Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 26, 2015
Few gay teenage boys get tested for HIV
HIV infections are rising for young men who have sex with men, but only one in five gay male teens have ever been tested for HIV, reports a new study.

Methanotrophs: Could bacteria help protect our environment?
New insight into methanotrophs, bacteria that can oxidise methane, may help us develop an array of biotechnological applications that exploit methane and protect our environment from this potent greenhouse gas.

Family farm managers earn less, but gain 'emotional' wealth
After hours harvesting forage, managing livestock and milking cows, new Cornell University agricultural economic research shows family members who work on the family dairy farm make $22,000 less annually than comparable hired managers, but are handsomely compensated with 'socioemotional' wealth.

Waste paper could make summer grilling more environmentally friendly
Summertime is waning, and that means the end of backyard barbecues is almost upon us.

Solar cell research funded by US Department of Energy
Fixed-tilt concentrating photovoltaic panels that will deliver significantly more energy than conventional photovoltaic solar panels are the aim of Penn State's solar energy research funded by the US Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) for $2.9 million.

Wide-ranging networking boosts employee creativity
Companies can promote creativity in employees by encouraging them to network beyond their immediate business networks, according to a new study by management experts at Rice University, Australian National University, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Monash University in Clayton, Australia, and the University of Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia.

Can't count sheep? You could have aphantasia
If counting sheep is an abstract concept, or you are unable to visualize the faces of loved ones, you could have aphantasia -- a newly defined condition to describe people who are born without a 'mind's eye.'

Sir Elton John is the inspiration behind the name of a new coral reef crustacean species
An American coral reef scientist found a small shrimp-like crustacean with a greatly enlarged appendage reminiscent of the Elton John character in the movie 'Tommy.' Discovered while working in the remote coral reefs of Raja Ampat, Indonesia, Dr.

Fertilization discovery: Do sperm wield tiny harpoons?
Could the sperm harpoon the egg to facilitate fertilization? That's the intriguing possibility raised by the University of Virginia School of Medicine's discovery that a protein within the head of the sperm forms spiky filaments, potentially used to lash together the sperm and its target.

Dying star suffers 'irregular heartbeats'
Some dying stars suffer from 'irregular heartbeats,' research led by astronomers at the University of Warwick has discovered.

Researchers reveal how a common mutation causes neurodegenerative disease
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and University of Massachusetts Medical School uncover the mechanism underlying the most common genetic cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia.

Awareness of memory loss may decline 2-3 years before dementia onset
People who will develop dementia may begin to lose awareness of their memory problems two to three years before the actual onset of the disease, according to a new study published in the Aug.

Antimatter catches a wave at SLAC
A study led by researchers from the US Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the University of California, Los Angeles has demonstrated a new, efficient way to accelerate positrons, the antimatter opposites of electrons.

Bacterial warfare
UCSB researchers demonstrate how gram-negative bacteria deliver toxins to kill neighboring bacteria.

The fear of trying new foods may have negative dietary implications
Food neophobia is the fear of or refusal to try new foods.

Cells cling and spiral 'like vines' in first 3-D tissue scaffold for plants
New cost-effective material which mimics natural 'extracellular matrix' has allowed scientists to capture previously unseen behaviour in individual plant cells, including new shapes and interactions.

Shift focus from calorie counting to nutritional value for heart health, say experts
It's time to stop counting the calories, and instead start promoting the nutritional value of foods if we are to rapidly cut illness and death from cardiovascular disease and curb the rising tide of obesity, say experts in an editorial published in the online journal Open Heart.

LSU researchers conduct post-hurricane recovery analysis
Ten years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast, LSU researchers have analyzed and documented the recovery effort for the state.

This week from AGU: Mars' ice, Earth's mantle & 5 new research papers
Just beneath Mars' dirt surface, or regolith, researchers found an enormous slab of water ice, measuring 40 meters (130 feet) thick, and covering an area equivalent to that of California and Texas combined, according to a new study published today in Geophysical Research Letters.

Researchers receive $3.5 million to improve students' classroom behaviors
University of Missouri researchers have received nearly $3.5 million from the US Department of Education over four years to evaluate an intervention that promotes social and emotional skills for students who exhibit challenging classroom behaviors.

Routine surgery
Cholecystectomy and treatment for inguinal, femoral, umbilical, or abdominal hernia are common surgeries and are considered routine in Germany.

NSF awards $12 million to establish urban water sustainability research network
A consortium of 14 US academic institutions received a $12 million award from the National Science Foundation to address challenges that threaten urban water systems in the United States and around the world.

Immatics and MD Anderson announce launch of Immatics US Inc. to develop multiple T-cell and TCR-based adoptive cellular therapies
Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH (Immatics) and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center announced today the launch of Immatics US, Inc., a new company aiming at becoming a global leader in adoptive cellular therapies for the treatment of a range of tumor types.

Firstborn women more likely to be overweight/obese as adults than second-born sisters
Firstborn women are more likely to be overweight/obese as adults than their second-born sisters,finds the largest study of its kind in women, and published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

The missing link
University of Alberta paleontologists have discovered a new species of lizard, named Gueragama sulamericana, in the municipality of Cruzeiro do Oeste in Southern Brazil in the rock outcrops of a Late Cretaceous desert, dated approximately 80 million years ago.

High use of alternative medicine in senior oncology patients
Many seniors with cancer are also using complementary or alternative medicines that could interfere with their cancer treatment.

New survey on Americans' views on papal encyclical on climate change
A new national survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and researchers at Yale University found that fewer than one in three Americans, and 40 percent of Catholics, are aware of Pope Francis's efforts to publicize global warming as a priority issue for the Catholic Church.

Searching big data faster
A new theory expands applications of bit-data search techniques.

Life expectancy climbs worldwide but people spend more years living with illness and disability
Global life expectancy has risen by more than six years since 1990 as healthy life expectancy grows; ischemic heart disease, lower respiratory infections, and stroke cause the most health loss around the world.

Common 'heart attack' blood test may predict future hypertension
Analysis of blood samples from more than 5,000 people suggests that a more sensitive version of a blood test long used to verify heart muscle damage from heart attacks could also identify people on their way to developing hypertension well before the so-called silent killer shows up on a blood pressure machine.

Researchers reveal how a common mutation causes neurodegenerative disease
Researchers have determined how the most common gene mutation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia disrupts normal cell function, providing insight likely to advance efforts to develop targeted therapies for these brain diseases.

Proportion of patients with diabetes undergoing CABG spikes 5-fold over 4 decades
In the 40 years between 1970-2010, the proportion of patients with diabetes undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting escalated from 7 percent to 37 percent.

Dramatic breakthroughs in treatment of autoimmune inflammatory diseases
Over the past two decades, dramatic breakthroughs have occurred in the treatment of the inflammatory autoimmune diseases.

Trash or treasure? Repurposing would-be wasted food to feed the hungry and create jobs
A new model for recovering would-be wasted -- or surplus -- food and repurposing it to feed hungry people, generate revenue and even create jobs was recently piloted in West Philadelphia.

Supercomputers enlisted to shed light on photosynthesis
Using quantum mechanics as the basis, UPV/EHU computer scientists, physicists and chemists are working together to produce simulations of the molecule in which photosynthesis occurs.

Taking a cue from nature: Turning alcohols into alkylating agents
Researchers at Princeton have developed a dual catalyst system that directly installs alkyl groups -- fragments containing singly bonded carbon and hydrogen atoms that have extremely useful properties for drug discovery -- onto compounds called heteroarenes.

DNA sequencing used to identify thousands of fish eggs
Using DNA sequencing, researchers have accurately painted a clear picture of fish spawning activities in a marine protected area and have created a baseline for continuing studies on the effects of climate variability on fish populations.

NASA awards $1 million for development of platform to detect amino acids
Purnendu 'Sandy' Dasgupta, Hamish Small Chair in Ion Analysis of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The University of Texas at Arlington, has been awarded a $1 million NASA grant to further the search for amino acids.

JAX Genomic Medicine, UConn announce joint center for single cell genomics
The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine and the University of Connecticut, including UConn Health, have signed an agreement to launch a joint Single Cell Genomics Center.

6 out of 200 -- Young researchers at the 3rd Heidelberg Laureate Forum
200 young scientists from over 50 nations are meeting in Heidelberg between Aug.

Harrington Discovery Institute announces 2015 partnership scholars
The Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio -- part of the Harrington Project for Discovery & Development -- has announced 2015 Harrington Scholars selected in collaboration with R&D partners University of Oxford, Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation and Foundation Fighting Blindness.

Immunotherapy agent benefits patients with drug-resistant multiple myeloma
In its first clinical trial, a breakthrough antibody therapy produced at least partial remissions in a third of patients with multiple myeloma who had exhausted multiple prior treatments, investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other organizations report today online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

New fungi behind emerging wheat disease
Researchers have discovered three new fungi as they unravel the mystery cause of the emerging wheat disease White Grain Disorder.

Botanists conduct first large-scale genetic study of marijuana, hemp
A study by Canadian researchers is providing a clearer picture of the evolutionary history and genetic organization of cannabis, a step that could have agricultural, medical and legal implications for this valuable crop.

Tackling the root cause of cystic fibrosis
Treatments for cystic fibrosis (CF) have added years to the lives of thousands of Americans.

Hypoallergenic parks: Coming soon?
Granada, Spain's climate and layout is like that of many cities in the Mediterranean area, which has the highest occurrence of pollen allergies in the world.

Building a better health-care future through collaboration and technology
EURECA, a European project, gathered 18 partners including ecancer from countries across Europe.

Life expectancy climbs globally but more time spent living with illness and disability
People around the world are living longer, even in some of the poorest countries, but a complex mix of fatal and nonfatal ailments causes a tremendous amount of health loss, according to a new analysis of all major diseases and injuries in 188 countries.

Earth's mineralogy unique in the cosmos
New research from a team led by Carnegie's Robert Hazen predicts that Earth has more than 1,500 undiscovered minerals and that the exact mineral diversity of our planet is unique and could not be duplicated anywhere in the cosmos.

Stiffer breast tissue in obese women promotes tumors
Women who are obese have a higher risk and a worse prognosis for breast cancer, but the reasons why remain unclear.

Self-control saps memory, study says
You're about to switch lanes on a busy road when you realize there's a car in your blind spot.

Low-level arsenic exposure before birth associated with early puberty and obesity
Female mice exposed in utero, or in the womb, to low levels of arsenic through drinking water displayed signs of early puberty and became obese as adults, according to scientists from the National Institutes of Health.

Scientists discover mechanism behind 'strange' earthquakes
Scientists have discovered the mechanism that generates earthquakes that occur away from tectonic plate boundaries.

Education positively impacts safe opioid prescribing among clinicians
Educating clinicians on how to safely prescribe opioids can help decrease opioid misuse among chronic pain sufferers.

The great escape: Why awareness of mortality can be bad for health
People with low self-esteem use a variety of escape mechanisms to avoid thinking about their own mortality, new research reveals.

Neurodegenerative disease clogs nuclear pores
Howard Hughes Medical Institute scientists have discovered how the most common genetic defect in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis kills nerve cells.

ORNL chemical sampling interface features simplicity, speed
In mere seconds, a device that can identify and characterize a solid or liquid sample.

CWRU, NASA and fire departments team to protect firefighters
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University will team with NASA Glenn Research Center and firefighters nationally, from Cleveland to Oregon, to design and test sensors aimed at protecting firefighters from respiratory damage and illnesses.

Home sweet microbe: Dust in your house can predict geographic region, gender of occupants
The humble dust collecting in the average American household harbors a teeming menagerie of bacteria and fungi, and as researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder and North Carolina State University have discovered, it may be able to predict not only the geographic region of a given home, but the gender ratio of the occupants and the presence of a pet as well.

New survey examines racial and ethnic differences in technology use by millennials
A new study conducted by the Media Insight Project found that while the similarities to the rest of their generation are numerous, there are some distinct differences in the way that Hispanic and African American Millennials use technology to access news and information.

Clinical trials of dogs with cancer could lead to better treatments for humans
Dogs get cancer, too. And they have even fewer treatment options than their human owners do.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Erika approaching the Lesser Antilles
As Tropical Storm Ericka continued moving toward the Lesser Antilles, NASA's Aqua and other satellites were gathering data.

NASA measures rainfall in stronger Tropical Storm Ignacio
The Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM mission core satellite measured rainfall as Tropical Depression Twelve was upgraded to Tropical Storm Ignacio.

Unusual use of blue pigment found in ancient mummy portraits
In an unexpected discovery, a research team of scientists and art conservators from Northwestern University and the Phoebe A.

Self-healing material could plug life-threatening holes in spacecraft (video)
For astronauts living in space with objects zooming around them at 22,000 miles per hour like rogue super-bullets, it's good to have a backup plan.

Epigenetics research: The key to unlocking personalized IBD treatments
The American Gastroenterological Association, in partnership with the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America and Janssen Biotech Inc. announced today that Theresa Alenghat, V.M.D., Ph.D., from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Ohio, was awarded with the 2015 AGA-CCFA-Janssen Research Award in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Epigenetics Research.

Observation stays over hospital admissions drives up costs for some Medicare patients
In the midst of a growing trend for Medicare patients to receive observation care in the hospital to determine if they should be formally admitted, a new study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania shows that for more than a quarter of beneficiaries with multiple observation stays, the cumulative out-of-pocket costs of these visits exceeds the deductible they would have owed for an inpatient hospital admission.

Where bread began: Ancient tools used to reconstruct -- and taste -- prehistoric cuisine
A group of intrepid Israeli researchers recently went back to the dawn of the Stone Age to make lunch.

New 'mutation-tracking' blood test could predict breast cancer relapse months in advance
Scientists have developed a blood test for breast cancer able to identify which patients will suffer a relapse after treatment, months before tumors are visible on hospital scans.

UCSF researchers control embryonic stem cells with light
UCSF researchers have for the first time developed a method to precisely control embryonic stem cell differentiation with beams of light, enabling them to be transformed into neurons in response to a precise external cue.

Who will develop psychosis? Automated speech analysis may have the answer
An automated speech analysis program correctly differentiated between at-risk young people who developed psychosis over a two-and-a-half year period and those who did not.

HIV testing among older adults is declining, despite CDC recommendation
In 2006 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that most doctors should automatically screen all their patients, including older adults, for HIV even if they don't exhibit any symptoms.

Seven physician-researchers awarded $675,000 in grants for radiation oncology research
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has selected seven leading physician-researchers to receive a total of $675,000 in grants to advance radiation oncology research.

Researchers publish sobering statistics on physical inactivity in the US
Nearly 36 percent of US adults do not engage in any leisure-time physical activity.

Even cockatoos conclude
If there is a certain pool of choices and we can exclude A and B, we can easily deduce that C must be the appropriate choice.

ESA recognizes 2015 Fellows
The Governing Board of the Entomological Society of America has elected 10 new Fellows of the Society for 2015.

Lawson and STEMCELL partner for commercialization of tools for Parkinson's disease research
Lawson Health Research Institute and STEMCELL Technologies Inc. announced today that they have signed a license agreement giving STEMCELL global exclusive rights to commercialize novel tools for Parkinson's disease research.

These microscopic fish are 3-D-printed to do more than swim
Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego used an innovative 3-D printing technology they developed to manufacture multipurpose fish-shaped microrobots -- called microfish -- that swim around efficiently in liquids, are chemically powered by hydrogen peroxide and magnetically controlled.

Rehabilitation improves the prognosis of serious heart disease
Rehabilitation is recommended for many patients following a hospital stay for acute heart disease.

3-D cancer models give fresh perspective on progress of disease
Computer models of developing cancers reveal how tiny movements of cells can quickly transform the makeup of an entire tumor.

EORTC presentations at ECC2015 in Vienna
The EORTC will have an active presence at this year's European Cancer Congress, ECC 2015, which will be held Sept.

Pacific Northwest wildfires severe in intensity
The Pacific Northwest is abundantly dotted with wildfires in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

Jammed up cellular highways may initiate dementia and ALS
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered some of the first steps in how a very common gene mutation causes the brain damage associated with both amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia.

Cellular contamination pathway for plutonium, other heavy elements, identified
Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have reported a major advance in understanding the biological chemistry of radioactive metals, opening up new avenues of research into strategies for remedial action in the event of possible human exposure to nuclear contaminants.

Colorful potatoes may pack powerful cancer prevention punch
Compounds found in purple potatoes may help kill colon cancer stem cells and limit the spread of the cancer, according to a team of researchers.

3-D vision for the next generation of biomaterials
The University of Nottingham is to lead a £6.5 million research project which aims to make the leap from 2-D to 3-D in the development of advanced materials and realize the true potential of regenerative medicine and cutting-edge medical devices for the future.

Neurobiology -- tuning of timing in auditory axons
An LMU team has shown that the axons of auditory neurons in the brainstem which respond to low and high-frequency sounds differ in their morphology, and that these variations correlate with differences in the speed of signal conduction.

Cell transplantation procedure may one day replace liver transplants
In an effort to find therapeutic alternatives to whole liver transplantation and improve the outcomes of hepatocyte transplantation, researchers tested the efficacy and feasibility of transplanting multi-layered sheets of hepatocytes and fibroblasts into the subcutaneous cavity of laboratory rats modeled with end stage liver failure.

First-of-a-kind research in Minnesota explores peatland, carbon connection
From the top of trees to the microbial communities deep within the peat soil, an unprecedented whole-ecosystem manipulation at the Marcell Experimental Forest will measure how peatlands respond to increased temperature and elevated carbon dioxide.

New approach to tackling uncontrolled high blood pressure shows significant results
Scientists from Queen Mary University of London and Barts Health NHS Trust have successfully improved blood pressure control among patients with severe intolerance to antihypertensive medication -- by using medicines in unconventional ways and treating patients with a 'stepped care' approach (where the most effective yet least intensive treatment is delivered to patients first).

James Webb Space Telescope backplane arrives at NASA Goddard for mirror assembly
One of the most crucial pieces of the James Webb Space Telescope, the flight backplane, arrived on Aug.

NASA's GPM satellite sees heavy rain around Loke's center
The Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM mission core satellite can measure rainfall from space, and saw heavy rainfall in the Central Pacific's Loke when it was a hurricane.

£5.4 million for research to discover next-generation biomaterials
A new £5.4 million grant for research aimed at accelerating the discovery and application of new advanced materials in health care was announced today by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Capturing cancer
Researchers have developed the first model of solid tumors that reflects both their three-dimensional shape and genetic evolution.

Making the air fair
A study by MIT researchers presents a new method for dealing with delays that, they conclude, keeps system-wide delays virtually constant while distributing delays among airlines more evenly.

Lab experiments question popular measure of ancient ocean temperatures
The membranes of sediment-entombed archaea are an increasingly popular way to determine ocean surface temperatures back to the age of the dinosaurs.

Police professionals are better observers than ordinary civilians
Dutch research shows that trained detectives of specialized observation teams are much better at registering details of a drug deal than ordinary civilians.

New book on 'Methods in Yeast Genetics and Genomics' from CSHLPress
'Methods in Yeast Genetics and Genomics: A Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Course Manual, 2015 Edition' covers the full repertoire of genetic approaches needed to dissect complex biological problems in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Obesity-related causes of stillbirth detailed in Pitt analysis
Obese women are nearly twice as likely as their lean counterparts to have stillborn babies for several specific, potentially preventable medical reasons, a new University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health analysis reveals.

Simons Foundation partners with Kennedy Krieger's Interactive Autism Network
Kennedy Krieger's Interactive Autism Network has partnered with the Simons Foundation Autism Research to advance and expand internet-mediated autism research.

Cannabis and the brain, 2 studies, 1 editorial examine associations
Two studies and an editorial published online by JAMA Psychiatry examine associations between cannabis use and the brain.

NASA sees former Typhoon Atsani's remnants affecting Alaska
The remnants of former Typhoon Atsani were triggering watches and warnings for heavy rain and snow in portions of Alaska on Aug.

Earth's extremes point the way to extraterrestrial life
Washington State University astrobiologist Schulze-Makuch draws upon what is known about Earth's most extreme lifeforms and the environments of Mars and Titan, Saturn's moon, to paint a clearer picture of what life on other planets could be like.

University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researcher receives 5-year $2.70 million grant
A five-year $2.70 million grant will allow UH Cancer Center researcher to study how gut bacteria can damage the liver and eventually promote the development of fibrosis and liver cancer.

JBJS 'Watch' cites head-neck troubles with modular hip implants
JBJS Case Connector, an online case report journal published by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, has issued a 'Watch' regarding relatively rare but potentially catastrophic complications from failure of modular head-neck prostheses commonly used in hip-replacement surgery.

Optimal exercise regimen could aid pulmonary hypertension patients
A physical therapy researcher with the IU School of Health and Rehabilitation Services at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has been awarded a $465,000 National Institutes of Health grant to optimize aerobic exercise training for patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension, a goal data suggests could reduce morbidity and mortality among those with the disease.

The wings of the butterfly
The shimmering colours visible in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image show off the remarkable complexity of the Twin Jet Nebula.

Research demonstrates millions of plastic particles exist in cosmetic products
Everyday cosmetic and cleaning products contain huge quantities of plastic particles, which are released to the environment and could be harmful to marine life, according to a new study by Plymouth University.

Women's Medicine Collaborative earns Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home recognition
The Women's Medicine Collaborative primary care team has been designated a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Bright screens at night imperil sleep of young teens
A new study looked at the effect of light exposure at night -- like that from phones or tablets -- on the biology of teen sleep.

Survivors of childhood cancer have high-risk of recurrent stroke
A new study from the UCSF Pediatric Brain Center shows that childhood cancer survivors suffering one stroke have double the risk of suffering a second stroke, when compared with non-cancer stroke survivors.

DOE event marks beginning of landmark ecosystem experiment
Scientists are getting a glimpse of the future with a large-scale experiment designed to answer questions about how carbon-rich peatlands will respond to projected warming of the climate and increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

ESMO launches Women for Oncology Award
The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) has launched the ESMO Women for Oncology Award to recognize an ESMO member who has significantly contributed to supporting the career development of women in oncology.

Paralysis: Primates recover better than rodents
Monkeys and humans exhibit greater motor recovery than rats after similar spinal cord injury, according to a study conducted in Gregoire Courtine's lab at EPFL.

A bottle of water before each meal could help in weight reduction, researchers say
Researchers from the University of Birmingham have shown that drinking 500ml of water at half an hour before eating main meals may help obese adults to lose weight.

Cannabis use may influence cortical maturation in adolescent males
Male teens who experiment with cannabis before age 16, and have a high genetic risk for schizophrenia, show a different brain development trajectory than low risk peers who use cannabis. 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