Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 07, 2015
Mobile phone records may predict epidemics of mosquito-borne dengue virus
A new study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers finds cell phone records can predict the geographical spread and timing of dengue epidemics.

Silicon nanoparticle is a new candidate for an ultrafast all-optical transistor
Physicists from the Department of Nanophotonics and Metamaterials at ITMO University have experimentally demonstrated the feasibility of designing an optical analog of a transistor based on a single silicon nanoparticle.

Slipping and sliding to major tennis success
Engineers at the University of Sheffield are working with the International Tennis Federation on a device that can measure the effects of friction on tennis courts.

Mathematical 'Gingko trees' reveal mutations in single cells that characterize diseases
Scientists at CSHL publish a new interactive analysis program called Gingko that reduces the uncertainty of single-cell analysis and provides a simple way to visualize patterns in copy number mutations across populations of cells.

Cambridge University and JRC join efforts on better use of evidence for policy making
To promote and deepen scientific collaboration, the University of Cambridge and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission represented respectively by Jennifer Barnes, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for International Strategy and Vladimír Šucha, Director-General, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

New England Wild Flower Society and partners get funds for East Coast habitat restoration
New England Wild Flower Society and two partner organizations have begun a $2.3 million project to collect seeds of native plants for restoration of coastal habitats from Maine to Virginia that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

PolyU develops novel efficient and low-cost semitransparent solar cells
The Department of Applied Physics of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has successfully developed efficient and low-cost semitransparent perovskite solar cells with graphene electrodes.

The right tree for the right place
Users can select species for agroforestry and land restoration via web, smartphone and Google Earth interfaces with a high-resolution map.

Is old rock really as 'solid as a rock'?
The team of geoscientists form Germany and the US discovered that the craton below the North American continent is extremely deformed.

Secukinumab in plaque psoriasis: Manufacturer dossier provided no hint of an added benefit
Suitable data were lacking for patients who are candidates for systemic treatment.

World's first comprehensive volume of convection parameterization in atmospheric modeling
'Parameterization of Atmospheric Convection,' recently published by World Scientific, provides for the first time, a comprehensive presentation of this important topic.

2015 International Balzan Prizes awarded to 3 Americans
The 2015 Balzan Prizewinners were disclosed Monday.

IASLC issues new statement on tobacco control and smoking cessation
The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer today issued a new statement on Tobacco Control and Smoking Cessation at the 16th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Denver.

Everyone's a star: 21st century theater audiences' part of the show
Audiences in the 21st century are not content to just sit in the dark and be quiet.

Rare melanoma carries unprecedented burden of mutations
A rare, deadly form of skin cancer known as desmoplasmic melanoma may possess the highest burden of gene mutations of any cancer.

Ancient genomes link early farmers to Basques
An international team led by researchers at Uppsala University reports a surprising discovery from the genomes of eight Iberian Stone-Age farmer remains.

Queen's leads €50 million program to develop new antibiotics for cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis
The iABC (inhaled Antibiotics in Bronchiectasis and Cystic Fibrosis) consortium, which is made up of world-leading lung specialists from across Europe, will develop new 'inhaled antibiotics' to manage chronic lung infection, the main cause of disease and death in patients with cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis.

Study shows common molecular tool kit shared by organisms across the tree of life
Researchers have discovered the assembly instructions for nearly 1,000 protein complexes shared by most kinds of animals, revealing their deep evolutionary relationships.

Synthetic proteins help solve structure of the fluoride ion channel
Through the use of custom-engineered synthetic proteins known as monobodies, scientists have resolved the atomic structure of the fluoride ion channel, revealing a unique 'double-barreled' architecture that contains two pathways through which fluoride ions flow -- a potentially new mechanism of ion transport.

Dually noted: New CRISPR-Cas9 strategy edits genes 2 ways
Until now, genome engineering and gene regulation required different variants of the Cas9 protein; but now, a new approach developed by researchers led by George Church, Ph.D., of Harvard and Ron Weiss, Ph.D., of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both tasks can be achieved using one type of Cas9, allowing scientists to increase the complexity of gene editing functions and their overall control of genes.

Molting elephant seals add mercury to coastal seawater
As fish-eating predators at the top of the marine food chain, elephant seals accumulate high concentrations of mercury in their bodies.

Success combating multi-resistant bacteria in stables
Multi-resistant bacteria represent a major problem not only in hospitals but also in animal husbandry.

Nanoparticles -- small but unique
Scientists at Chalmers University of Technology have developed a new way to study nanoparticles one at a time, and have discovered that individual particles that may seem identical in fact can have very different properties.

Paper tubes make stiff origami structures
From shipping and construction to outer space, origami could put a folded twist on structural engineering.

Policy recommendations for use of telemedicine in primary care
In a new position paper, the American College of Physicians says that telemedicine can improve access to care, but policies are needed to balance the benefits and risks for both patients and physicians.

Kilimanjaro project wins 2015 Champalimaud Vision Award
The award recognizes a unique effort to combine three usually distinct areas to combat vision disorders, tackle poverty, and create economic sustainability in communities in sub-Saharan Africa through micro-credit tools and finance solutions.

Indications of the origin of the Spin Seebeck effect discovered
A team of physicists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, the University of Konstanz, TU Kaiserslautern, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have now succeeded in identifying the origin of the Spin Seebeck effect.

Poison in the Arctic and the human cost of 'clean' energy
Harvard research suggests that high levels of methylmercury, a potent neurotoxin, in Arctic life are a byproduct of global warming and the melting of sea-ice in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions.

Linguists use the Bible to develop language technology for small languages
Apple's Siri, Google Translate and other language technologies have long been the preserve of people who speak English or other majority languages.

Estrogen, shrubbery, and the sex ratio of suburban frogs
A new Yale study shows that estrogen in suburban yards is changing the ratio of male and female green frogs at nearby ponds.

'Clever adaptation' allows yeast infection fungus to evade immune system attack
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers say they have discovered a new way that the most prevalent disease-causing fungus can thwart immune system attacks.

MicroRNAs are digested, not absorbed
There has been a lot of controversy in recent years over the issue of whether exogenous microRNA molecules can be absorbed from food and even have a physiological effect.

Did grandmas make people pair up?
If you are in a special relationship with another person, thank grandma -- not just yours, but all grandmothers since humans evolved.

Tree of life study unveils inner workings of a cell
A multinational team of scientists have sifted through cells of vastly different organisms, from amoebae to worms to mice to humans, to reveal how proteins fit together to build different cells and bodies.

Negative symptoms of schizophrenia linked to poor clinical outcomes
A novel research tool developed by researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King's College London has identified a link between the negative symptoms experienced by people with schizophrenia and adverse clinical outcomes.

Researchers use laser to levitate, glowing nanodiamonds in vacuum
Researchers have, for the first time, levitated individual nanodiamonds in vacuum.

Improved stability of electron spins in qubits
Calculation with electron spins in a quantum computer assumes that the spin states last for a sufficient period of time.

Widespread convergence in toxin resistance by predictable molecular evolution
In a paper published today in the journal PNAS, researchers examine the response of a variety of insects, reptiles, amphibians and mammals to a natural selection pressure in the form of cardiac glycosides -- toxins produced by certain plants and toads for defense against predators.

Molecular bodyguards for immature membrane proteins
During their formation within the cells, many proteins rely on the assistance of molecular protectors, so-called chaperones.

Researchers in Basel develop ideal single-photon source
With the help of a semiconductor quantum dot, physicists at the University of Basel have developed a new type of light source that emits single photons.

Large funnel-web spider find surprises scientists
Scientists studying funnel-web spiders in Australia's south east have found a large example of an unexpected funnel-web species.

Men and women with autism have 'extreme male' scores on the 'eyes test' of mindreading
Scientists at the University of Cambridge University have published new results in the journal PLoS ONE from the largest ever study of people with autism taking the 'Reading the Mind in the Eyes' test.

Dangerous bacterial enzymes become important tools for protein chemistry
A research group at Umeå University, together with researchers in Munich, have identified two enzymes from the pathogenic Legionella bacteria that are very useful in chemically modifying proteins for them to be used in medical drugs.

First superconducting graphene created by UBC researchers
Graphene, the ultra-thin, ultra-strong material made from a single layer of carbon atoms, just got a little bit more extreme.
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