Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 27, 2015
New finding offers clues for blocking cancer gene
A new study suggests a potential new way to block Notch, one of the most common cancer-causing genes, without causing severe side effects.

Study compares combination treatments for black adults with asthma
Among black adults with asthma treated with an inhaled corticosteroid, adding a long-acting beta-agonist did not improve the time to an asthma exacerbation compared with adding the anticholinergic tiotropium, according to a study in the Oct.

Intestine-specific delivery of insulin demonstrates promise with new oral formulation
An intestinal patch device containing insulin that can be swallowed in the form of a capsule, in development by researchers at University of California Santa Barbara, has demonstrated efficacy of blood glucose management in diabetic rats.

Acid reflux medications may increase kidney disease risk
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), a class of drugs used to treat acid reflux and other acid-related gastrointestinal conditions, may increase the risk for developing chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Obese children's health rapidly improves with sugar reduction unrelated to calories
Reducing consumption of added sugar has the power to reverse a cluster of chronic metabolic diseases in children in as little as 10 days, according to a study by researchers at UCSF & Touro University California.

New growth charts developed for US children with Down syndrome
Pediatric researchers have developed the first set of growth charts for US children with Down syndrome since 1988.

Two studies investigate health impacts of continuous piped water supply
This week, PLOS Medicine features two studies each investigating the importance of uninterrupted piped water supplies to health outcomes.

Drug for digestive problem can extend survival for many advanced cancer patients
Advanced cancer patients given a drug designed to relieve constipation caused by pain killers lived longer with less tumor progression than those who did not receive or respond to the drug, researchers report at the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Identifying the European corn borer may become easier with new technique
Farmers who need to control the destructive European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) may soon be able to distinguish it from look-alike species by simply scanning an image of its wing into a computer and pecking a few keys.

Drug-device combination opens potential new path to treat stroke
Scientists at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University developing novel nanotherapeutics for clearing obstructed blood vessels have teamed up with researchers at University of Massachusetts' New England Center for Stroke Research to develop a new, highly effective drug-device combination for treating life-threatening blood clots in patients with stroke.

Brownian Carnot engine
In a recent study published in Nature Physics, ICFO researchers Ignacio Martínez, Édgar Roldán, the late Dmitri Petrov and Raúl Rica, in collaboration with the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, have reported on the development of a microscopic motor operating between two thermal baths, that is, a micro Carnot engine.

Wall-less Hall thruster may power future deep space missions
To prolong the lifespan of Hall thrusters, a team of researchers from the French National Center for Scientific Research have experimentally optimized the operation of a novel, wall-less thruster prototype developed a year ago by the same team.

Negative publicity reduces police motivation
Recent negative publicity surrounding police after several shootings of unarmed civilians appears to have diminished some officers' motivation to be in law enforcement but does not decrease willingness to carry out their duties, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association.

X-rays uncover gut of 320-million-year-old animal
The inner workings of a tiny fossil have been studied using X-ray microscopy, revealing evidence of the digestive system for the first time.

The great northern cod comeback
Once an icon of overfishing, mismanagement, and stock decline, the northern Atlantic cod is showing signs of recovery according to new research published today in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.

Rates of mental health problems likely to increase in months after UK troops return from Afghanistan
Mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety are likely to increase in UK military personnel during the months after returning from Afghanistan, according to a study by researchers from King's Centre for Military Health Research at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London.

Potential new therapy for triple-negative breast cancer shows promise in lab studies
Recent laboratory findings provide novel insight into potential new therapeutic approaches for triple-negative breast cancer, a particularly difficult to treat and aggressive form of the disease.

Weakening post-Tropical Storm Olaf examined by NASA's GPM satellite
After maintaining hurricane intensity for over a week former category four hurricane Olaf is now a post-tropical storm and moved into hurricane history.

NREL releases report card on environmental efforts
The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory continued to improve its environmental protection efforts at its South Table Mountain and National Wind Technology Center sites during 2014 by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, adding bird-safety features to campus structures, and assessing environmental impacts of potential laboratory development.

Research finds new link between zonulin and 2 common inflammatory bowel conditions
Researchers have discovered that people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have higher than normal blood levels of zonulin, suggesting an important role for the protein in the development of these conditions.

New finding helps explain why many alcohol drinkers also are smokers
Alcohol and nicotine use have long been known to go hand in hand.

Study examines lack of specialists in insurance plans of Affordable Care Act
In a study of federal marketplace insurance plans, nearly 15 percent completely lacked in-network physicians for at least one specialty, a practice found among multiple states and issuers, raising concerns regarding patient access to specialty care, according to a study in the Oct.

'Spring-mass' technology heralds the future of walking robots
A new study suggests that researchers have achieved the most realistic robotic implementation of human walking dynamics that has ever been done, which may ultimately allow human-like versatility and performance.

Multi-tasking flu vaccine could provide better protection against outbreaks
Australian researchers have found a way to boost the effectiveness and cross-protective capabilities of an influenza A vaccine by adding a simple component.

New Yale ResearchKit app aims to prevent pregnancy loss
One of the greatest joys for parents is the birth of their child -- and one of the greatest tragedies is the loss of that child.

Physics of booming and burping sand dunes revealed
Avalanching sand from dune faces can trigger loud, rumbling 'booming' or short bursts of 'burping' sounds -- behaving as a perfectly tuned musical instrument.

Study shows association between breastfeeding and reduced risk of aggressive breast cancer
A large international study shows that breastfeeding is associated with a lower risk of developing an aggressive form of breast cancer called hormone-receptor negative.

New studies show nobel prize-winning drug that knocks out parasitic worms could have second act fighting malaria
A workhorse of a drug that a few weeks ago earned its developers a Nobel prize for its success in treating multiple tropical diseases is showing early promise as a novel and desperately needed tool for interrupting malaria transmission, according to new findings presented today at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting.

WSU partners to develop new anti-inflammatory drug
Work on a new anti-inflammatory drug developed from the medicinal/spice plant turmeric recently received funding from a $225,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

Seismological Research Letters: Nepal earthquake was less intense than feared
The April 2015 Gorkha earthquake that struck Nepal produced less damage and weaker shaking than might be expected from a magnitude 7.8 quake in the area, according to a group of 10 new articles published this week in Seismological Research Letters.

Prolonged TV viewing linked to 8 leading causes of death in US
On average, 80 percent of American adults watch 3.5 hours of television per day and multiple observational studies have demonstrated a link between TV viewing and poorer health.

Manipulating the antennae on cells promises new treatments for osteoarthritis
Bioengineers from Queen Mary University of London have shown for the first time that lithium chloride, a common drug used to treat mental health disorders, could offer an effective treatment against osteoarthritis by disrupting the length of the cells' antennae called primary cilia.

What happens when you're about to die? (video)
As Halloween approaches, you may be watching more horror flicks.

New role for insulin: Studies tie the hormone to brain's 'pleasure' center
Insulin, the hormone essential to all mammals for controlling blood sugar levels and a feeling of being full after eating, plays a much stronger role than previously known in regulating release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers.

Diabetes identified as a risk factor for surgical site infections
Diabetic patients are at considerably increased risk for developing surgical site infections while undergoing most types of surgeries, compared to non-diabetic patients, according to a new study published online today in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

Springer to collaborate with the Beijing Institute of Technology Press
Springer will collaborate with the Beijing Institute of Technology Press on the publication of books, journals and digital databases covering the Beijing Institute of Technology's strongest research disciplines.

Computer simulations reveal feeding in early animal
Scientists have used computer simulations to reconstruct feeding in the common ancestor shared between humans and starfish, which lived over half a billion years ago.

Scientists and artists celebrate father of brain science at NIH
The NIH will host a symposium to honor Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the Spanish scientist whose drawings have served as blueprints for understanding how the brain works for over a century.

Grant funds computer simulation to train social work students, clinicians
A federal grant of more than $919,000 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will fund one new course at the University of Illinois and support training for clinicians at area agencies in conducting early interventions with people who abuse substances.

Graphene flakes as an ultra-fast stopwatch
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, working with colleagues from the USA and Germany, have developed a new optical detector from graphene which reacts very rapidly to incident light of all different wavelengths and even works at room temperature.

Distressed damsels cry for help
Researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University have found that fish release a chemical 'distress call' when caught by predators, dramatically boosting their chances of survival.

Marine reserves will need stepping stones to help fishes disperse between them
A massive field effort on the Belizean Barrier Reef has revealed for the first time that the offspring of at least one coral reef fish, a neon goby, do not disperse far from their parents.

Reforms to agricultural policy may increase sugar consumption and harm public health
The liberalization of the sugar market in the EU may increase sugar consumption, particularly among the lowest socioeconomic groups, and damage public health across Europe and beyond, warn experts in The BMJ this week.

Let your head do the talking
When people talk or sing, they often nod, tilt or bow their heads to reinforce verbal messages.

NASA looks at winds, cloud extent of Patricia's remnant hybrid system
NASA's RapidScat analyzed the winds in the Gulf of Mexico that were associated with the hybrid storm the included the remnants of former Eastern Pacific Ocean Hurricane Patricia.

Study reveals brain mechanism for creating durable memories
Rehearsing information immediately after being given it may be all you need to make it a permanent memory, a University of Sussex study suggests.

From science fiction to reality -- sonic tractor beam invented
A team of researchers from the Universities of Bristol and Sussex in collaboration with Ultrahaptics have built the world's first sonic tractor beam that can lift and move objects using sound waves.

RI Hospital researcher confirms praziquantel safe after first trimester
Rhode Island Hospital researchers confirmed that praziquantel to treat schistosomiasis is safe to give pregnant women after the first trimester.

Genetic tests of amniotic fluid could guide timing of delicate births
Analyzing gene expression of an expectant mother's amniotic fluid could give doctors an important tool for deciding when it is safe to deliver premature babies.

More precise due dates for pregnant mothers
A routine screening could help narrow the estimated date of delivery for pregnant women.

Chicken study reveals evolution can happen much faster than thought
Scientists found two mutations that had occurred in the mitochondrial genomes of the birds in only 50 years, showing a rate of evolution much higher than the widely accepted rate of change in the mitochondrial genome of about 2 percent per million years.

UC3M researches simulator of human behavior
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid is investigating how to build a system that recreates human behavior.

Flexible mobility services for Finland and Europe on a one-stop-shop principle
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. is coordinating a Pan-European Mobility as a Service (MaaS) project for creating the prerequisites for organizing user-oriented and ecological mobility services.

Thousands die from snakebite each year as anti-venom treatment out of reach
Snakebite claims thousands of lives in the world's poorest communities every year but remains a 'forgotten killer,' according to a new editorial published in the British Medical Journal.

Decreases seen in leading causes of death
An analysis of deaths in the United States between 1969 and 2013 finds an overall decreasing trend in the age-standardized death rate for all causes combined and for heart disease, cancer, stroke, unintentional injuries, and diabetes, although the rate of decrease appears to have slowed for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, according to a study in the Oct.

Researchers create better algorithm for simulating particles in Fermi Sea
A North Carolina State University physicist and his German colleagues have created a new, more precise algorithm for simulating particle interactions when a single impurity is introduced into a Fermi sea.

Increased risk of large bowel cancer for each 1 cm rise in waist circumference
New research shows an increased risk of large bowel cancer for each 1 cm rise in waist circumference.

Probing the mysteries of Europa, Jupiter's cracked and crinkled moon
New research, using spectrographic data from the W. M. Keck telescope's, shows what are likely deposits from Europa's sub-surface ocean on it's so-called 'chaos terrain.'

UM researchers work on model to help restoration managers with decision-making
It sounds rather simple: In order to restore the original high level of biodiversity in our rivers, they should be returned to their original state.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center introduces MyICU
MyICU, a new two-way communication tool created by patients, family members, clinicians and others at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, aims to help make the ICU stay a little bit better.

Genetic testing could identify men at a 10-fold increased risk of testicular cancer
A new study of more than 25,000 men has uncovered four new genetic variants associated with increased risk of testicular cancer.

UA engineering professor wins Air Force grant for supersonic aerodynamics research
University of Arizona engineering professor Jesse Little receives $900,000 US Air Force grant to investigate supersonic air flows for designing the next generation of high-speed aircraft.

$3 million NSF grant to transform STEM teaching approaches at Wayne State University
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $3 million grant to Wayne State University for an institutional transformation project aimed at reformulating teaching approaches in STEM courses.

NASA investigates techniques for cooling 3-D integrated circuits stacked like a skyscraper
Because of the unique space environment, removing heat from power-dense electronics always has presented challenges, sometimes leading to inefficient designs.

Breakthrough heart health diagnostics company formed
A new company that could revolutionize the accurate diagnosis of heart conditions was launched in Christchurch, New Zealand today.

Combating climate change is possible
A new expert panel report, Technology and Policy Options for a Low-Emission Energy System in Canada, released today by the Council of Canadian Academies, provides a review of options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and moving Canada toward a low-emission future.

Improving risk profiling is key to preventing many GI cancers
Today, experts at United European Gastroenterology call for better risk profiling for all GI cancers in order to develop more targeted approaches to their screening and prevention.

Diabetes patients do better after surgery when their blood sugar is managed by pharmacists
A pharmacy-led glycemic control program is linked to improved outcomes for surgical patients with diabetes and those who develop stress-induced hyperglycemia or high blood sugars as a result of surgery, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study published in the American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits.

When it comes to children's ability to think, weight and activity level both matter, study finds
Weight and physical activity levels are both factors in a child's ability to acquire and use knowledge, a new study finds.

Global failure to act on snake bite costs thousands of lives each year
Urgent action is needed to ensure that effective and affordable treatments for snake bite reach vulnerable populations across Africa, Asia and Papua New Guinea, argues an expert in The BMJ this week.

One hundred cancer patients a year in Manchester benefit from new scan technology
Researchers in Manchester have used recent advances in PET scanning technology to reduce the radiation dose for both patients and staff by up to 30 percent, allowing an addition of an annual 100 scans a year at Central Manchester University Hospitals.

May the 5th force be with you
Discovering possible new forces in nature is no mean task.

Study finds complete symptom resolution reduces risk of depression recurrence
People who have had an episode of major depression are at high risk for having another episode.

Singing calms baby longer than talking
In a new study from the University of Montreal, infants remained calm twice as long when listening to a song, which they didn't even know, as they did when listening to speech.

MSU first to solidify medical elective in Cuba for students
Michigan State University medical students will be the first from the United States to participate in a clinical experience that will allow them to step foot inside Cuba's hospitals, learn about the country's medical system, and put the experience toward their education.

Artificial intelligence finds messy galaxies
An astrophysics student at the Australian National University has turned to artificial intelligence to help her to see into the hearts of galaxies.

3-D pancreatic cancer organoid may help predict clinical responses, personalize treatments
A new method to grow 3-D organoid cultures of pancreatic tumors directly from surgical tissue offers a promising opportunity for testing targeted therapies and personalizing treatments in a rapid, cost-effective manner.

Bodily maps of touch and social relationships are tightly linked
A study conducted by Aalto University and the University of Oxford shows that the bodily maps of touch are consistent across a wide range of European cultures.

High-grade DCIS detection rates increase in older women
The mammography detection rate of an early-stage but potentially invasive type of breast cancer rises with age, according to a large new study.

Researchers explore natural molecule's potential to aid immune response
Proteins called cytokines are known to influence immune cell fate, but the process is complex.

A gender revolution -- minus the bigger paycheck
Women are more likely than men to have a bachelor's degree and a white-collar job, yet continue to earn less than their male counterparts, finds a new study spanning two generations in the United States.

On the road to ANG vehicles
Berkeley Lab researchers have developed metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) that feature flexible gas-adsorbing pores, giving them a high capacity for storing methane.

Inherited gene variation linked to an increased risk of the most common childhood cancer
For two generations of one family, inherited variation in the ETV6 gene linked to an increased risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Helping kids hear better
A first-of-its-kind study discovered that many hard-of-hearing children who receive optimal, early services are able to 'catch up or significantly close the gaps with their hearing peers,' say researchers at the University of Iowa, Boys Town National Research Hospital, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

QMUL Ph.D. student stumbles upon a new way for producing oldest chemical compounds
A chemistry Ph.D. student from Queen Mary University of London has found a simple way for the first time of producing two chemical compounds that were first discovered in late 19th century, entirely by accident.

Springer launches book series with the Chinese Academy of Engineering
Springer, part of the newly formed publishing group Springer Nature, has signed an agreement with Zhejiang University Press to co-publish a new book series Research on the Intelligent City Construction and Promotion Strategies.

UT Southwestern researchers identify an enzyme as a major culprit of autoimmune diseases
Activating an enzyme that sounds an alarm for the body's innate immune system causes two lethal autoimmune diseases in mice, while inhibiting the same enzyme rescues them, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers report.

Distressed damsels cry for help
In a world first study researchers from Uppsala University, Sweden and James Cook University in Australia and have found that prey fish captured by predators release chemical cues that acts as a 'distress call', dramatically boosting their chances for survival.

Current climate commitments would increase global temperature around 3°C
A JRC assessment shows that current climate commitments submitted by 155 countries for COP21 would increase global temperature around 3ºC.

Coating cancels acoustic scattering from odd-shaped objects
Researchers from the US Naval Research Laboratory and the University of Texas at Austin have applied to acoustic waves the concept of 'scattering cancellation,' which has long been used to systematically cancel the dominant scattering modes of electromagnetic waves off objects.

Driving with glaucoma? Some patients increase scanning to adapt for impaired vision
Some people with glaucoma-related binocular (both eyes) vision loss can pass a standard driving test by adopting increased visual scanning behavior, reports a study in the October issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry.

Neiker-Tecnalia identifies microalgae with health-giving omega-3-type fatty oil
The Neofood project, currently being run by Neiker-Tecnalia, the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development, is seeking to identify species of marine microalgae that are present on the Basque coast and which contain bioactive compounds of interest, such as omega-3-type oils.

Speeding up extreme big brain data analysis
It's tough to unravel the mysteries of the brain when your computer is frozen.

Endocrine Society hosts congressional briefing on combating diabetes epidemic
The Endocrine Society is hosting a Congressional briefing on Nov.

Mammoths might have survived except for bad 'mineral diet'
At the end of the Pleistocene mammoths of Northern Eurasia used to experience chronic mineral hunger.

Singing's secret power: The Ice-breaker Effect
A study with adult learners showed groups doing singing bonded faster than others.

How sensorimotor intelligence may develop
Researchers propose a novel learning rule in PNAS to explain the development of sensorimotor intelligence.

'Little Box Challenge' inverters arrive at NREL
Today, 18 finalist teams for the Little Box Challenge, presented by Google and the IEEE Power Electronics Society, converged at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory to have their power inverters tested as part of a $1 million competition to build smaller devices for use in solar power systems.

Attosecond physics: Film in 4-D with ultrashort electron pulses
Physicists of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich shorten electron pulses down to 30 femtoseconds duration.

100-year-old mystery solved: Adult eel observed for the first time in the Sargasso Sea
After more than a century of speculation, researchers have finally proved that American eels really do migrate to the Sargasso Sea to reproduce.

Health care analytics a focus at INFORMS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia
How can electronic health records help doctors make better medical decisions?

Restoring testosterone rather than replacing it helps safeguard a man's fertility
Restoring testosterone production in men may be as effective as replacing it, without compromising their fertility.

Upcoming UN Climate Summit can't overlook China's support of global coal power
When global leaders converge on Paris on Nov. 30 for the 2015 United Nations climate change conference, they should create guidelines and incentives for developing nations to cooperate with one another on lower-carbon energy projects, according to a report led by Princeton University researchers.

Intestinal worms 'talk' to gut bacteria to boost immune system
EPFL researchers have discovered how intestinal worm infections cross-talk with gut bacteria to help the immune system.

Seals not competing with Irish fishing stocks, according to new research
Seals are not threatening commercial fishing stocks in Irish waters, with the possible exception of wild Atlantic salmon, according to new research led by Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK.

UK children play instruments as part of family tradition, not to boost social status
British parents encourage their children to play musical instruments as part of a family tradition and not to boost their social status as Americans do, research says.

Oxytocin has social, emotional and behavioral benefits in young kids with autism
A five week treatment with the synthetic hormone oxytocin significantly improved social, emotional and behavioral issues among young children with autism, according to University of Sydney research published today in Molecular Psychiatry.

Lower doses of common product ingredient might increase breast cancer risk
Estrogen-mimicking chemicals called parabens may be more dangerous at lower doses than previously thought, according to a new study.

Mental maps: Route-learning changes brain tissue
Fifteen years ago, a study showed that the brains of London cab drivers had an enlargement in the hippocampus, a brain area associated with navigation.

High stress during pregnancy decreases offspring survival, according to mongoose study
Researchers studying banded mongooses in Uganda have discovered that pups born to females that experienced elevated stress hormones during the later stages of pregnancy are much less likely to survive their first month.

Reduced activity of a brain protein linked to post-traumatic stress disorder
People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have reduced activity of the protein serum and glucocorticoid regulated kinase 1 (SGK1) in their prefrontal cortices, and experimentally reducing the protein's activity in rats leads to PTSD-like behavior, according to a new study.

Secrets of a rice-killing fungal toxin
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Sciences have discovered the enzyme needed for synthesis of tenuazonic acid, a well-known toxin that is produced by multiple types of fungus and affects fruits, vegetables, rice, and other crops.

The world's fastest nanoscale photonics switch
Researchers from Lomonosov Moscow State University developed an ultrafast all-optical switch based on nonlinear dielectric silicon nanostructures.

Plant regulatory network simulations reveal a mystery in cytokinin patterning
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered that cytokinin patterning, an important process in plant development, cannot happen via diffusion alone.

Treatments offer hope for chronic fatigue syndrome
Researchers have found that two treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome have long term benefits for people affected by the condition.

Dartmouth-led study explores wave-particle interaction in atmosphere
A Dartmouth-led study sheds light on the impact of plasma waves on high-energy electrons streaking into Earth's magnetic field from space. 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