties.

An all-natural sunscreen derived from algae
For consumers searching for just the right sunblock this summer, the options can be overwhelming.

Blocking a gene reduces fat
By blocking the expression of a certain gene in patients, University of Montreal researchers have contributed to the demonstration of great decreases in the concentration of triglycerides in their blood.

NJIT engineer shares EPA award for advancing a $1.7 billion cleanup of the Passaic River
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently bestowed its annual 'Citizen Excellence in Community Involvement Award' on a community advisory group formed to raise awareness and solicit public input into the agency's proposed $1.7 billion Superfund cleanup of the Passaic River.

New research will boost grasp of North American carbon cycle
University of Kansas researcher Nate Brunsell is undertaking an investigation to reduce uncertainty in carbon cycle science in the US and Mexico.

Intracellular microlasers could allow precise labeling of a trillion individual cells
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have induced structures incorporated within individual cells to produce laser light.

York scientists unlock secrets of stars through aluminium
Physicists at the University of York have revealed a new understanding of nucleosynthesis in stars, providing insight into the role massive stars play in the evolution of the Milky Way and the origins of the Solar System.

Hospital penalties based on total number of blood clots may be unfairly imposed
Johns Hopkins researchers say their review of 128 medical case histories suggests that financial penalties imposed on Maryland hospitals based solely on the total number of patients who suffer blood clots in the lung or leg fail to account for clots that occur despite the consistent and proper use of the best preventive therapies.

Science educators analyze genetics content of Next Generation Science Standards
The genetics content of the Next Generation Science Standards -- a recent set of performance-based expectations for elementary, middle, and high school students in science classes -- represents, on average, a modest improvement over state standards, but is missing core genetics concepts and is difficult to interpret, according to research published today in PLOS ONE by science education specialists at the American Society of Human Genetics.

The evolutionary link between diet and stomach acidity
An analysis of data on stomach acidity and diet in birds and mammals suggests that high levels of stomach acidity developed not to help animals break down food, but to defend animals against food poisoning.

SIAM's Ralph E. Kleinman Prize goes to George Em Karniadakis
Karniadakis is being recognized for his many outstanding contributions to applied mathematics in a broad range of areas, including computational fluid dynamics, spectral methods and stochastic modeling.

Can the emerging middle class make Coca-Cola lose its fizz?
As a 'new middle class' emerges in markets like Brazil, China and India, low-income households begin consuming goods and services they couldn't previously afford.

When cars and wildlife collide: Virtual reality could prevent real-life road accidents
Using a novel simulation approach, U.S. researchers at the University of Central Florida took a closer look at how an interactive system, meant to reduce road accidents involving wild animals, can actually affect driver behaviour.

Small study affirms accuracy of free mobile app that screens for liver disease in newborns
In a small study, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center report they have verified the ability of a free smartphone app to accurately read, interpret and record the color of a newborn's poop as a possible early symptom of biliary atresia -- a rare disorder that accounts for nearly half of pediatric end-stage liver disease in the United States.

Milkweed, monarchs, men, and madness
US monarch populations are in trouble. Researchers are looking at non-migratory monarchs on Guam for clues to monarch behavior.

Just say 'No' to drugs -- in water
This teen is tackling serious water quality issues that threaten the health of rivers, streams and groundwater.

Red grape chemical may help prevent bowel cancer, but less is more
Resveratrol, a chemical found in red grapes, is more effective in smaller doses at preventing bowel cancer in mice than high doses, according to new research published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Rise in day surgery has been good for patients and saved money
The rising proportion of operations carried out as day cases over the past few decades has been good for patients and a much more efficient use of NHS resources, says John Appleby, Chief Economist at the King's Fund, in a databriefing for The BMJ this week.

Tiny grains of rice hold big promise for greenhouse gas reductions, bioenergy
Rice is the staple food for more than half of the world's population, but the paddies it's grown in contributes up to 17 percent of global methane emissions -- about 100 million tons a year.

High number of unnecessary CT scans associated with pediatric sports-related head trauma
Visits to emergency departments by children with sports-related head injuries have skyrocketed in the past decade, and new research finds that many patients undergo unnecessary computed tomography or CT scans that expose them to radiation and increase the cost of treatment.

Antibiotics increase risk of hearing loss in patients with deadly bacterial infections
Seeking to stem the tide of permanent hearing loss from the use of life-saving antibiotics, researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have found that patients stricken with dangerous bacterial infections are at greater risk of hearing loss than previously recognized.

Experts recommend tumor removal as first-line treatment for Cushing's syndrome
The Endocrine Society today issued a Clinical Practice Guideline on strategies for treating Cushing's syndrome, a condition caused by overexposure to the hormone cortisol.

Women's immune system genes operate differently from men's, Stanford study finds
A new technology for studying the human body's vast system for toggling genes on and off reveals that genes associated with the immune system toggle more frequently, and those same genes operate differently in women and men.

Closing the gap on developing a vaccine for middle ear infections
Researchers in Australia and the US have made a discovery with the potential to impact the treatment of middle ear infections and other illnesses.

The result of eating too much salt can be measured in blood pressure
Eating too much salt long term or gradually increasing salt consumption over time both significantly raise the risk of developing high blood pressure.

New pig model will provide insights into early detection, new treatments of cancers
A new study from University of Illinois researchers and other collaborators, recently published in PLOS ONE, reports the creation of a pig model that accurately reflects the types of cancer seen in human cells, reflecting the gene mutations and pathways most often observed in human cancer.

Gerhard Wanner receives SIAM's George Pólya Prize for Mathematical Exposition
Gerhard Wanner of the University of Geneva is the 2015 recipient of the George Pólya Prize for Mathematical Exposition.

Management strategies to reduce catfacing in peaches
Researchers studied six under-tree vegetation-free strip widths and supplemental irrigation in years 4-8 of a young peach orchard to determine effects on peach tree growth and fruit yield, harvest maturity, and fruit size.

Failed stars host powerful aurora displays
Brown dwarf stars host powerful aurora displays just like planets, astronomers have discovered.

New research opens the door for treatment of relapsing bacterial infections
The confluent discovery, by University Distinguished Professor Kim Lewis and his colleagues, was published on Wednesday in the journal Nature.

Basis for new treatment options for a fatal leukemia in children revealed
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common type of cancer in children.

Early prosocial behavior good predictor of kids' future
Kindergarteners' social-emotional skills are a significant predictor of their future education, employment and criminal activity, among other outcomes, according to Penn State researchers.

Prescription for medical students: A day at the art museum?
With the growing number of people with Alzheimer's disease, understanding their care is vital for doctors.

Social groups and emotions
The semantic representation of social groups involves areas of the brain associated with processing emotions.

Researchers design first artificial ribosome
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University have engineered a tethered ribosome that works nearly as well as the authentic cellular component, or organelle, that produces all the proteins and enzymes within the cell.

Don't call them stiff: Metal organic frameworks show unexpected flexibility
Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) are proving to be incredibly flexible with a myriad of potential applications including as antimicrobial agents, hydrogen-storage materials and solar-cell components.

Playing 'tag' with pollution lets scientists see who's 'it'
Using a climate model that can tag sources of soot and track where it lands, researchers have determined which areas around the Tibetan Plateau contribute the most soot -- and where.

Linda J. S. Allen awarded AWM-SIAM Sonia Kovalevsky Lecture
Allen is being recognized for outstanding contributions in ordinary differential equations, difference equations and stochastic models, with significant applications in the areas of infectious diseases and ecology.

UT Arlington Interdisciplinary Research Program projects reach across disciplines
Five collaborative research projects involving faculty from seven colleges and schools ranging from innovations in pain management to personal security have won inaugural Interdisciplinary Research Program awards through a University of Texas at Arlington initiative aimed at advancing true interdisciplinary research and enhance the University's competitive position nationally.

Studies reveal details of error correction in cell division
Cell biologists led by Thomas Maresca at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with collaborators elsewhere, report an advance in understanding the workings of an error correction mechanism that helps cells detect and correct mistakes in cell division early enough to prevent chromosome mis-segregation and aneuploidy, that is, having too many or too few chromosomes.

RAND analysis shows more work needed to engage consumers after enrolling in health insurance plans
To understand the issues facing consumers as well as the payers, providers and support organizations who work directly with them, RAND researchers conducted phone-based interviews with insurance companies, physician groups and community support nonprofit organizations.

Proof-of-concept study shows successful transport of blood samples with small drones
In a proof-of-concept study at Johns Hopkins, researchers have shown that results of common and routine blood tests are not affected by up to 40 minutes of travel via hobby-sized drones.

Overcoming why a new treatment is resisted by lung cancer
A promising agent for the treatment of cancer has so far had little effect on the most common lung tumours, but new research from The University of Manchester has suggested how this resistance might be overcome.

SIAM prize for distinguished service to the profession awarded to Carlos Castillo-Chavez
Castillo-Chavez is being recognized for his extraordinary mentoring that has helped bring numerous underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students at all levels to the mathematical sciences; for his extensive research record in mathematical biology and epidemiology; for his distinguished service on numerous national committees and advisory boards at SIAM, the Mathematics Institutes, US National Science Foundation, US National Institutes of Health, and elsewhere; for his lifelong commitment to successfully promoting diversity in the applied mathematics community.

An imbalance of cellular bioenergetics in pancreatic beta-cells links to type 2 diabetes
While impaired activation of mitochondrial energy metabolism in the presence of glucose has been demonstrated in pancreatic beta-cells from patients with type 2 diabetes, the cause of this dysfunction has been unknown.

Rogue wave theory to save ships
Physicists have found an explanation for rogue waves in the ocean and hope their theory will lead to devices to warn ships and save lives.

Yarn from slaughterhouse waste
ETH researchers have developed a yarn from ordinary gelatine that has good qualities similar to those of merino wool fibers.

State immunization laws should eliminate non-medical exemptions, say internists
Support for eliminating existing exemptions, except for medical reasons, from immunization laws was among the policy recommendations adopted last weekend at the summer meeting of the Board of Regents of the American College of Physicians.

This week from AGU: Comet video, ocean carbon & 4 new research papers
Images of an unusually dusty comet have revealed strange streaming clumps that could hold the secrets to how comets create their beautiful, sweeping, striated tails.

Structures reveal basis of recurring urinary tract infections
A study published July 29, 2015, in the journal Nature presents researchers with a new tactic for combating chronic and recurrent infections.

Student teams win grants to commercialize Stanford energy inventions
Building on the success of its first year, the Innovation Transfer Program at the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy is financially supporting 11 new teams comprised mostly of Stanford students and recent graduates trying to put university research to work.

The Miriam Hospital earns 9th consecutive award for quality stroke care
The Miriam Hospital has again received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award and has for the first time achieved The Target: Stroke Honor Roll distinction for 2015.

Prostate cancer is 5 different diseases
Cancer Research UK scientists have for the first time identified that there are five distinct types of prostate cancer and found a way to distinguish between them, according to a landmark study published today in EBioMedicine.

Dedre Gentner awarded Rumelhart Prize in cognitive science
Dedre Gentner, the Alice Gabrielle Twight Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and a professor in the School of Education and Social Policy, is the 16th recipient of the David E.

'Dialing for Diabetes Control' helps urban adults lower blood sugar
Periodic telephone counseling can be a highly effective, low-cost tool for lowering blood-sugar levels in minority, urban adults with uncontrolled diabetes.

Kent research could play major role in curbing illegal ivory sales
A new automated data mining system researched and developed at the University of Kent could lead to a dramatic increase in the detection of potentially illegal online sales of elephant ivory through eBay.

Pulmonary Hypertension Program accreditation highlights advances in treatments & research of disease
When Derrik Neal began having trouble breathing, he initially assumed it was because he was overweight.

Birmingham welcomes The EMBO Meeting
The sixth edition of The EMBO Meeting will be held in Birmingham in the United Kingdom on 5-8 September 2015.

Can we restart the heart?
What if you could use the proliferative and survival properties of cancer-prone cells to rejuvenate cardiac progenitor cells and get them dividing again, without forming tumors?

Real-time imaging of lung lesions during surgery helps localize tumors and improve precision
New molecular tools are emerging to identify lung adenocarcinomas during pulmonary resection.

Meet the high-performance single-molecule diode
Researchers from Berkeley Lab and Columbia University have created the world's highest-performance single-molecule diode.

Light-emitting diode sole-source lighting effective in bedding plant seedling production
Bedding plant seedlings grown under low greenhouse ambient light were compared with those grown under supplemental lighting or sole-source photosynthetic lighting with similar daily light integral.

The challenge of mining rare-earth materials outside China
Five years ago, the cost of rare-earth materials that are critical for today's electronics went through the roof.

Targeted therapy shows effectiveness against a subtype of the brain tumor medulloblastoma
A subset of medulloblastoma tumors briefly stopped growing or disappeared entirely during treatment with vismodegib; St.

Eitan Tadmor receives Peter Henrici Prize
The prize is awarded to Tadmor for his original, broad, and fundamental contributions to the applied and numerical analysis of nonlinear partial differential equations and their applications in areas such as fluid dynamics, image processing, and social dynamics.

Malic acid encourages sweet cherry cracking
Water uptake and fruit cracking in sweet cherries was observed following incubation in polyethylene glycol 6000, real sweet cherry juice extracted from the same batch of fruit, or in artificial juice.

Vaccination rates in older adults fall short of targets
The Alliance for Aging Research has released a new white paper discussing factors for underutilization of vaccines in older adults and offering recommendations to improve immunization rates.

Powerful patents: Navy outranks all government agencies in yearly report
Predicting the risk of pirate attacks on vital shipping lanes could soon be easier, thanks to a data system that's just one of 364 technologies patented by the US Navy in 2014.

People walk slower, swerve when texting while distracted
Texting while walking and being cognitively distracted may significantly affect the way a person walks, resulting in a more cautious gait.

Stressed out plants send animal-like signals
University of Adelaide research has shown for the first time that, despite not having a nervous system, plants use signals normally associated with animals when they encounter stress.

Study of 'senior citizen' marine snails uncovered how nerve cells fail during learning
A new research study on marine snails uncovered the first cells in the nervous system to fail during aging.

Toward a safe antiobesity drug that could block fat absorption
To help address the global obesity epidemic, scientists are developing a new class of compounds called 'micelle sequestrant polymers,' or MSPs, that could prevent fat particles from getting absorbed in the body and thus potentially reduce weight gain.

Black men are at double the risk of prostate cancer compared to white men
Black men in England are at double the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with, and dying from, prostate cancer compared with white men in England, according to research published in the open-access journal BMC Medicine.

Boxfish shell inspires new materials for body armor and flexible electronics
The boxfish's unique armor draws its strength from hexagon-shaped scales and the connections between them, engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have found.

Women who were socially well integrated had lower risk for suicide
Women who were socially well integrated had a lower risk for suicide in a new analysis of data from the Nurses' Health Study, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

Researchers illuminate key role of NOX proteins in liver disease
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have demonstrated a direct connection between two signaling proteins and liver fibrosis, a scarring process underlying chronic liver disease, the 12th leading cause of death in the United States. 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