Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 17, 2015
Dynamic braces for kids with scoliosis now in development
A team led by Sunil Agrawal, professor of mechanical engineering and of rehabilitation and regenerative medicine at Columbia Engineering, has won a $1 million grant from the NSF's National Robotics Initiative to develop a dynamic spine brace that is more flexible than the rigid braces now in use for treatment of scoliosis.

Blood tests reveal early signs of CVD risk in obese African-American teens
Obese African-American teens, particularly girls, may have immune system changes that can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease in adulthood.

Genome of Tatars studied at Kazan University
The research is important for both historians and -- even more -- for microbiologists and medical doctors who want to find genetic markers of susceptibility to various diseases.

Physical activity, sadness, and suicidality in bullied US adolescents
A study to be published in the October 2015 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reports that exercise for four or more days per week is associated with an approximate 23 percent reduction in both suicidal ideation and attempt in bullied adolescents in the US.

Diggers from down under: 11 new wasp species discovered in Australia
After being mostly neglected for more than a hundred years, a group of digger wasps from Australia has been given a major overhaul in terms of species descriptions and identification methods.

From Vulcan salute to papal blessing: Ulnar nerve damage caused original benediction sign
A study of anatomy, art, religion, and culture overturns the popular explanation for the papal hand of benediction posture.

Global warming 'hiatus' never happened, Stanford scientists say
A new study reveals that the evidence for a recent pause in the rate of global warming lacks a sound statistical basis.

Decoding cell division's mysterious spindle matrix
Every biology class learns about mitosis, which involves copying each of a cell's DNA-containing chromosomes, then separating them into two newly created cells.

Scientists: Let wildfires burn when prudent
In a commentary published Sept. 17 in Science, a team of scientists, including University of Washington researchers Jerry Franklin and James Agee, describe unique opportunities and provide suggestions to reform forest fire management to reduce the impacts of inevitable wildfires in future years.

Grieving before conception may be a risk factor for infant mortality
An elevated infant death rate may be linked to mourning experienced by women in the months before they become pregnant, reports a study in Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine, the official journal of the American Psychosomatic Society.

Human genes adapted to life in the Arctic
Danish researchers, in collaboration with researchers in the United States and Britain, have studied the DNA of Greenlanders whose Inuit forefathers have been living in the Arctic for tens of thousands of years.

Climate change symposium: Urban soils overlooked as source for storing carbon
Soils in cities have great potential for taking and holding atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Making 3-D objects disappear
Berkeley researchers have devised an ultra-thin invisibility 'skin' cloak that can conform to the shape of an object and conceal it from detection with visible light.

Apes know a good thriller when they see one
Remember the scene in the classic movie 'Alien,' when that creepiest of creatures bursts out of John Hurt's belly as he writhes in pain?

Study shows racial disparities in environmental health hazards
An online tool used to help identify which California communities are hit hardest by environmental hazards reveals significant disparities by race, according to an analysis by researchers at UC Berkeley and the California Environmental Protection Agency.

Sure as the wind blows
In a study recently published online by the journal Renewable Energy, Robert Erhardt, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics, and 2015 Wake Forest graduate Dana Johnson, used data to project impact of climate change on wind energy density in the United States.

Study of leukemias in children living close to heavily used roads
Inserm researchers from CRESS studied the risk of acute leukemia in children living close to heavily used roads.

Push to dramatically broaden access to nanotech equipment in the Triangle
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC State and Duke are launching a partnership to dramatically broaden access to nanotechnology facilities and expertise to faculty, students, businesses and educators across the Triangle and nationwide.

A barrier against brain stem cell aging
Neural stem cells generate new neurons throughout life in the mammalian brain.

Global burden of leptospirosis is greater than thought and growing
The global burden of a tropical disease known as leptospirosis is far greater than previously estimated, resulting in more than 1 million new infections and nearly 59,000 deaths annually, a new international study led by the Yale School of Public Health has found.

Romidepsin can reverse HIV latency in patients on long-term ART
HIV latency depends on the activity of proteins from the human host called histone deacetylases, and previous work has shown that HDAC inhibitors can disrupt HIV latency.

Can DNA evidence fill gaps in our history books?
If you go back far enough, all people share a common ancestry.

Pre-reptile may be earliest known to walk upright on all fours
Wandering an arid region of the ancient supercontinent of Pangea about 260-million years ago, the pre-reptile Bunostegos akokanensis is the oldest known creature to have walked upright on all fours, according to a newly published study.

Biomarker may predict who'll benefit from targeted therapy for HER2-negative breast cancer
A multi-center team led by Case Western Reserve has demonstrated that brief exposure to a targeted therapy can tell doctors which HER2-negative patients will respond -- and which should switch to another kind of treatment.

Vital seconds -- the journey toward earthquake early warning for all
EARTH Magazine explores the development of EEW systems in California, Oregon and Washington.

Lack of attention has made stripe rust a threat to the world's wheat, U of M-led report shows
Inconsistent funding for research into the pests and diseases that threaten key crops leaves global food supplies vulnerable, according to a University of Minnesota-led report published in today's edition of the journal Nature Plants.

IDRI, Wellcome Trust team for tuberculosis vaccine trial in South Africa
Today, the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) and Wellcome Trust announce the start of a Phase 2a trial in South Africa of IDRI's tuberculosis vaccine candidate, which has been shown to both prevent and treat TB in preclinical studies in animal models.

Latest air quality directive tasks the JRC to evaluate air pollution data
Revised European legislation setting improved rules on collection, sampling and analyses of air pollution data enters into force today.

TEDxNJIT event on Sept. 29
A TEDxNJIT event will take place on Sept. 29, 2015, in the Jim Wise Theatre on the New Jersey Institute of Technology campus and also via an accompanying live simulcast broadcast available to viewers worldwide.

Patients with type 2 diabetes should be prioritized for obesity surgery
New research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology suggests that, when considering overall costs of healthcare, obese patients with type 2 diabetes, especially those with recent disease onset, should be prioritized for obesity surgery over those without type 2 diabetes, since many patients see a reversal of diabetes after surgery and thus need fewer expensive diabetes medications or treatment for complications in future.

Lower bed occupancy linked to lower hospital death rate
Lower bed occupancy is linked to a lower hospital death rate and improved performance against the national four hour A&E waiting target, reveals research published online in Emergency Medicine Journal.

Not all organs age alike
Aging is typically thought of as the gradual decline of the whole body, but research shows that age affects organs in strikingly different ways.

Novel mechanism of insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes
Insensitivity to insulin, also called insulin resistance, is associated with type 2 diabetes and affects several cell types and organs in the body.

More aggressive blood pressure treatment found to reduce heart disease and save lives
Loyola University Chicago is among the centers participating in a landmark clinical trial that has found that more intensive management of high blood pressure reduces heart disease rates and saves lives.

PharmaMar initiates a phase II 'Basket' trial for PM1183 in selected advanced solid tumors
PharmaMar announces the start of a phase II 'Basket' trial for PM1183 in selected advanced solid tumors, which will be carried out in the US and Europe.

CTCA at Western launches immunotherapy clinical trial aimed at soft-tissue cancers
Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) at Western Regional Medical Center (Western) in Goodyear, Arizona, has begun Phase II of another arm of its multi-arm clinical trial that combines immunotherapy with chemotherapy.

Vaccine clears some precancerous cervical lesions in clinical trial
Scientists have used a genetically engineered vaccine to successfully eradicate high-grade precancerous cervical lesions in nearly one-half of women who received the vaccine in a clinical trial.

A new defense for Navy ships: Protection from cyber attacks
The US Navy is developing the Resilient Hull, Mechanical, and Electrical Security system, a cyber protection system designed to make its shipboard mechanical and electrical control systems resilient to cyber attacks.

Melting Arctic sea ice accelerates methane emissions
Methane emissions from Arctic tundra increase when sea ice melts, according to a new study from Lund University in Sweden.

Birds that eat at feeders more likely to get sick, spread disease
The authors monitored the social and foraging behaviors of wild flocks of house finches, a common backyard songbird, and the spread of a naturally-occurring bird disease called Mycoplasmal conjunctivitis, which is similar to 'pink eye' in humans but cannot be contracted by humans.

Smoking linked with higher risk of type 2 diabetes
Current smokers and people regularly exposed to second-hand smoke have a significantly increased risk for type 2 diabetes compared with people who have never smoked, according to a new study by researchers from Harvard T.H.

Laser ablation boosts terahertz emission
OIST researchers are getting closer to the conquest of the 'terahertz gap.'

Sponge cells build skeletons with pole-and-beam structure
Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on Sept.

NOAA's Marine Debris Program funds 13 new community-based removal projects
NOAA has awarded nearly $1.4 million to groups across the US to remove marine debris from their communities.

Engineers unlock remarkable 3-D vision from ordinary digital camera technology
A team of engineers from Duke University has discovered how to harness the image stabilization and focus modules of a modern, digital camera to unlock new 3-D imaging capabilities.

Maternal chronic stress linked to more dental cavities in children
Chronic maternal stress, when measured by biological markers, has been found for the first time to be associated with a higher prevalence of cavities among children, according to a study by King's College London and University of Washington.

'Being Sigmund Freud'
The illusion of being in another body affects not only our perception (as is already known) but also our way of thinking.

Studying Arctic ecosystems helps researchers predict climate changes
Employees of KFU have more than once been the parts of expeditions to the basin of Kolyma, Yamal peninsula, Kharbey lakes, Samoylovsky island in the delta of Lena.

Cancer doesn't sleep: Myc oncogene disrupts clock and metabolism in cancer cells
Myc is a cancer-causing gene responsible for disrupting the normal 24-hour internal rhythm and metabolic pathways in cancer cells.

NASA's GPM analyzes Tropical Depression 9 rainfall
The Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM mission core satellite passed over Tropical Depression 9 in the Central Atlantic and looked at the rainfall rates within the storm.

High dietary sodium and potassium may worsen chronic kidney disease
High dietary intake of sodium and potassium may speed the progression of kidney disease, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

How the brain can stop action on a dime
Scientists have identified the precise nerve cells that allow the brain to make a split-second change of course, like jamming on the brakes.

SAGE acquires 19 journals from major scientific and technology publisher Multi- science
SAGE is delighted to announce that it has acquired the majority of journals owned and published by the independent science and technology publisher, Multi-science.

Personalized heart models for surgical planning
Researchers at MIT and Boston Children's Hospital have developed a system that can take MRI scans of a patient's heart and, in a matter of hours, convert them into a tangible, physical model that surgeons can use to plan surgery.

Adaptation to high-fat diet, cold had profound effect on Inuit, including shorter height
UC Berkeley, Greenland and Denmark researchers have found unique genetic mutations in the Inuit genome that make them more adapted to cold as well as a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, with the side effect of shorter height.

Global burden of leptospirosis is greater than thought, and growing
The global burden of a tropical disease known as leptospirosis is far greater than previously estimated, resulting in more than 1 million new infections and nearly 59,000 deaths annually, a new international study led by the Yale School of Public Health has found.

Nano-trapped molecules are potential path to quantum devices
Single atoms or molecules imprisoned by laser light in a doughnut-shaped metal cage could unlock the key to advanced storage devices, computers and high-resolution instruments.

Tai Chi linked to improved physical capacity in certain common long term conditions
The ancient Chinese exercise Tai Chi is linked to improved physical capacity among older adults with certain common long term conditions, indicates a pooled analysis of the available evidence, published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Arnold Caplan receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Arnold I. Caplan, Ph.D., professor of Biology and director of the Skeletal Research Center at Case Western Reserve University, received the MSC Lifetime Achievement Award last month at the National Center for Regenerative Medicine's Mesenchymal Stem Cell conference, MSC 2015.

Ig Nobel Prize for University of Sydney's professor Nick Enfield
Professor Enfield and his co-authors have been recognized with a 2015 Ig Nobel Prize for their 2013 PLOS ONE paper revealing 'Huh' is a universal word.

Network control: Letting noise lead the way
Northwestern University researchers leverage randomness in a new computational approach to keep cells healthy.

Extreme makeover of the heart: Matrix therapy is first FDA-approved procedure of its kind
A cardiovascular team at University of Utah Hospital has successfully performed a first-in-the-world heart procedure on a 72-year-old attorney after suffering a large heart attack.

New book on Cell Death Techniques from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
'Cell Death Techniques: A Laboratory Manual' from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press provides a comprehensive suite of step-by-step protocols for inducing, detecting, visualizing, characterizing, and quantifying cell death in a variety of systems.

When Fed locks up funds, small businesses suffer
When the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to slow down a speeding economy -- effectively raising the price of money -- banks often sell down their stockpile of securities to keep the financial assembly lines going.

Global consortium rewrites the 'cartography' of dengue virus
An international consortium of laboratories worldwide that are studying the differences among dengue viruses has shown that while the long-held view that there are four genetically-distinct types of the virus holds, far more important are the differences in their antigenic properties -- the 'coats' that the viruses wear that help our immune systems identify them.

Molecular imaging study reveals improved detection of early recurrent prostate cancer
A recently developed drug was significantly better at detecting recurring prostate cancer in early stages, in research published in the August 2015 issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Excessive daytime sleepiness and long naps linked to increased diabetes risk
New research presented at this year's annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) shows that daytime sleepiness and taking long naps during the day are both associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Small rural owl fearlessly colonizes the city
Think of the city and images of traffic, pollution, noise and crowds spring to mind.

Making mini-makers
Starting in the spring term, students from Drexel University will travel to Korea's National NanoFab Center in Daejeon, South Korea, for a three-to-six month co-operative learning experience in the center where many of country's leading electronics manufacturers come to refine their designs.

Now you see it: An ultra-thin invisibility cloak
Researchers have made a small object disappear using an ultra-thin invisibility cloak, a new study reports.

IADR/AADR Publish article on the global economic impact of dental diseases
The International and American Associations for Dental Research (IADR/AADR) have published an article titled 'Global Economic Impact of Dental Diseases' in the OnlineFirst portion of the Journal of Dental Research.

Omega-3's are vital for a healthy ocean
A new study published this week in Nature Scientific Reports reveals that the 'ocean-fleas' which play a vital role in maintaining a healthy ocean depend on omega-3's to survive.

Griffith Researchers show ocean response to Red Dawn
The 'Red Dawn' dust storm which enveloped Sydney in 2009 left more than just a huge clean-up bill in its wake.

NOAA awards $2.1 million for observation, forecasting, mitigation of harmful algal blooms
NOAA announced today 12 new research grants totalling nearly $2.1 million that will go to organizations from around the country seeking to address harmful algal blooms (HABs) and hypoxia, two of the most scientifically complex and economically damaging coastal issues.

Temple University School of Medicine scientists identify protein at death's door of cells
A protein embedded in the surface of mitochondria -- the energy-producing batteries of living cells -- opens the door to cell death, causing cells to experience severe power failures, according to researchers at Temple University School of Medicine.

Genomic differences between breast cancers of African American and white women identified
A study from investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center has, for the first time, identified genomic differences between the breast tumors of African American and white women, differences that could contribute to the recognized differences in recurrence rate and survival.

Nanoelectronics could get a boost from carbon research
Lawrence Livermore scientists have investigated a way to create linear chains of carbon atoms from laser-melted graphite.

TSRI and UC San Diego launch new consortium to create 'virtual cell'
Drawing on complementary strengths of two San Diego institutions, The Scripps Research Institute and the University of California, San Diego have formed a new consortium with a big mission: to map cells in space and time.

Down syndrome research untangles therapeutic possibilities for Alzheimer's
More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Do estrogen levels affect the willingness to share?
Fluctuating hormone levels change a woman's social behavior over the course of the menstrual cycle.

Seen once, never forgotten
Having once seen the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 thriller Psycho, who can forget what happens next?

Acute Cardiovascular Care conference to highlight innovations and controversies
Acute Cardiovascular Care 2015 will highlight innovations and controversies in the field, guaranteeing great stories on topics relevant to the press.

Loyola stroke specialist honored by American Heart Association/American Stroke Association
Loyola University Medical Center stroke specialist Jose Biller, M.D. is among four Hispanic leaders being recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for their contributions to improving the health and well-being of multicultural communities.

Professor awarded $1.2 million NIH grant to study malpractice and 'defensive medicine'
What happens to the quality of care delivered when physicians face no threat of malpractice?

Northwestern receives $5 million for nanoscale research
Northwestern University has received a five-year, $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to establish, in collaboration with the University of Chicago, a new national resource that provides academic, small business and industry researchers access to cutting-edge nanotechnology facilities and expertise.

Elite emphasize efficiency over equality when distributing resources, study suggests
A new study suggests that the wealthy, well-educated elite tend to be less fair-minded and more prone to efficiency when distributing resources, compared to the broader public.

Living in space -- and on Earth -- is a balancing act
The Recovery of Functional Sensorimotor Performance Following Long Duration Space Flight or Field Test investigation will measure the time and effort it takes astronauts to perform simple tasks before they launch into space and compare them to measurements taken immediately after they return to Earth.

New approach found to tackle breast cancer hormone therapy resistance
University of Manchester researchers funded by Breast Cancer Now have discovered a new explanation as to why women with oestrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer develop resistance to hormone treatment, and a potential new approach to overcome the problem.

Combination of genes explains Inuit's adaptation to high-fat diet
An analysis of the genetic makeup of the Inuit people -- who live in an extreme climate, and thus have a diet much higher in energy-rich protein and fat -- reveals how this population has adapted to its environment.

There is strength in diversity!
Altered or new environmental conditions, such as those brought about by climate change, impose challenges on living organisms.

NCMA launches national training program to better identify harmful algal blooms
The National Center for Marine Algae and Macrobiota at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is developing a program to train the next generation of scientists and managers in the taxonomy of harmful marine algae, a key step in rebuilding and maintaining expertise critical to managing the impacts of harmful algal blooms in every US coastal region.

Ages apart
Scientists at EMBL, the Salk Institute and the University of California at Berkeley have now measured and compared just how aging affects rats' liver and brain cells.

New imaging technique detects early brain damage from hypertension
A new imaging technique found that some people with high blood pressure also have early signs of brain damage.

How the chameleon climbed to the top of the tree
The chameleon's exceptional tree-climbing ability is dependent on vital ball-and-socket joints in its wrists and ankles, according to research published in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology.

If mom or dad is a smoker, their teenager is more likely to be a smoker too
The more a parent smokes, the more their teenage son or daughter will also smoke.

A look into why the horrifying is so very intriguing
A unique exploration of a popular TV show will be featured at a conference in Cincinnati.

Research discovery leads to potential diagnostic for assessing breast cancer recurrence
Every woman successfully treated for breast cancer lives with the knowledge that it could come back.

Frankfurt archaeologists discover 'Roman Village' in Gernsheim
During their first Gernsheim dig last year, Frankfurt University archaeologists suspected that a small Roman settlement must have also existed here in the Hessian Ried.

Solving the problem of sea ice thickness distribution using molecular concepts
Yale University scientists have answered a 40-year-old question about Arctic ice thickness by treating the ice floes of the frozen seas like colliding molecules in a fluid or gas.

High protein diets, from both animal and plant sources, improve blood sugar control in diabetic patients
New research presented at this year's annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) shows that high protein diets improve blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes without any adverse effects on kidney function.

Naturally occurring 'GM' butterflies produced by gene transfer of wasp-associated viruses
Research teams from the University of Valencia and the University of Tours have discovered that genes originating from parasitic wasps are present in the genomes of many butterflies.

New prostate cancer screening review article advocates for active surveillance
In the wake of changing guidelines related to prostate cancer screening, a newly published review article out of University Hospitals Case Medical Center's Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland provides important guidance about the prostate specific antigen test.

NASA sees Marianas Islands at 5 o'clock within Typhoon Krovanh
When NASA's Terra satellite passed over the circular Typhoon Krovanh in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean, the Marianas Islands were in the storm's southeastern quadrant, and looked like five o'clock in the storm clouds' circulation.

Physicists defy conventional wisdom to identify ferroelectric material
In a discovery that could open new pathways to find new materials for nanotechnology devices, physicists at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found ferroelectricity could be induced in a thin sheet of strontium titanate.

Exploring the intersection of international trade & health
The O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law fall colloquium series continues with a focus on the intersection of international trade and health.

Digital 'Rosetta Stone' decrypts how mutations rewire cancer cells
Scientists have discovered how genetic cancer mutations systematically attack the networks controlling human cells, knowledge critical for the future development of personalized precision cancer treatments.

Training more effective teachers through alternative pathways
Sass finds that Florida teachers who enter teaching through a path requiring no coursework in education have the greatest effect on student achievement, substantially larger than that of traditionally prepared teachers.

E. coli more virulent when accompanied by beneficial bacteria
Scientists wonder why some people get so sick and even die after being infected by the foodborne pathogen E. coli O157:H7, while others experience much milder symptoms and recover relatively quickly.

Adolescent painkiller abuse a big problem for small towns, rural areas
Adolescents who live in rural areas and small towns and cities are more likely to abuse prescription painkillers than adolescents who live in large urban areas, according to sociologists.

Designing switchable electric and magnetic order for low-energy computing
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have developed a new material that combines both electrical and magnetic order at room temperature, using a design approach which may enable the development of low-energy computer memory technologies

New report examines implications of growing gap in life span by income for entitlement programs
As the gap in life expectancy between the highest and lowest earners in the US has widened over time, high earners have disproportionately received larger lifetime benefits from government programs such as Social Security and Medicare, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Surgeons, athletic and musical pros join forces to devise new surgical training program
What do surgeons, elite-level athletes and professional musicians have in common?

Study finds high proportion of advanced breast cancers in sub-Saharan Africa
In one of the first studies of its kind, a new report finds a large majority of breast cancers in Cote d'Ivoire and Republic of Congo are detected only after they've become advanced.

Closer look reveals true cost of coal
The cost of coal use is greater than it seems and policies geared toward subsidizing its use must be reformed quickly, before countries invest in coal-fired plants, Ottmar Edenhofer argues in this Perspective.

UTA computer scientist to develop software engineering methods that ensure good upgrades
Taylor T. Johnson, an assistant professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department, will use a $174,634 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop novel software engineering methods that will enable safe upgrades of cyber-physical systems in the energy domain.

Lomitapide in hypercholesterolaemia: No hint of added benefit
The dossier contained neither results from studies of direct comparisons nor from an indirect comparison.

UD finding sheds light on infertility puzzle, could improve in vitro fertilization
Patricia A. Martin-DeLeon, a reproductive biologist at the University of Delaware, and her team have revealed for the first time communication between the sperm and the fallopian tube that helps prepare the sperm for its final big push into the egg. 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