Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 11, 2015
Study shifts understanding of how bone fractures heal
A team of Vanderbilt investigators has discovered that fibrin, a protein that was thought to play a key role in fracture healing, is not required.

Protein-engineered gels mimic body's own functions
The US Army Research Laboratory's Army Research Office recently awarded an NYU professor a grant to advance protein-engineered, environmentally responsive hydrogels that could replicate biochemical processes currently found only in nature.

NASA analyzes Typhoon Soudelor's rainfall
Typhoon Soudelor dropped over two feet of rainfall when it made landfall in China in early August, and soaked Taiwan.

Chitin of insects and crustaceans found to be active against pathogenic microorganisms
Chitin of insects and crustaceans found to be active against pathogenic microorganisms The results were obtained by KFU research group from the Department of Microbiology, in cooperation with Kazan Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and the Bioengineering Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Keystone Symposia announces new three-year, multi-million-dollar grant
Keystone Symposia has received a new three-year, $2.25 million grant from the Gates Foundation to fund LMIC meetings in its Global Health Series plus Travel Awards for LMIC investigators.

Saving the unloved, one crowd at a time
A newly released study from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) offers hope of conservation to the world's low-profile and more unloved members of the animal kingdom.

Testing testosterone: Trial finds no link to hardening of the arteries
Testosterone's Effects on Atherosclerosis Progression in Aging Men trial in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Hepatitis C infection may fuel heart risk
People infected with the hepatitis C virus are at risk for liver damage, but the results of a new Johns Hopkins study now show the infection may also spell heart trouble.

UNH scientists provide new tools for predicting arrival, impact of solar storms
When the sun hurls a billion tons of high-energy particles and magnetic fields into space at speeds of more than a million miles per hour and the 'space weather' conditions are right, the resulting geomagnetic storm at Earth can wreak havoc on communication and navigation systems, electrical power grids, and pose radiation hazards to astronauts and airline passengers and crew.

Polyglutamine repeats play key role in functional development of cells
Scientists at VIB and KU Leuven have revealed that variable polyglutamine repeats in the DNA tune the function of the protein in which they reside.

Solving a long-standing atomic mass difference puzzle paves way to the neutrino mass
To measure the mass of neutrinos, scientists study radioactive decays in which they are emitted.

Controlling feral animals & plants will save unique species & $billions
Feral animals and pest plants threaten many Australian species in the Lake Eyre Basin, the world's largest internally draining lake system in central Australia.

Insulin degludec plus liraglutide: No hint of added benefit in type 2 diabetes
Insulin degludec plus liraglutide: no hint of added benefit in type 2 diabetes due to lack of suitable studies.

Paving the way for a faster quantum computer
A team of physicists from the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences have demonstrated a new quantum computation scheme in which operations occur without a well-defined order.

Mass extinction survival is more than just a numbers game
Widespread species are at just as high risk of being wiped out as rare ones after global mass extinction events, says new research by UK scientists.

Loss of altruism (and a body plan) without a loss of genes
An international team of researchers found that the evolutionary loss of the 'altruistic' worker caste in ants is not accompanied by a loss of genes.

'Machine teaching' holds the power to illuminate human learning
Human learning is a complex, sometimes mysterious process. Most of us have had experiences where we have struggled to learn something new, but also times when we've picked something up nearly effortlessly.

New biomarkers show exercise helps reduce daytime sleep disorder, researchers find
Aerobic exercise can help alleviate excessive daytime sleepiness among depressed individuals, researchers with UT Southwestern Medical Center's Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care have found.

Discovery in growing graphene nanoribbons could enable faster, more efficient electronics
Graphene, an atom-thick material with extraordinary properties, is a promising candidate for the next generation of dramatically faster, more energy-efficient electronics.

Testosterone supplementation does not result in progression of atherosclerosis
Among older men with low testosterone levels, testosterone administration for three years compared with placebo did not result in a significant difference in the rates of change in atherosclerosis (thickening and hardening of artery walls), nor was it associated with improved overall sexual function or health-related quality of life, according to a study in the Aug.

One technique therapists use that really helps depressed patients
Some depressed patients may be hoping for answers from their therapists, but a new study suggests questions may be the key.

Could flu someday be prevented without a vaccine?
Researchers have discovered a way to trigger a preventive response to a flu infection without any help from the usual players -- the virus itself or interferon, a powerful infection fighter.

Engineered bacterium produces 1,3-diaminopropane, an important industrial chemical
A Korean research team led by Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology reported, for the first time, the production of 1,3-diaminopropane via fermentation of an engineered E. coli bacterium.

New clues found to vision loss in macular degeneration?
Scientists have identified a pathway that leads to the formation of atypical blood vessels that can cause blindness in people with age-related macular degeneration.

NYU study examines top high school students' stress and coping mechanisms
The study shows that there is growing awareness many subgroups of youth experience high levels of chronic stress, to the extent it impedes their abilities to succeed academically, compromises their mental health functioning, and fosters risk behavior.

C-section could impact baby's ability to focus: York U study
There can be a difference in how well babies focus attention on an object of interest, depending on whether they were delivered by natural birth or Caesarean section, a recent York University study indicates.

Predators might not be dazzled by stripes
Stripes might not offer protection for animals living in groups, such as zebra, as previously thought, according to research published in Frontiers in Zoology.

Furthering data analysis of next-generation sequencing to facilitate research
Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have developed a user-friendly, integrated platform for analyzing the transcriptomic and epigenomic 'big data.' Reporting their platform in Genome Biology, scientists say that the new platform -- called BioWardrobe -- could help biomedical researchers answer questions about both basic biology and disease.

NHS trusts with largest deficits are least able to end costly private sector deals
NHS trusts under the most serious financial pressures are the least likely to be able to terminate expensive private sector deals, warns an expert in The BMJ this week.

C-sections could influence babies' ability to focus
Being delivered through a caesarean section influences at least one form of babies' ability to concentrate.

App helps patients with depression, psychiatrists manage mood, activity levels
Approximately 16 million American adults are affected by depression. However, many patients see a psychiatrist only once every two to three months.

Melting glaciers feed Antarctic food chain
Nutrient-rich water from melting Antarctic glaciers nourishes the ocean food chain, creating feeding 'hot spots' in large gaps in the sea ice, according to a new study.

New report recommends research priorities for Antarctic and Southern Ocean science
An initiative to better understand how melting ice sheets will contribute to sea-level rise, efforts to decode the genomes of organisms to understand evolutionary adaptations, and a next-generation cosmic microwave background experiment to address fundamental questions about the origin of the universe are the top research goals for Antarctic and Southern Ocean science recommended in a new report.

Trans fats, but not saturated fats, linked to greater risk of death and heart disease
Saturated fats are not associated with an increased risk of death, heart disease, stroke, or type 2 diabetes, finds a study published in The BMJ this week.

Skeletal muscle atrophy in congestive heart failure
Patients with advanced congestive heart failure lose skeletal muscle mass, but their heart muscles become enlarged to provide the body with an adequate supply of blood and oxygen.

Prevention methods for dog bites too simplistic, researchers find
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have shown that educating pet owners about canine body language may not be the answer to preventing dog bites as originally thought.

Droplets levitate on a cushion of blue light
Researchers in France have discovered a new way to levitate liquid droplets, which surprisingly also creates a mini light show, with the droplet sparking as it floats above a faint blue glowing gap.

NASA's Terra satellite sees Molave regain tropical storm status
Tropical Depression Molave showed a burst of thunderstorm development when NASA's Terra satellite passed overhead on Aug.

Research into mammal evolution focuses on pivotal Eocene interval in Turkey
With a five-year, $580,000 award from the NSF, scientists from the University of Kansas are departing this month to investigate how climate, plate tectonics and other factors influenced evolution by bringing species together in modern-day Turkey during the Eocene epoch.

Save the date: New research on malaria, dengue, chik-v, Ebola, ticks, parasitic worms and more
The 64th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the largest gathering of its kind, will launch in Philadelphia with the Honorable Rajiv Shah, M.D., former administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Ethylene production via sunlight opens door to future
Here's the future of ethylene production as Dr. Jianping Yu sees it.

Behaviors linked to adult crime differ between abused boys and girls, study finds
Troubling behaviors exhibited by abused children can predict later criminal activity, and those indicators differ between boys and girls.

Outcomes of prolonged episodes of respiratory disorder among extremely preterm infants
Among extremely preterm infants, prolonged episodes of hypoxemia (abnormally low levels of oxygen in the blood, which leads to shortness of breath) during the first two to three months after birth were associated with an increased risk of disability or death at 18 months, according to a study in the Aug.

Study finds low rate of dialysis facility referral for kidney transplantation evaluation
Only about one in four patients with end-stage renal disease in Georgia were referred for kidney transplant evaluation within one year of starting dialysis between 2005 and 2011, although there was substantial variability in referral among dialysis facilities, according to a study in the Aug.

NASA's RapidScat sees Hurricane Hilda's strongest winds on northern side
The RapidScat instrument that flies aboard the International Space Station identified Hurricane Hilda's strongest winds on the northern side of the storm.

The evolution of beer
From Austrian monks to American craft brewers, beer geeks are everywhere.

How do fire emissions from industrial plantations affect air quality in Equatorial SEA?
Researchers have combined satellite observations with atmospheric modelling to calculate how fires associated with industrial concessions in the Sumatra and Kalimantan regions of Indonesia affect air quality across Equatorial Asia.

UMass Amherst computer scientists introduce new graphics software
The new first-of-its-kind structure-transcending software can benefit several computer graphics applications, Kalogerakis says.

CMR induced in pure lanthanum manganite
Colossal magnetoresistance is a property with practical applications in a wide array of electronic tools including magnetic sensors and magnetic RAM.

Energy expenditure increases after gastric bypass surgery
Gastric bypass surgery often leads to a sustained weight loss.

Georgia dialysis facility referral rate for kidney transplants is low and variable
Although kidney transplantation is known to be the optimal treatment for most patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), only about one in four patients with ESRD in Georgia was referred by a dialysis facility to a transplant center for evaluation within one year of starting dialysis, according to a new study.

Deceptive woodpecker uses mimicry to avoid competition
Birds of a feather may flock together, but that doesn't mean they share a genetic background.

Georgia State School of Public Health to help Fulton County with tobacco studies
The School of Public Health at Georgia State University has agreed to help the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness conduct research on the prevalence of smoking and attitudes toward second-hand smoke in Fulton, the most populous county in Georgia.

Illinois researchers construct atomic model of an immature retrovirus
Researchers from the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois have constructed an atomic model of the immature retrovirus RSV in order to understand and block the virus.

Back-to-school vaccines not just for students
Back-to-school is an annual reminder to make sure children are fully vaccinated.

Trans fats, but not saturated fats, linked to greater risk of death and heart disease
Contrary to prevailing dietary advice, a recent evidence review found no excess cardiovascular risk associated with intake of saturated fat.

The brain is not as cramped as we thought
Using an innovative method, EPFL scientists show that the brain is not as compact as we have thought all along.

SIV shrugs off antibodies in vaccinated monkeys
Experimental vaccines can protect a majority of monkeys from repeated challenge with SIV.

Vortioxetine in depression: No hint of added benefit
The dossier contained no suitable data for acute treatment or for relapse prevention.

Radiation costs vary among Medicare patients with cancer
Cost of radiation therapy among Medicare patients varied most widely because of factors unrelated to a patient or that person's cancer, report University of California, San Diego School of Medicine researchers in the Journal of Oncology Practice.

Statistical model helps police identify crime series; speeds apprehension of perpetrators
A statistical model -- now an easy-to-use software tool -- local police can use to identify a series of related crimes and nab a suspect was unveiled today by Michael D.

New breath test shows possible biomarker for early-stage liver disease diagnosis
A natural compound called limonene, which is found in oranges and lemons, could be indicative in early-stage diagnosis of liver disease, according to research published in the journal EBioMedicine by researchers in the Molecular Physics Group at the University of Birmingham.

Penn study details 'rotten egg' gas' role in autoimmune disease
A new study led by Songtao Shi of the University of Pennsylvania has demonstrated how regulatory T cells can themselves be regulated, by an unexpected source: hydrogen sulfide, a gas produced by the body's muscle cells and one often associated with the smell of rotten eggs.

NSU researchers find more strategic culling needed to reduce lionfish invasion
Nova Southeastern University researchers find that current efforts to reduce lionfish populations aren't enough -- more must be done.

SwRI scientists study nitrogen provision for Pluto's atmosphere
Scientists at Southwest Research Institute considered what could be replenishing the nitrogen in Pluto's atmosphere in a paper titled, 'On the Provenance of Pluto's Nitrogen' published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Device may detect urinary tract infections faster
A Lab-on-a-Disc platform developed by a German and Irish team of researchers combines modern microfluidic techniques with fast optical diagnostics to dramatically cut the time to detect bacterial species that cause urinary tract infections -- a major cause of sepsis -- from 24 hours to within 70 minutes.

California's Jerusalem fire at night
From its orbit around the Earth, the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite or Suomi NPP satellite, captured a night-time image of California's Jerusalem Fire.

FSU-FAMU partnership nets $2.1 million to study plant genome
A long-standing partnership between Florida State University and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University researchers has led to a $2.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation's Plant Genome Research Program that will allow them to better understand one of the country's most important crops -- corn.

Single interrupted pregnancy may impact later deliveries, new research finds
In a new study, Tel Aviv University researchers say even a single incident of abortion or miscarriage can have repercussions for subsequent pregnancies.

AGS and ADGAP co-management plan for hip fractures sees geriatrics mending more than bones
With support from the John A. Hartford Foundation of New York, the American Geriatrics Society and the Association of Directors of Geriatric Academic Programs will develop a national dissemination plan for an innovative geriatrics-orthopedics co-management intervention.

Early surgery for mitral regurgitation, before clinical triggers emerge, has best outcomes
About 2 percent of the U.S. population has mitral valve regurgitation, which left untreated, can remain mild or lead to arrhythmia or heart failure.

Johns Hopkins, Mayo experts suggest upgrades to current heart disease prevention guideline
Acknowledging key strengths and 'lessons learned,'Johns Hopkins, Mayo experts suggest upgrades to current heart disease prevention guideline preventive cardiologists from Johns Hopkins and Mayo Clinic have developed a short list of suggested upgrades to the controversial heart disease prevention guidelines issued jointly in 2013 by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.

WWF and partners secure protection for critical Sumatran rain forest
One of the last places on Earth where Sumatran elephants, tigers and orangutans coexist in the wild has received long-term protection.

SAGE to launch Scars, Burns & Healing in partnership with The Katie Piper Foundation
SAGE is delighted to announce a new partnership with The Katie Piper Foundation to launch the unique journal Scars, Burns & Healing.

Chickenpox vaccination does increase shingles cases, but mainly in young adults
Re-exposure to chickenpox virus boosts immunity to shingles for a tenth of the time previously thought.

Study examines high-risk therapeutic medical devices receiving FDA premarket approval
Of high-risk therapeutic devices approved via the Food and Drug Administration Premarket Approval pathway between 2010 and 2011, there has been wide variation in both the number and quality of premarket and postmarket studies, with approximately 13 percent of initiated postmarket studies completed between three and five years after FDA approval, according to a study in the Aug.

New combination treatment effective against melanoma skin
In findings never before seen in melanoma, a novel combination therapy was found to be highly effective at treating patients with skin metastases, new research from UC Davis has shown.

Using online health forums to serve underserved communities
University of California, Riverside researchers believe results from their recently published paper on how people use social media and online health forums can help reach underserved communities and prevent the spread of misinformation.

Researchers develop fast test for invasive carp
Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo researchers have developed a field test that quickly determines whether Asian grass carp, a threat to the Great Lakes, are sterile or can reproduce.

Cutting costs: Sustainability matters even in complex networks
Northeastern University physicists Albert-Laszlo Barabasi and Gang Yen reveal a measuring device that could guide scientists in controlling real-world complex systems.

Cheaper, faster, more accurate test to identify gene defects in heart patients
A new technique could eventually enable doctors to diagnose genetic heart diseases by rapidly scanning more than 85 genes known to cause cardiac anomalies.

In vitro fertilization using frozen eggs associated with lower live birth rates
Compared to using fresh oocytes (eggs) for in vitro fertilization, use of cryopreserved (frozen) donor oocytes in 2013 was associated with lower live birth rates, according to a study in the Aug.

First use of ISS astronaut pictures for light pollution studies
Using photographs from the ISS, scientist have measured worldwide light pollution, using light from buildings and streets, but also scattered light.

The ethics and risks of expecting teen siblings to be transplant donors
A sibling may often be the best match for a patient who needs a stem cell transplant, but especially for adolescent donors, who are at a vulnerable age, factors such as the responsibility to donate versus a perception of free choice and the potential for anxiety and guilt in the face of complications or poor outcomes demand careful consideration.

IASLC announces recipients of advocacy travel awards
The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer announced the recipients of the Advocacy Travel Awards.

How to reduce piglet mortality with sows in loose-housed systems
In a recent study published in the Journal of Animal Science, sows that were confined during late gestation and lactation, had decreased piglet mortality, had a decreased percentage of crushed piglets, and decreased percentage of live-born piglet mortality compared to sows not confined at all or sows confined for four days after farrowing.

Insulin pump reduces mortality from cardiovascular disease by almost 50 percent
People with type 1 diabetes who use insulin pump therapy face almost 50 percent less risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than those who take insulin by multiple daily injections.

Sport TV exposing children to thousands of alcohol-adverts per year
New research from Monash University shows that children are being exposed to thousands of alcohol adverts when watching sport TV, questioning the effectiveness of advertising regulations designed to protect children.

UK bottom of European avoidable food waste league
The UK produces the highest amount of avoidable food waste in Europe -- equivalent to a tin of beans per person per day.

Receptors in brain linked to schizophrenia, autism
Mice lacking a set of receptors in one type of neuron in the brain developed compulsive, anti-social behaviors, Salk scientists found.

Linguist explains secret language of Gulliver's Travels
A linguist from the University of Houston is proposing a solution to a centuries-old puzzle: What sparked the 'nonsense' language in 'Gulliver's Travels'?

Research advances potential for test and vaccine for genital and oral herpes
Findings from a pair of new studies could speed up the development of a universally accurate diagnostic test for human herpes simplex viruses, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins and Harvard universities and the National Institutes of Health.

Book series Topics in Current Chemistry to be relaunched as online journal
Springer is relaunching the book series Topics in Current Chemistry as an online journal.

Researchers explain why the Greenwich prime meridian moved
The prime meridian has shifted a few hundred feet. A University of Virginia astronomer helped figure out why.

Dog food processing methods answering questions
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention in 2014, approximately 53 percent of dogs in the United States were overweight and obese.

SMU chemist wins prestigious NSF Career Award
SMU chemist Nicolay Tsarevsky's research into new polymer-building processes is boosted by NSF CAREER Award expected to total $650,000. 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