Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 03, 2015
An orange a day keeps scurvy away
Today's explorers cross miles of space with no hope of finding an island with food and nutrients along the way.

The Future of the Commons: Data, Software and Beyond
Co-sponsored by CENDI, National Federation of Advanced Information Services and the Research Data Alliance/US, and hosted by the Board on Research Data and Information and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, this one-day workshop for data professionals is focused on the evolving concept of the 'commons' and the many challenges associated with its development.

Genetic adaptation keeps Ethiopians heart-healthy despite high altitudes
Ethiopians have lived at high altitudes for thousands of years, providing a natural experiment for studying human adaptations to low oxygen, a condition known as hypoxia.

Urine test for early stage pancreatic cancer possible after biomarker discovery
A combination of three proteins found at high levels in urine can accurately detect early-stage pancreatic cancer, UK researchers have found.

Employee health codes of conduct
Workplace wellness can be a positive source of health and empowerment for employees.

Combination therapy may be more effective against the most common ovarian cancer
High-grade serous ovarian cancer often responds well to the chemotherapy drug carboplatin, but why it so frequently comes back after treatment has been a medical mystery.

New method reveals hidden population of regulatory molecules in cells
A recently discovered family of small RNA molecules, some of which have been implicated in cancer progression, has just gotten much larger thanks to a new RNA sequencing technique enabling sensitive detection of small RNAs that are chemically modified (methylated) after being transcribed from the genome.

Cybathlon practice session a success
Zurich will host the first Cybathlon in autumn 2016, bringing together physically impaired people from all over the world to compete against each other using the latest assistive technologies.

Unsuccessful fertility treatments not linked with clinically diagnosed depression in women
An analysis of data on more than 41,000 Danish women who received assisted reproductive fertility treatment shows that unsuccessful treatment is not linked with an increased risk of clinically diagnosed depression compared with successful treatment.

New analysis suggests body size increase did not play a role in the origins of Homo genus
A new analysis of early hominin body size evolution led by a George Washington University professor suggests that the earliest members of the Homo genus (which includes our species, Homo sapiens) may not have been larger than earlier hominin species.

4 million years at Africa's salad bar
As grasses grew more common in Africa, most major mammal groups tried grazing on them at times during the past 4 million years, but some of the animals went extinct or switched back to browsing on trees and shrubs, according to a study led by the University of Utah.

BrightFocus Foundation announces research grant recipients for 2015
BrightFocus Foundation, which funds research worldwide on Alzheimer's disease, glaucoma, and macular degeneration, announced the 58 scientists awarded research grants for 2015.

Further evidence of genetic key to deadliest form of skin cancer
Scientists from the University of Leeds have uncovered further evidence that the protective buffers at the ends of chromosomes -- known as telomeres -- are fundamental to the understanding of the deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma.

Tel Aviv University researcher discovers trigger of deadly melanoma
Tel Aviv University researcher Dr. Carmit Levy has discovered the trigger that causes melanoma cancer cells to turn lethal.

ACMG releases new scope of practice document for the specialty of medical genetics
ACMG President Gerald Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., FACMG said, 'We wanted to clearly define the value that board-certified Clinical Geneticists and Clinical Laboratory Geneticists provide, from their roles performing genetic testing interpretation in the diagnostic laboratory to the medical genetics consultation.

How to convince vaccine skeptics -- and how not to
Many skeptics of vaccinating their children can be convinced to do so, but only if it is presented a certain way, a team of psychologists reports this week.

Bar-Ilan U. archaeologists uncover entrance gate and fortification of Biblical city
The Ackerman Family Bar-Ilan University Expedition to Gath, headed by Professor Aren Maeir, has discovered the fortifications and entrance gate of the biblical city of Gath of the Philistines, home of Goliath and the largest city in the land during the 10th-9th century BCE, about the time of the 'United Kingdom' of Israel and King Ahab of Israel.

Molecular spies to fight cancer
Scientists at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, together with colleagues at the University of Zurich and the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, have for the first time successfully tested a new tumor diagnosis method under near-real conditions.

Septic tanks aren't keeping poo out of rivers and lakes
The notion that septic tanks prevent fecal bacteria from seeping into rivers and lakes simply doesn't hold water, says a new Michigan State University study.

How the finch changes its tune
Researchers at UC San Francisco have discovered a neurological mechanism that could explain how songbirds' neural creativity-generator lets them refine and alter their songs as adults.

NSF invests in science and engineering infrastructure across the nation
The National Science Foundation has awarded four jurisdictions with grants ranging from $6 million to $20 million through its Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research program for the production of world-class research and scientific resources.

Our elegant brain: Motor learning in the fast lane
Researchers at McGill University have discovered that to learn new motor skills, neurons within the cerebellum engage in elegant, virtually mathematical, computations to quickly compare expected and actual sensory feedback.

NYU scientists bring order, and color, to microparticles
A team of New York University scientists has developed a technique that prompts microparticles to form ordered structures in a variety of materials.

Engineering a better 'do: Purdue researchers are learning how
Using heat to style curly hair poses a nagging problem: applying too much causes permanent damage resulting in limp fibers devoid of natural curve.

New forensic ID technology introduced: Fingerprint Molecular Identification
Fingerprint Molecular Identification, a new category in forensic science, will enable law enforcement agents, district attorneys and government agencies to build a molecular profile of criminal suspects by analyzing residues on fingerprints with patented technology.

Women, blacks face larger loss of life expectancy after heart attack
Women and black patients lost more years of their expected life after a heart attack when compared to white men, according to a study publishing today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Engineered clotting protein stops bleeding in most common inherited bleeding disorder
The first protein engineered to help control bleeding episodes in patients with severe von Willebrand disease (vW disease) has been shown to be safe and effective, according to results of a Phase III trial.

MIPT researchers clear the way for fast plasmonic chips
Researches from the Laboratory of Nanooptics and Plasmonics at the MIPT Center of Nanoscale Optoelectronics have developed a new method for optical communication on a chip, which will give a possibility to decrease the size of optical and optoelectronic elements and increase the computer performance several tenfold.

Small tilt in magnets makes them viable memory chips
Engineers have found a new way to switch the polarization of nanomagnets without the need for an external magnetic field.

Waiving Medicare's 3-day rule lessens hospital stay
A new study finds that when Medicare Advantage plans have waived a rule requiring a minimum of three days in the hospital before skilled nursing care can be covered, the effect was less time in the hospital, which can save money and reduce potential hospital complications for patients.

FAU student and surgeon collaborate on new, alternative procedure to radical mastectomy
Elizabeth Hopkins has spent more than 640 hours shadowing Hilton Becker, M.D., a plastic and reconstructive surgeon.

Greenhouse gases' millennia-long ocean legacy
Continuing current carbon dioxide emission trends throughout this century and beyond would leave a legacy of heat and acidity in the deep ocean.

Process concept for a zero-emission route to clean middle-distillate fuels from coal
A novel process configuration has been developed for producing clean middle-distillate fuels from coal with minimal emissions.

Can we save the strawberries? (video)
Strawberries are sweet, juicy and delightful. Unfortunately, an expiring federal pesticide exemption could mean 2016 will be the end of strawberries in the US.

Canadian study sheds surprising light on the causes of cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy is the most common cause of physical disability in children.

NASA sees heavy rainfall in Super Typhoon Soudelor
Typhoon Soudelor grew into a Super typhoon today, Aug. 3, 2015, as the GPM core satellite passed overhead and determined where the heaviest rainfall was occurring in the powerful storm.

Low levels of endocrine disruptors in the environment may cause sex reversal in female frogs
Many studies have been conducted on the dangers of endocrine disrupting chemicals that mimic or block estrogen, the primary female hormone.

Recollections of a petrologist: Joseph Paxson Iddings
This new Special Paper from The Geological Society of America reproduces the 'scientific autobiography' of Joseph Paxson Iddings (1857-1920).

Shifting winds, ocean currents doubled endangered Galápagos penguin population
Shifting winds, ocean currents doubled endangered Galápagos penguin population

From cameras to computers, new material could change how we work and play
During a four year project to imbue graphene with thermal sen­si­tivity, Northeastern researchers discovered an entirely new material spun out of boron, nitrogen, carbon, and oxygen that shows evidence of magnetic, optical, electrical, and thermal prop­er­ties.

How language gives your brain a break
Now a new study of 37 languages by three MIT researchers has shown that most languages move toward 'dependency length minimization' in practice.

Cassiopeia's hidden gem: The closest rocky, transiting planet
A star in the constellation Cassiopeia has a planet in a three-day orbit that transits, or crosses in front of its star.

Study calculates the speed of ice formation
Researchers at Princeton University have for the first time directly calculated the rate at which water crystallizes into ice in a realistic computer model of water molecules.

Ocean changes are affecting salmon biodiversity and survival
What happens at the Equator, doesn't stay at the Equator.

Scientists propose an explanation for puzzling electron heat loss in fusion plasmas
Scientist Elena Belova of the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and a team of collaborators have proposed an explanation for why the hot plasma within fusion facilities called tokamaks sometimes fails to reach the required temperature, even as researchers pump beams of fast-moving neutral atoms into the plasma in an effort to make it hotter.

The dream team
The question has likely occurred at one time or another to every group leader, from heads of family to heads of state: How do I get my team to adapt to new and changing goals without diminishing its performance?

Northwestern receives $17.5 million grant for HIV prevention research
Northwestern University scientists will lead an interdisciplinary project funded by the National Institutes of Health to invent, develop and test an implantable drug delivery system to protect high-risk individuals from HIV infection.

New survey to distinguishing between expectable vs. worrisome early childhood misbehavior
Researchers at Northwestern University are using a novel dimensional method for distinguishing misbehavior that is expectable in early childhood versus that which is cause for clinical concern.

The uneasy, unbreakable link of money, medicine
In the AMA Journal of Ethics, Dr. Eli Adashi writes that after centuries of concerns about the potentially compromising role of money in medicine, the debate remains irreconcilable and the link remains indivisible.

LSU faculty lead efforts to win $20 million grant to form Louisiana Advanced Manufacturing Consortium
Faculty from LSU's Colleges of Engineering and Science spearheaded efforts through the Louisiana Board of Regents to win a $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation, or NSF, to create a national consortium supporting advanced manufacturing research.

Nanoparticles used to breach mucus barrier in lungs
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil have designed a DNA-loaded nanoparticle that can pass through the mucus barrier covering conducting airways of lung tissue.

Food for thought! Technology can reduce domestic food waste
Consumers waste food because they don't know what's in their fridge, where it's located or how best to use it, a new Queensland University of Technology study has revealed.

Yo-yo dieting not associated with increased cancer risk
The first comprehensive study of its kind finds weight cycling, repeated cycles of intentional weight loss followed by regain, was not associated with overall risk of cancer in men or women.

High-dose vitamin D supplementation not associated with benefits for postmenopausal women
High-dose vitamin D supplementation in postmenopausal women was not associated with beneficial effects on bone mineral density, muscle function, muscle mass or falls, according to the results of a randomized clinical trial published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Irradiation of regional nodes in stage I - III breast cancer patients affects overall survival
At a median follow-up of 10.9 years, an EORTC study has shown that irradiation of regional nodes in patients with stage I, II, or III breast cancer has a marginal effect on overall survival, the primary endpoint (at 10 years, overall survival was 82.3 percent for regional irradiation versus 80.7 percent for no regional irradiation).

Not-for-profit hospitals may not trump for-profits in providing uncompensated care
While not-for-profit hospitals receive substantial tax benefits, some do not provide free or subsidized care for a higher percentage of patients living in poverty than their for-profit counterparts, according to a study of California medical centers.

Earliest evidence of reproduction in a complex organism
A new study of 565 million-year-old fossils has identified how some of the first complex organisms on Earth -- possibly some of the first animals to exist -- reproduced, revealing the origins of our modern marine environment.

Surprising results casts new light on the free radical theory of aging
When scientists in the Campisi lab at the Buck Institute bred mice that produced excess free radicals that damaged the mitochondria in their skin, they expected to see accelerated aging across the mouse lifespan - additional proof of the free radical theory of aging.

New insight into how the immune system sounds the alarm
Salk scientists unveil how a critical molecule turns on T cells.

What would the world look like to someone with a bionic eye?
A new UW study concludes that while major advancements have been made in vision recovery technologies, the vision provided by those devices might be very different from what scientists and patients have assumed.

Quantum states in a nano-object manipulated using a mechanical system
Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel have used resonators made from single-crystalline diamonds to develop a novel device in which a quantum system is integrated into a mechanical oscillating system.

Big data collaboration to improve chronic disease management
Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore and Holmusk, a global tele-health platform, have recently announced a collaboration to further the potential of big data in healthcare.

Residential location affects pregnant women's likelihood of smoking
Women are more likely to smoke during pregnancy when they live in areas where socio-economic resources are lower but also where smoking is more socially accepted, according to new study from Rice University's Kinder Institute for Urban Research.

Stress responder is a first responder in helping repair DNA damage and avoiding cancer
DNA damage increases the risk of cancer, and researchers have found that a protein, known to rally when cells get stressed, plays a critical, early step in its repair.

New approach for making vaccines for deadly diseases
Researchers have devised an entirely new approach to vaccines -- creating immunity without vaccination.

Study finds no benefit in adding third drug to therapy for older patients
Triple therapy is no better than dual antiplatelet therapy in preventing major adverse cardiac events in older patients with atrial fibrillation who had a heart attack treated with angioplasty, and triple therapy resulted in more complications, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Simple intervention can moderate anti-vaccination beliefs, study finds
It might not be possible to convince someone who believes that vaccines cause autism that they don't.

Addressing social factors critical for continued fight against heart disease and stroke in America
A first-of-its-kind American Heart Association statement asserts that social factors, such as education, income and race, could erase gains made in reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease.

This study introduces a freely available web-based application, BioLEGO, which provides access to computer-assisted single and two-step multiorganism fermentation process design.

Fatherhood at young age linked to greater likelihood of mid-life death
Becoming a dad before the age of 25 is linked to a heightened risk of dying early in middle age, indicates a sibling study published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Pitt researchers to monitor resistance to HIV drugs in Africa
Infectious diseases researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine are leading a five-year, $5 million initiative to monitor drug resistance during the rollout of HIV prevention drugs in sub-Saharan Africa.

Vaccine with virus-like nanoparticles effective treatment for RSV, study finds
A vaccine containing virus-like nanoparticles, or microscopic, genetically engineered particles, is an effective treatment for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), according to researchers at Georgia State University.

Character traits outweigh material benefits in assessing value others bring us
When it comes to making decisions involving others, the impression we have of their character weighs more heavily than do our assessments of how they can benefit us, a team of NYU researchers has found.

National Academy of Medicine and FDA announce Tobacco Regulatory Science Fellows
The National Academy of Medicine, formerly the Institute of Medicine, along with the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Tobacco Products have named the 2015-2016 class of the FDA Tobacco Regulatory Science Fellows.

Trouble spot in brain linked to learning difficulties in Down syndrome identified
New brain research has mapped a key trouble spot likely to contribute to intellectual disability in Down syndrome.

Veterans returning from Middle East face higher skin cancer risk
Soldiers who served in the glaring desert sunlight of Iraq and Afghanistan returned home with an increased risk of skin cancer, due not only to the desert climate, but also a lack of sun protection, Vanderbilt dermatologist Jennifer Powers, M.D., reports in a study published recently in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine announces first project awards
Two projects have been selected by the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine, a public-private effort launched by Governor Edmund G.

Gut microbes affect circadian rhythms in mice, study says
A study including researchers from the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago found evidence that gut microbes affect circadian rhythms and metabolism in mice.

The consortium of motile and cellulose degrading bacteria can be used for solid state cellulose hydrolysis
Cellulose hydrolysis has many industrial applications in such fields as biofuel production, food, paper, cosmetic, pharmaceutical industries and textile manufacture.

Internet accessibility an important factor in government transparency
Charles Menifield, a professor in the MU Truman School of Public Affairs, found that county governments in densely populated urban areas tend to be more transparent on their official websites if their citizens have good Internet access.

Chronic insomnia sufferers may find relief with half of standard pill dose
The roughly nine million Americans who rely on prescription sleeping pills to treat chronic insomnia may be able to get relief from as little as half of the drugs, and may even be helped by taking placebos in the treatment plan, according to new research published today in the journal Sleep Medicine by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Leading cancer research organizations to host international cancer immunotherapy conference
The Cancer Research Institute, the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy, the European Academy of Tumor Immunology, and the American Association for Cancer Research will join forces to sponsor the first International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York, Sept.

Cattle movement estimation study sheds light on disease risk
A study co-authored by a Kansas State University researcher and one of her former students helps with estimating cattle movement to determine disease risk.

Ergonomics in Design special issue 'Combating the Sedentary Workplace' just released
The July special issue of Ergonomics in Design examines the health and safety effects of the sedentary workplace, the pros and cons of alternatives to sitting at work (for example, sit-stand and treadmill workstations, ball chairs), and proposed workplace design solutions.

Better together: Graphene-nanotube hybrid switches
Michigan Tech researchers have combined two unlikely materials to make a digital switch that could improve high speed computing.

When farm to table means crossing international borders
Consumers are more likely to buy meat that is identified as a US product, but that effect diminishes if they are told that processing standards in other countries are equivalent to US standards.

NYSCF Global Stem Cell ArrayTM brings precision medicine one step closer to the clinic
Scientists at The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute successfully designed a revolutionary, high-throughput, robotic platform that automates and standardizes the process of transforming patient samples into stem cells.

Volcanic bacteria take minimalist approach to survival
New research by scientists at New Zealand's University of Otago and GNS Science is helping to solve the puzzle of how bacteria are able to live in nutrient-starved environments.

It's all connected: Daily changes in mouse gut bacteria moves with internal clock, gender
Researchers analyzed circadian rhythms in abundance and type of microbiota in the gut and feces of mice using genetic sequencing.

Even a little weekly physical activity goes a long way for over 60s
Just a little moderate to vigorous physical activity -- below the recommended amount -- every week still seems to curb the risk of death among the over 60s, suggests an analysis of the available evidence published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Are animal models still essential to biological research?
Future Science Group today announced the publication of a new article in Future Science OA, covering the use of animal models in scientific research.

Nature: Compact optical data transmission
Compact optical transmission possibilities are of great interest in faster and more energy-efficient data exchange between electronic chips.

Web interventions for alcohol misuse
A systematic evidence review published in Annals of Internal Medicine finds that low-intensity electronic interventions may slightly reduce alcohol consumption among adults and college students, but may be ineffective for reducing binge-drinking frequency and the negative social consequences associated with alcohol misuse.

High academic stress linked to increased illness, injuries among college football players
University of Missouri researchers have found college football players are more likely to experience injuries during test weeks than during training camp.

NASA's RapidScat sees Hurricane Guillermo's strongest winds on western side
As Hurricane Guillermo continued moving toward the Hawaiian Islands, NASA's RapidScat instrument that flies aboard the International Space Station analyzed its surface winds.

Dementia patients, caregivers prefer better care, support over research for Alzheimer's cure
A new study found most people with dementia and those caring for them ranked funding for caregiving support and long-term care ahead of funding research to find a cure.

Marriage can lead to dramatic reduction in heavy drinking in young adults
Research on alcohol-use disorders consistently shows problem drinking decreases as we age.

CO2 removal cannot save the oceans -- if we pursue business as usual
Greenhouse-gas emissions from human activities do not only cause rapid warming of the seas, but also ocean acidification at an unprecedented rate.

Modelling the effect of vaccines on cholera transmission
Cholera is a diarrhoeal disease that is caused by an intestinal bacterium, Vibrio cholerae.

Muscle fibers grown in the lab offer new model for studying muscular dystrophy
In a new study published this week in Nature Biotechnology, investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital report that they have been able to drive cells to grow into muscle fibers, producing millimeter-long muscle fibers capable of contracting in a dish and multiplying in large numbers.

Perspectives on using pulse electric field to enhance biogas yield in anaerobic digestion
The usage of pulsed electric field for conditioning substrates can significantly enhance biogas yield in commercial biogas plants.

Punctuating messages encoded in human genome with transposable elements
A recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and conducted by a team of researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Aelan Cell Technologies has identified regulatory elements that allow for the creation of a diverse range of different cell types from different genetic information.

Study uncovers communication strategies couples can use to address financial uncertainty
Money can be a significant source of conflict in relationships, particularly during stressful times.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, August 2015
This tip sheet includes: intelligent agent-based software to be showcased at Smithsonian; Supercomputer speeding design, deployment of lightweight powertrain materials; ORNL process produces hydrogen from switchgrass; Sampling probe system identifies bioactive compounds in fungi and ORNL technique could accelerate advances in materials science.

MD Anderson study reveals new insight into DNA repair
DNA double-strand breaks are the worst possible form of genetic malfunction that can cause cancer and resistance to therapy.

Even moderate picky eating can have negative effects on children's health
Picky eating among children is a common but burdensome problem that can result in poor nutrition for kids, family conflict, and frustrated parents.

Look into my pupils: Pupil mimicry may lead to increased trust
People often mimic each other's facial expressions or postures without even knowing it, but new research shows that they also mimic the size of each other's pupils, which can lead to increased trust.

Fly brains filter out visual information caused by their own movements, like humans
To cut down on the barrage of sensory information, the human brain ignores input caused by eye movements.

Global vaccine-development fund could save thousands of lives, billions of dollars
A $2 billion global vaccine-development fund is needed to prevent the world's deadliest infectious diseases, according to an essay published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Potential new therapy approaches to reverse kidney damage identified
Adults who are worried or terrified sometimes curl up into a fetal position.

Glaciers melt faster than ever
Glacier decline in the first decade of the 21st century has reached a historical record, since the onset of direct observations.

Common medications for dementia could cause harmful weight loss
Medications commonly used to treat dementia could result in harmful weight loss, according to UC San Francisco researchers, and clinicians need to account for this risk when prescribing these drugs to older adults, they said.

WSU researchers investigate effect of environmental epigenetics on disease and evolution
Washington State University researchers say environmental factors are having an underappreciated effect on the course of disease and evolution by prompting genetic mutations through epigenetics, a process by which genes are turned on and off independent of an organism's DNA sequence.

Scaffold-integrated microchips for end-to-end in vitro tumor cell attachment and xenograft formation
A team of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, Florida State University, and University of Massachusetts has developed a new microchip that can retrieve microfluidically attached cancer cells for serial analysis by integrating a 3-D hydrogel scaffold into a fluidic device.

Brazilian company doubles shelf life of pasteurized fresh milk
A Brazilian company has increased the shelf life of grade A pasteurized fresh whole milk from seven to 15 days.

Where commerce and conservation clash: Bushmeat trade grows with economy in 13-year study
Comprehensive results of 13 years of one of the longest continuously running studies of commercial hunting activity have been published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Artificial blood vessels become resistant to thrombosis
Scientists from ITMO University developed artificial blood vessels that are not susceptible to blood clot formation. 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