Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 27, 2015
New embryo image processing technology could assist in IVF implantation success rates
A collaboration between biologists and engineers at Monash University has led to the development of a new non-invasive image processing technique to visualise embryo formation.

Covert and overt forms of sexism are equally damaging to working women
Frequent sexist wisecracks, comments and office cultures where women are ignored are just as damaging to women as single instances of sexual coercion and unwanted sexual attention, according to a new study out today in The Psychology of Women Quarterly, a SAGE Journal.

Degenerating neurons respond to gene therapy treatment for Alzheimer's disease
Degenerating neurons in patients with Alzheimer's disease measurably responded to an experimental gene therapy in which nerve growth factor was injected into their brains, report researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in the current issue of JAMA Neurology.

A patient shedding poliovirus for 28 years -- possible challenges for polio eradication
With all but two countries worldwide, Pakistan and Afghanistan, declared polio-free, the eradication of the devastating viral disease in the near future is a real possibility.

Cervical pessary doesn't reduce rate of preterm birth or neonatal complications in twin gestatations
To investigate whether the use of a cervical pessary might reduce premature births of twins, an international team of researchers conducted a large, multicenter, international randomized clinical trial of approximately 1,200 twin pregnancies.

Successful boron-doping of graphene nanoribbon
Physicists at the University of Basel succeed in synthesizing boron-doped graphene nanoribbons and characterizing their structural, electronic and chemical properties.

Queen's researcher playing an important role improving psychology research
Queen's University developmental psychology professor Stanka Fitneva has co-authored a study in the journal Science that, for the first time, explores the replicability of psychology research.

Evidence suggests subatomic particles could defy the standard model
A team of physicists working at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has found new hints of particles -- leptons, to be more precise -- being treated in strange ways not predicted by the Standard Model.

An ounce of prevention: Research advances on 'scourge' of transplant wards
The fungus Cryptococcus causes meningitis, a brain disease that kills about 1 million people each year.

Researcher develops cheaper, better LED technology
A Florida State University engineering professor has developed a new highly efficient and low cost light emitting diode that could help spur more widespread adoption of the technology.

Massive study reports challenges in reproducing published psychology findings
University of Virginia psychology professor Brian Nosek and an international team of researchers conducted a major review of the findings of 100 psychology studies.

Chapman University research suggests older adults possess important forms of expertise
Chapman University's research on aging and skill development appears as the lead article in the latest issue of American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Soaking up carbon dioxide and turning it into valuable products
Berkeley Lab researchers have incorporated molecules of porphyrin CO2 catalysts into the sponge-like crystals of covalent organic frameworks (COFs) to create a molecular system that not only absorbs carbon dioxide, but also selectively reduces it to CO, a primary building block for a wide range of chemical products.

CWRU researchers efficiently charge a lithium-ion battery with solar cell
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have wired four perovskite solar cells in series to enhance the voltage and directly photo-charged lithium batteries with 7.8 percent efficiency -- the most efficient reported to date, the researchers believe.

Frogs' irrational choices could reform understanding of animal mating
In the attempt to choose a mate, it's no surprise that females will select the more 'attractive' of two males, but now a new study reveals that female tĂșngara frogs are susceptible to the 'decoy' effect, where the introduction of a third, inferior mate results in the female choosing the less attractive of the first two options.

Study aims to reproduce 100 published journal papers
Following one of the largest-scale scientific reproducibility investigations to date, a group of psychology researchers has reported results from an effort to replicate 100 recently published psychology studies; though they were able to successfully repeat the original experiments in most all cases, they were able to reproduce the original results in less than half, they report.

In very ill, probiotics don't prevent 'superbugs' from colonizing intestinal tract
Compared with routine medical care, probiotics administered to critically ill patients in intensive care units showed no benefit in preventing the colonization of drug-resistant microbes in the intestinal tract, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

UM, USGS researcher discovers songbird habitat affects reproduction, survival
A University of Montana professor who studies birds around the world has discovered trends in how the offspring grow, how parents care for the young and how well the young survive based on where they live.

UEA research shows high protein foods boost cardiovascular health
Eating foods rich in amino acids could be as good for your heart as stopping smoking or getting more exercise.

HIV particles do not cause AIDS, our own immune cells do
Scientists from the Gladstone Institutes have discovered that HIV does not cause AIDS by the virus's direct effect on the host's immune cells, but rather through the cells' lethal influence on one another.

Survey finds many physicians overestimate their ability to assess patients' risk of Ebola
While most primary care physicians responding to a survey expressed confidence in their ability to identify potential cases of Ebola and communicate Ebola risks to their patients, when asked how they would care for hypothetical patients who might have been exposed to Ebola, less than 70 percent gave answers fitting CDC guidelines.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Kilo wrapped halfway around itself
When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Kilo early on Aug.

OU astrophysicist and collaborators find supermassive black holes in quasar nearest Earth
A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist and his Chinese collaborator have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

New fossil skulls reveal insights about penguin brain evolution
Although flightless in air, penguins have a number of adaptations which allow them glide effortlessly through the water.

How the mind sharpens the senses
A study conducted with experienced scholars of Zen-Meditation shows that mental focusing can induce learning mechanisms, similar to physical training.

New computational method for the simulation of solids aids in prediction of fracture
The discipline of fracture mechanics is required only because of the limitations of continuum mechanics.

One in four hepatitis C patients denied initial approval for drug treatment
Nearly one in four patients with chronic hepatitis C are denied initial approval for a drug therapy that treats the most common strain of the infection, according to a Yale School of Medicine study.

To get girls more interested in computer science, make classrooms less 'geeky'
A new University of Washington study found that three times as many female high school students were interested in enrolling in a computer science class if the classroom was designed to be less 'geeky' and more inviting.

Mammary gland is shaped by adaptive immune system during development
UCSF researchers have discovered that the adaptive immune system plays an active role in guiding the normal development of mammary glands, the only organs that develop predominantly after birth, beginning at puberty.

The Lancet Psychiatry: Goth teens could be more vulnerable to depression and self-harm
Young people who identify with the goth subculture might be at increased risk of depression and self-harm, according to new research published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal.

Two satellites see newborn Tropical Storm Jimena consolidating
NASA's Aqua satellite and NOAA's GOES-West satellite provided temperature and cloud data on newborn Tropical Storm Jimena in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

'Brainbow' reveals surprising data about visual connections in brain
Research may lead to reevaluation of the current understanding of information flow and neural circuit maturation in the visual system.

Surprised? Cholinergic neurons send broadcasts enabling us to learn from the unexpected
Neuroscientists at CSHL have discovered a set of cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain that broadcast messages throughout the cerebral cortex, rapidly informing multiple distributed subregions of any surprising rewards or punishments -- what scientists call reinforcers.

A new technique to make drugs more soluble
Researchers from Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science have developed a new system that can produce stable, amorphous nanoparticles in large quantities that dissolve quickly.

Mystery of polar bear Knut's disease finally solved
Knut, the famous polar bear of the Berlin Zoological Garden died of encephalitis.

'From the First Star to Milkomeda'
Avi Loeb, chair of the Harvard Astronomy Department and director of the Institute for Theory and Computation, has published a new eBook: 'From the First Star to Milkomeda.'

NASA data shows Hurricane Ignacio's very cold cloud tops indicate quick strengthening
When cloud top temperatures get colder, the uplift in tropical cyclones gets stronger and the thunderstorms that make up the tropical cyclones have more strength.

Experts stress need for sufficient iodine nutrition during pregnancy
New research published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, a journal of the Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology, found that pregnant women in Sweden had inadequate levels of iodine in their diets.

Humus depletion induced by climate change?
The yields of many important crops in Europe have been stagnating since the 1990s.

Interrupting sitting with walking breaks improves children's blood sugar
Taking 3-minute breaks to walk in the middle of a TV marathon or other sedentary activity can improve children's blood sugar compared to continuously sitting, according to a new National Institutes of Health study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

How do harmful chronic myelogenous leukemia stem cells obtain their nutrients?
Researchers in Japan and in Korea have found a novel nutrient uptake process that maintains the activity of murine chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) stem cells.

Pitt team identifies cause of resilience to tinnitus, potential drug therapy
Researchers have identified in an animal model the molecular mechanisms behind resilience to noise-induced tinnitus and a possible drug therapy that could reduce susceptibility to this chronic and sometimes debilitating condition.

Astronomers unravel the history of galaxies for the first time
A team of international scientists, led by astronomers from Cardiff University's School of Physics and Astronomy, has shown for the first time that galaxies can change their structure over the course of their lifetime.

Probiotics show no impact preventing gastrointestinal colonization with drug-resistant bugs
Probiotics show no benefit for preventing or eliminating gastrointestinal colonization with drug-resistant organisms in patients in the intensive care unit compared to standard care, according to new research published online today in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

Circadian genes go to sleep every day at the periphery of the nucleus
Mobility between different physical environments in the cell nucleus regulates the daily oscillations in the activity of genes that are controlled by the internal biological clock, according to a study that is published in the journal Molecular Cell.

OU developing advanced radar for rapid updates and improved severe weather warnings
A team of engineers and meteorologists from the Advanced Radar Research Center located in the Radar Innovations Laboratory on the University of Oklahoma Research Campus will develop faster, more advanced imaging radar with a five-year, $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

About 10 percent of mothers experienced depression 2 years after Hurricane Katrina, study shows
About 10 percent of mothers experienced chronic, persistent depressive symptoms two years after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, killing more than 1,800 people, displacing hundreds of thousands and causing widespread damage estimated at more than $100 billion, according to a Georgia State University study.

Humans may be harmed by endocrine disrupting chemicals released during natural gas mining
More than 15 million Americans live within one mile of unconventional oil and gas (UOG) operations that combine directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking,' to release natural gas from underground rock.

New strategy improves detection of genetic mutations in hereditary colorectal cancer
The role that PMS2 genetic mutations play in Lynch syndrome has been underestimated in part due to technological limitations.

Impact origin of archean cratons: Learning from Venus
Earth was a completely different planet more than 2.5 billion years ago.

Imaging techniques set new standard for super-resolution in live cells
Scientists can now watch dynamic biological processes with unprecedented clarity in living cells using new imaging techniques developed by researchers at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Research Campus.

Researchers thwart cancer cells by triggering 'virus alert'
Working with human cancer cell lines and mice, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and elsewhere have found a way to trigger a type of immune system 'virus alert' that may one day boost cancer patients' response to immunotherapy drugs.

Historic 2013 Colorado Front Range storm accomplished up to 1,000 years of erosion
The historic September 2013 storm that triggered widespread flooding across Colorado's Front Range eroded the equivalent of hundreds, or even as much as 1,000 years worth of accumulated sediment from the foothills west of Boulder, researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have discovered.

Pregnant women with hypertension and their siblings face increased risk of heart disease
Compared with their sister(s) who had normal blood pressure during pregnancy, women who had hypertension in pregnancy were more likely to develop hypertension later in life.

Researchers develop framework for value-based pricing of cancer drugs
At a time when cancer drug prices are rising rapidly, an innovative new study provides the framework for establishing value-based pricing for all new oncology drugs entering the marketplace.

Caltech chemists solve major piece of cellular mystery
A team of biochemists led by Caltech's André Hoelz has solved the architecture of the nuclear pore complex's complicated inner ring, a subcomplex that is central to the cellular machine's ability to serve as a barrier and transport facilitator.

Growth hormone reduces risk of osteoporosis fractures in older women
For years after it was administered, growth hormone continued to reduce the risk of fractures and helped maintain bone density in postmenopausal women who had osteoporosis, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The art of war: Engineering protective gear for 21st century soldiers
With two major grants from the US Department of Defense, NJIT will help meet this challenge by investigating the effects of shock waves on the brain in order to design and test helmets that can withstand the penetrating blasts from weapons such as improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Glial cells use lipids to direct neuron organization in the spinal cord
Scientists at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan have discovered that in addition to proteins, lipids are also necessary for guiding axons.

Political polarization on Twitter depends on the issue
Twitter offers a public platform for people to post and share all sorts of content, from the serious to the ridiculous.

Is neuroticism fueled by overthinking?
In a Trends in Cognitive Sciences Opinion paper published Aug.

Discovering dust-obscured active galaxies as they grow
Researchers has performed an extensive search for dust-obscured galaxies (DOGs), a rare and important class of galaxy, using data obtained with a new wide-field camera Hyper Suprime-Cam on the Subaru Telescope.

Dry eyes -- researchers report progress in diagnosis and treatment
Do you have problems with dry eyes? If so, you're not alone -- it's one of the most common reasons for patient visits to eye care professionals.

Safety of microfocused ultrasound with visualization in darker skin types
Microfocused ultrasound treatment to tighten and lift skin on the face and neck appeared to be safe for patients with darker skin types in a small study that resulted in only a few temporary adverse effects, according to a report published online by JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

Fish oil-diet benefits may be mediated by gut microbes
Diets rich in fish oil versus diets rich in lard (e.g., bacon) produce very different bacteria in the guts of mice, reports a study published Aug.

What would a tsunami in the Mediterranean look like?
A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean.

Fishermen discards could increase prevalence of turtle disease in Turks and Caicos
The team surveyed cases of green turtle fibropapillomatosis disease, which creates unsightly pink tumors on the turtles' flesh.

Researchers mimic viral infection in colon cancer stem cells
Researchers targeting colorectal cancer stem cells -- the root cause of disease, resistance to treatment and relapse -- have discovered a mechanism to mimic a virus and potentially trigger an immune response to fight the cancer like an infection.

The DNA damage response goes viral: A way in for new cancer treatments
Salk researchers show how DNA repair proteins sound the alarm to threats, pointing to a novel cancer therapy.

Study shows plant species' genetic responses to climate change
A study by the University of Liverpool has found that the genetic diversity of wild plant species could be altered rapidly by anthropogenic climate change.

Choosing to end it all
A series of studies has shown that the way in which a person makes decisions is among the main factors that determines whether that person is protected from or vulnerable to suicide.

15 percent of cigarettes sold in NYC have illegal tax stamps, study finds
Licensed tobacco retailers throughout New York City are selling a substantial number of cigarette packs carrying either counterfeit or out-of-state tax stamps, finds an investigation by NYU public health researchers.

At the origin of language structure
Natural languages aim to be efficient, but are also limited by cognitive load.

Differences in brain structure and memory suggest adolescents may not 'grow out of' ADHD
Young adults diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adolescence show differences in brain structure and perform poorly in memory tests compared to their peers, according to new research from the University of Cambridge, UK, and the University of Oulu, Finland.

A new virus in liver cancer
More than a cause of a simple infection, viruses are often involved in the development of serious diseases.

Intensity of desert storms may affect ocean phytoplankton
Scientists at MIT, Columbia University, and Florida State University have determined that once iron is deposited in the ocean, it has a very short residence time, spending only six months in surface waters before sinking into the deep ocean.

Modified bacteria become a multicellular circuit
Rice University scientists create a biological circuit by programming bacteria to alter gene expression in an entire population.

In diabetic eye disease, peripheral lesions in the retina point to risks of progression
Investigators at the Joslin Diabetes Center now have shown that eyes with diabetic retinal lesions predominantly in peripheral areas of the retina that are seen in UWF images but not in traditional retinal photographs show surprisingly higher risks of progressing to advanced stages of vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy.

Future Science OA explores current research into protein misfolding diseases
Future Science Group today announced the publication of a special issue in Future Science OA, covering the rapidly evolving field of protein misfolding diseases.

Study finds fair trade logo boosts consumer's willingness to pay
Products labeled with a fair trade logo cause prospective buyers to dig deeper into their pockets.

New theory leads to radiationless revolution
Physicists have found a radical new way confine electromagnetic energy without it leaking away, akin to throwing a pebble into a pond with no splash.

Study links air pollution to children's low GPAs
A University of Texas at El Paso study on children's health has found that fourth and fifth graders who are exposed to toxic air pollutants at home are more likely to have lower GPAs.

Cell mechanics are more complex than previously thought
Cell mechanics are considerably more complex than previously thought and may affect cell structures at various levels.

Scientists reveal cellular clockwork underlying inflammation
Researchers at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech have uncovered key cellular functions that help regulate inflammation -- a discovery that could have important implications for the treatment of allergies, heart disease, and certain forms of cancer.

Improved microscopy technique reveals new insights into cell processes
Researchers have significantly extended the resolution of live-cell Structured Illumination Microscopy (SIM), a type of microscopy that offers many benefits compared to other super resolution techniques.

Data backs limits on deep-sea fishing by depth
Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on Aug.

Research identifies a protein that helps determine the fate of RNA
RNA can be translated into protein or transformed into gene-regulating molecules.

Getting a picture of the molecules in a cell in just minutes
Thanks to seven years of work done at the RIKEN Quantitative Biology Center and Hiroshima University, scientists can take a peek into a single plant cell and -- within minutes -- get a view of the small molecules, including metabolites, hormones, nutrients and lipids, inside it.

Brazil's national oral health policy -- an example for other nations
Today, IADR/AADR published a Discovery! article titled '10 Years of a National Oral Health Policy in Brazil: Innovation, Boldness and Numerous Challenges.' In it, authors Gilberto Alfredo Pucca, Jr., Mariana Gabriel, Maria Ercilia de Araujo and Fernanda Campos Sousa de Almeida discuss Brazil's National Policy of Oral Health, also known as 'Smiling Brazil.'

MDC and MHH researchers show how dynamin mediates membrane constriction and scission
Cells continually form membrane vesicles that are released into the cell.

Exploding the drug deadlock: Repurposing nitroglycerin for anti-cancer treatments
In the latest study in ecancermedicalscience, researchers find that nitroglycerin is the latest in a series of medicines that could be repurposed to treat cancer.

Interstellar seeds could create oases of life
New research by Harvard astrophysicists shows that if life can travel between the stars (a process called panspermia), it would spread in a characteristic pattern that we could potentially identify.

Scientists identify possible key in virus, cancer research
Fanxiu Zhu, the FSU Margaret and Mary Pfeiffer Endowed Professor for Cancer Research, and his team uncovered a viral protein in the cell that inhibits the major DNA sensor and thus the body's response to viral infection, suggesting that this cellular pathway could be manipulated to help a person fight infection, cancer or autoimmune diseases.

NASA's GPM satellite analyzes Tropical Storm Erika's rainfall
The Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM core satellite has provided meteorologists with a look at the towering thunderstorms and heavy rainfall occurring in Tropical Storm Erika as it moves through the Caribbean Sea.

A CNIO team finds the way to generate potentially safer stem cells in the laboratory
A finding reveals why the transformation process of differentiated cells into stem cells results in significant damage to the DNA.

Four-day school week can improve academic performance, study finds
Shortening the school week to four days has a positive impact on elementary school students' academic performance in mathematics, according to researchers at Georgia State University and Montana State University.

Researchers find way for eagles and wind turbines to coexist
Collisions with wind turbines kill about 100 golden eagles a year in some locations, but a new study that maps both potential wind-power sites and nesting patterns of the birds reveals sweet spots, where potential for wind power is greatest with a lower threat to nesting eagles.

To track winter flounder, UNH researchers look to ear bones
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire are turning to an unusual source -- otoliths, the inner ear bones of fish -- to identify the nursery grounds of winter flounder, the protected estuaries where the potato chip-sized juveniles grow to adolescence.

Health workers wasting expensive malaria drugs in Nigeria
Health providers trained to perform malaria rapid diagnostic tests are still prescribing valuable malaria medicines to patients who do not have malaria, according to new research published in PLOS ONE.

Short bouts of activity may offset lack of sustained exercise in kids
Brief intervals of exercise during otherwise sedentary periods may offset the lack of more sustained exercise and could protect children against diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, according to a small study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health.

Pigments, organelles persist in fossil feathers
An international team of researchers has found direct chemical evidence that the fossilized remains of a bird-like dinosaur still harbor melanosomes and the pigment they produced.

Antibiotic use linked to type 2 diabetes diagnosis
People who developed type 2 diabetes tended to take more antibiotics in the years leading up to the diagnosis than people who did not have the condition, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

CanDL database shines light on clinically important cancer gene mutations
To help molecular pathologists, laboratory directors, bioinformaticians and oncologists identify key mutations that drive tumor growth in tissues obtained during cancer clinical studies, researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center -- James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute have designed an online database called the Cancer Driver Log, or CanDL.

Link between gene variant and aggression in children
Norwegian researchers have found a correlation between aggression and the particular gene variants present in children when they had experienced or not experienced serious life events.

US scientists warn leaders of dangers of thawing permafrost
WHRC scientists have counseled the State Department on policies that could control permafrost thaw, including reducing global carbon emissions from fossil fuel use and deforestation, and limiting emissions of 'black carbon,' sooty particles that darken snow and ice and hasten Arctic warming.

21-gene recurrence score and receipt of chemotherapy in patients with breast cancer
Use of the 21-gene recurrence test score was associated with lower chemotherapy use in high-risk patients and greater use of chemotherapy in low-risk patients compared with not using the test among a large group of Medicare beneficiaries, according to an article published online by JAMA Oncology.

Life histories may explain songbird paradox
Why tropical songbirds have fewer offspring than temperate songbirds, a long-standing puzzle, may lie in their distinct life history strategies, including the increased attention tropical songbirds show to their young. 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